Great Characters Wiki

Max von Mayerling is a supporting character in the 1950 Billy Wilder film Sunset Boulevard. He's Norma's personal butler who works in her mansion and talks guides Joe through his visit with Norma. He was also Norma's first husband and a former director who had discovered her initially.

He was portrayed by real life film director Erich von Stroheim.

Why He Rocks

  1. He's shown to be more than just you're average movie or TV butler, he actually made some tough choices and is very committed to both his directing job and being with Norma.
  2. Even though nearly everyone within the film is miserable in some way, Max really stands in terms of sadness, as he had to give up his world-changing career and keep Norma's dreams alive when she went out of style.
  3. He was one of the best directors of the silent age along with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille.
    1. The fact the Max always speaks in a serious tone and appears ominously a lot, shows how unhappy he was about being in his position.
  4. He's extremely loyal to Norma due to being one of her former husbands and still cares about her deeply wanting her best interests.
  5. He was willing to go to extreme measures to prevent Norma from finding out the truth knowing about her suicidal history. This including writing giving up directing films and staying with Norma, insisting she still had it and writing fake fan letters meant for her. That's a major sacrifice right there.
  6. Despite with being Norma's servant, he's still thoughtful of others, as he tried to get Joe to leave Norma's mansion while he still could, since he didn't want Joe to get stuck in Norma's life like he did.