Author

Michael Szymanski

Entertainment news for May 24, 1996

Spin Control: Where would a movie about tornadoes be without a few allusions to The Wizard of Oz? But what’s with Twister’s references to the wizard of odd, Stanley Kubrick? One minor character is named Stanley, another’s called Kubrick, and in one of Twister’s most spectacular gusts, a storm rips through a drive-in playing Kubrick’s 1980 classic, The Shining.

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'Tis the season for fund-raisers

The secret word in Hollywood last week? Charity. The star wattage was positively blinding at two high-profile benefits. The particulars: With Ol’ Blue Eyes now in the November of his years, few of Hollywood’s Frank Sinatra idolizers wanted to pass up the chance to bid the Chairman of the Board happy birthday at the taping of an 80th-annum salute in L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium (a benefit for wife Barbara’s Children’s Center that will air on ABC Dec. 14).

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Memorable quotes from the MTV Movie Awards

It’s not the Oscars, but the stars did come out for the 1995 MTV Movie Awards, which honored celebs in 13 mostly unconventional categories, such as Most Desirable Male (Brad Pitt) and Best Villain (Dennis Hopper in Speed). When they weren’t giving or getting prizes, guests questioned Sen. Bob Dole’s attack on Hollywood (”When there’s issues like crime and AIDS, why are they so involved in our business?” pondered Ice T) and the lack of air-conditioning at Warner Bros. Studios, where the ceremony was held (rather than applaud, some audience members just waved their programs).

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Flashes: 'Partridge Family' appears in new 'Brady' film?

NO FUSS, NO BUS: Watch carefully during The Brady Bunch Movie and you’ll see original mom Florence Henderson, original maid Ann B. Davis, and a less-than-original Partridge Family bus. That’s right, the psychedelic vehicle from that other ’70s-family sitcom rolls by briefly – and getting the rights to the rig was harder than getting Jan a prom date. ”It was like dealing with the CIA,” says Bunch director Betty Thomas.

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Tom Cruise's autobiography

If you want to buy a copy of the unauthorized biography of Tom Cruise, there’s just one hitch. It’s available only in Britain now that U.S. publisher HarperCollins has shelved plans to release it Stateside. Though the bio was packaged for HarperCollins by Rose Books, Inc., which is headed by scandal scribe Randy Taraborrelli, author Frank Sanello claims the publisher abandoned the project after receiving a letter from Cruise’s attorney. Not so, says Taraborrelli: ”I don’t believe it was pressure from Cruise’s people.

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Disclosure details

Nothing like a Demi Moore movie to spark a probe of the cultural zeitgeist: After Indecent Proposal opened, EW conducted a telephone poll asking people if they would ”do it” for $1 million (the answer was a resounding no). Now, with Disclosure, we wonder: If Demi put the moves on the average American man, would he succumb or sue? In an informal exit poll, the dilemmas was posted to 62 moviegoing males in Los Angeles during the film’s opening weekend.

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Dick Sargent harassed by Baptist preacher

Sargent In Arms: Dick Sargent, better known as the second Darrin Stevens on the ’60s series Bewitched, announced last month that he is dying of cancer. Now he’s being harassed by a Baptist preacher in Topeka, Kan., who is threatening to picket the actor’s funeral simply because he’s gay. ”It’s a very vicious and hateful letter,” says Sargent, ”but it’s the only hate mail I ever received in the two years I’ve been openly gay.” The Rev.

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Flashes: 'Addams Family' babies, Julia Roberts and a Keanu cameo

MAKING UP BABY: The Addams Family may be mysterious and kooky, but what they did to Kaitlyn and Kristen Hooper is altogether ooky. In Addams Family Values, out Nov. 19, the Riverside, Calif., twins portray the brood’s newest member, baby Pubert, a gender-bending role that required the then-5-month-old infants to wear white makeup, black hair gel, black eyebrows, and a mustache. ”We had it down to science,” says the twins’ mom, Karen. ”They’d start doing their hair. Then it was time for their nap.

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Hollywood and gays

Out of the tragedy of AIDS comes the marketability of gays. Or so it seems. The Crying Game, a U.K. film about a transvestite and a straight man in love, wins an Oscar for best screenplay and grosses nearly $61 million. On Broadway, Tony Kushner’s sexually explicit, phantasmagoric, Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes has already raked in nearly $2 million and is nominated for nine Tonys, unprecedented for a nonmusical play.

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The Kim Basinger-'Boxing Helena' lawsuit

Crimes and misdemeanors took a backseat to stargazing when the Kim Basinger-Boxing Helena lawsuit came to trial at Los Angeles Superior Court. While lawyers for Basinger and Main Line Pictures argued about whether she broke her contract when she backed out of first-time director Jennifer Lynch’s movie, court observers had a field day watching this real-life version of L.A. Law. Among the highlights:

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