Movie Article

News & Notes

Video news for the week of May 11, 1990 -- Brief updates from the world of VHS

Source of Conflict
An April 24 U.S. Supreme Court copyright ruling could mean many older movies will never see the light of video. In Stewart v. Abend, the owner of the story on which Hitchcock's 1954 movie Rear Window is based claimed that Jimmy Stewart and other owners of the film should have renegotiated the source-material rights before redistributing Rear Window in the '80s. The court decided Rear Window's owners had violated the story's copyright, although movie studios argued the decision could mean ''many fewer works reaching the public.'' They claim that at least 1,000 other movies also based on copyrighted materials might have to be pulled from release.

Deep Thought
Porno videos may be monotonous — all the interesting twists and turns are saved for the actors, not the script — but recent releases reveal a Jacuzzi-full of satirical wit in the title department. A few favorites: Designing Babes, He-Devils, Earth Girls Are Sleazy, Sea of Lust, twentysomething, and Buns and Roses.

I Want to Be Alone — Is That So Wrong?
If you want to remember Greta Garbo, who died in April at the age of 84, but everything starring the Swedish beauty is checked out at the video store, try Sidney Lumet's touching, comedy Garbo Talks (1984, CBS/ Fox). Ron Silver (Blue Steel) seeks out the Elusive One for his dying yet overbearing-to-the-end mother (Anne Bancroft). ''The movie's so nice because it shows how a normal person can draw incredible strength from a star,'' says Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy), who appears in the movie and has a soft spot for it. ''I heard that Garbo would go see it over and over.''

Video Crash Course
While most ads on tape are busy hawking soda, kudos to Orion Home Video for preceding its recent releases with public service announcements. Erik the Viking features a ''Buckle-Up'' spot starring Larry and Vince, the dummies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's TV spot, singing ''I've Never Met a Grille Like You'' and ''Love Me Fender.''

Originally posted May 11, 1990 Published in issue #13 May 11, 1990 Order article reprints