The similarity of the movie titles (Sunset Blvd. and Mulholland
Dr.) right down to the use of the abbreviation of the titles.
The similar title sequences
- credits rolling with a car driving up a road.
In MD, Rita walks past the Sunset Blvd street sign and Lynch makes a point to focus on it.
In fact, both Sunset Blvd. and Mulholland Dr. are long east-west
streets in Los Angeles. They run roughly parallel, while Mulholland Dr.
is at the top of the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Blvd. at the
The first half of MD appears to be set in the
glamorous early 1950s-ish of Hollywood movies.
Joe ends up at Norma's
mansion after a car accident on a highway above L.A. - Rita ends up at
Havenhurst after her car crash on Mulholland Dr and so the story
begins (Lynch mentioned in an interview that he loved this idea in
Norma's and Diane's narcissism/delusion;
both are living in a "dream world" which they cannot distinguish from reality.
Norma and Diane's violent and psychotic
obsession - Joe and Camilla's aloofness.
Norma Desmond attempts suicide in Sunset Blvd.
Norma Desmond kills her lover in Sunset Blvd.
Both movies feature a young
ingénue named Betty.
Norma buying a gun which we first see in her bed while Diane has one in her bedside table and shoots herself in
The critique of people who have been destroyed by Hollywood and the movie industry.
Both movies have a director featured in a role within the movie (MD - a director on his way out; Sunset Blvd - a retired director).
Norma Desmond goes back to Paramount studios in an old car.
Lynch used the same car (which he
allegedly got hold of in Vegas) in a shot where Betty exits the cab in
front of the Paramount Gate.
Joe is giving Betty Schaeffer a phone call to summon her to
his house at 10086 Sunset Bldv. where Betty learns that Joe had chosen Norma over her. Diane is being called by Camilla to come to 6980 Mulholland Dr. just to learn of the cruel truth of the engagement.
Some of the decoration in
Aunt Ruth's apartment, particularly the helically carved ornamental posts around her door are
similar to what we see at the mansion in Sunset Blvd.
Finally, if you believe the
dying dream theory, the fact that Sunset Blvd is narrated by a dead person is significant also.
Btw, Lynch has often said Sunset Blvd
to be one of his favorite movies. There's a
character in SB named Gordon Cole. That's where Lynch got the name for
the character FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole he played in Twin
I remember reading an interview
with Lynch where he talks about Sunset Blvd. and what intrigues him about it,
and it has to do with the delusion of Gloria Swanson's character Norma Desmond
and he says how people like her really exist. People who live in their own
fantasy world and do not realize it, and so they no longer live in the real
world, they live in la-la land. - (outofthewoods)