LATEST NEWS[May 2013]
Continuing the Hollywood Sign's 90th anniversary celebration, a new slideshow has been posted titled "Moments in Hollywood Sign History: The 1978 Rebuild" … »[April 2013]
As part of the 90th celebration of the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Sign Trust will be featuring "Legends and Lore of the Hollywood Sign" slideshows on the home page. … »[March 2013]
The Hollywood Sign is proud to be in Argo, which just won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Hollywood Sign is the hardest working actress in Hollywood appearing in over 150 movies,… »[February 2013]
Dick Van Dyke was honored with the SAG Lifetime Achievement award. He starred in a 3D movie about the legend of the Hollywood Sign caretaker who replaced the light bulbs at the Sign when… »
Category Archives: The Sign in the Movies
The Sign in the Movies: A Towering Hollywood Star
AN OPEN CALL FOR ALL FILM BUFFS!
We've listed over 70 films, TV shows, video games and music videos below that have featured the Sign, but there may be more. If you spot a cameo by the Sign that isn't on our list, please email us with details about the sighting right away.
If we add it to our list, and you'd like credit for your discovery, we'll put your name in the listing. You'll be a part of Hollywood Sign history!
A 50-foot pop culture icon can only get so far in Hollywood without catching the eyes of "movie people." So it should come as no surprise that the Hollywood Sign has been in its fair share of films – many more, in fact, than celebrated A-listers like George Clooney or Cate Blanchett.
Though it is such a towering Hollywood star, it is little known that the Sign was a bit of a child prodigy, appearing in its first feature-length motion picture (1935's "Hollywood Boulevard ") at the tender age of 12. Despite this promising debut, the Sign had to wait until it was almost 50 years old before it started landing regular callbacks! The reason for the snub? While the vast majority of American movies were filmed in Hollywood before then, very few were set in Hollywood – so the Sign's presence would have been a dead giveaway. Hollywood, at least in the mainstream imagination, was a place where movies were made, not a place populated by real people, dramas and stories.
It wasn't until the Sign wowed the industry a bit part in 1970's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and with its thrilling stuntman appearance in 1974's "Earthquake" that the calls started pouring in. From 1935 to today, the Sign has appeared in, according to our count, well over 70 films, television shows, and video games.Through the years, it's starred alongside the likes of Warren Beatty, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Johnny Depp, and Jim Carrey. The Sign has co-starred in more than one film with four different actors: Jennifer Connelly ("The Rocketeer" and "Career Opportunities"). Charlize Theron ("The Italian Job" and "Mighty Joe Young"). Mike Meyers ("Austin Powers in Goldmember" and "Shrek II", and Donald Sutherland ("The Italian Job" and "The Day of the Locust").
True, the Sign may have had an opportunity to "rub letters" with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, but it's also had its share of career challenges. For one thing, the Sign has struggled to move beyond its typecast role as a signifier of massive-scale destruction, having been destroyed no less than 10 times on screen – by everything from earthquakes and global warming, to a giant gorilla and, most fearsome of all, John Belushi.While the roles haven't always been great, the Sign has added something to every film it's been in, whether it's being used to quickly establish a setting, deliver a visual punch-line, or add a chilling note of "reality" to a depiction of disaster or a future gone awry.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2009)
Starring Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan.
Directed by Chris Columbus.
A teenager discovers he’s the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods. The Sign appears towards the end, as the gate to Hades!
(Contributed by Carl Vincent)
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen.
Directed by Larry Charles.
Aspiring designer Bruno arrives in Hollywood amid glitz, glamour, and the Hollywood Sign.
(Contributed by Duff Ferguson)
Voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus.
Directed by Byron Howard and Chris Williams.
Bolt arrives in Hollywood and takes in a gorgeous view of the whole city with the Sign prominently in the background. While he stands there, two aspiring Hollywood writer pigeons approach Bolt to pitch a bird-brained script idea for his next movie.
Yes Man (2008)
Starring Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins.
Directed by Peyton Reed.
Near the end of the movie, where Carl is jogging with Allison and her yoga/jogging/photography group at the Griffith Park Observatory, the Hollywood Sign can be seen setting the stage in the background.
(Contributed by Randall Branam)
Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
Starring Jason Lee, Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman.
Directed by Tim Hill.
The Sign has a cameo near the middle of the movie when an establishing shot shows the home where Jason Lee lives with the Chipmunks.
(Contributed by Alyssah Lim)
Nancy Drew (2007)
Starring Emma Roberts, Josh Flitter, Max Thieriot, Tate Donovan.
Directed by Peyton Reed.
Directed by Joel P. Engardio and Tom Shepard.
A man decides to donate part of his liver to save his son’s life. They travel to California for the surgery. On the night before the operation, his wife takes pictures of the man and his son in front of the Hollywood Sign.
Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (2006)
Starring Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Ronnie James Dio, Fred Arminsen, Amy Poehler, Tim Robbins, David Grohl, Ben Stiller.
Directed by Liam Lynch.
Jack Black arrives by bus in Hollywood to form the world’s most awesome rock band. He beams and takes in the scene while the Sign sets the stage behind him.
(Contributed by Stefan Rocke)
Vantage Point (2006)
Starring Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox.
Directed by Pete Travis.
(Contributed by Steven Etzkorn)
Starring Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck.
Directed by Allen Coulter.
(Contributed by Jim Pinard)