Author

Alan Mirabella

An essay contest inspired by ''Far and Away''

Tom Cruise and Ron Howard must have gotten the idea from Oliver Stone. Just months after Warner Bros. distributed classroom reading materials to accompany JFK, the star and director of Far and Away, the new movie about turn-of-the-century Irish immigration, sent thousands of letters to high school students and their teachers nationwide asking them to participate in a creative-writing competition pegged to the film’s May 22 release.

Read Full Story

Macaulay Culkin tried to keep his finances private

He may be Hollywood’s richest kid, but Macaulay Culkin, 11, doesn’t want anyone to know what he has in his piggy bank. Last summer, the child star and 20th Century Fox asked the New York Surrogate Court to keep confidential the contract for the sequel to the hit film Home Alone. Under New York State law, corporations can ask the court to review contracts and scripts involving children; the purpose is to protect minors as well as to prevent them from reneging on a deal.

Read Full Story

Entertainment news for April, 3 1992

MOVIES: After helping Wayne’s World hurl to the top of the box office chart, Paramount movie boss Brandon Tartikoff is again raiding former employer NBC for ideas. The studio chief recently tapped Cheers executive producers Glen and Les Charles to pen The Lady Takes an Ace, a comedy about a shoe salesman masquerading as a top gun aviator.

Read Full Story

''American Me'''s threat of violence

When American Me premiered March 13, Universal Pictures executives worked overtime to assure executives worked overtime to assure exhibitors that Edward James Olmos’ brutal drama about East Los Angeles gang warfare would not be met by violence at theaters. They reportedly even offered to foot the bill for extra security. But one chain, Cineplex Odeon, took it upon itself to beef up security and bolster crowd control. Universal then got on the defensive, swiftly issuing a statement saying it was “proud to be associated with American Me…a strong anti-drug gang” film.

Read Full Story

''Shining Through'' at the Berlin Film Festival

When Twentieth Century Fox executives submitted writer-director David Seltzer’s new Shining Through to the Berlin Film Festival, they had every reason to expect the film would be accepted. But when the prestigious festival opens later this month, the gritty war drama/love story with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith will not be screened, and some supporters think its grim depiction of Nazi Germany is the reason.

Read Full Story

Shrinks on the small screen

Guilt. Confusion. Depression. They’re enough to drive you to a shrink, unless, of course, you happen to watch TV. Counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, and self-help experts — both real and fictional — abound on the small screen, helping troubled souls. Now, rather than make an office visit, you can take to the comfort of your own couch and watch John Bradshaw, Leo Buscaglia, and even Frasier Crane of Cheers handle such problems as dysfunctional families, angry spouses, and back-stabbing barmates.

Read Full Story

Elizabeth Taylor and the movies

Elizabeth Taylor is a name more frequently associated with gossip columns than movies these days. But without a whisper of hype, the legendary actress will turn up again on screens this month — in a black-and-white, 2 3/4-minute movie hawking her new $200-an-ounce fragrance, White Diamonds. The screens, though, are in mini-theaters set up in department stores in major cities, and audiences are being drawn with the promise of free tickets and popcorn.

Read Full Story

We rate 900 numbers

This year the fledgling 900-number industry will ring up $500 million, big numbers for an enterprise that didn’t exist four years ago. Today, thanks to modern technology, you can hear true confessions or ski reports, play Let’s Make a Deal or get quizzed by Vanilla Ice. (In fact, on a new Entertainment Weekly line you can hear the music we review in each issue.) The most successful 900 numbers snare a new generation of obsessive fans — button-punchers who just can’t get enough of Alex Trebek. Which lines are riotous, which are rip-offs?

Read Full Story