Scott's World: Brooke Shields In Hot Water Again

By VERNON SCOTT, UPI Hollywood Reporter

HOLLYWOOD -- Sixteen-year-old Brooke Shields has stirred more controversy in her brief years as model and movie star than many a glamour girl has in a lifetime.

The startlingly beautiful youngster brought the wrath of blue noses down on her head when she appeared in a series of suggestive TV commercials for a designer jeans outfit.


Brooke was chastised by many for her nude scenes (played by another actress) and free love exploits in 'The Blue Lagoon' last year.

She made more news last month when objections were raised to her appearance in an anti-smoking campaign posing with cigarettes dangling from each ear.

Now she is in the midst of yet another controversy, the nudity and love-making in 'Endless Love.' She plays a 15-year-old girl who loses her virginity and enjoys every moment of it.

The cry went up that 'Endless Love' might encourage other 15-year-olds to give up their virtue, providing, of course, it is not too late.


Hollywood's self-censorship section of the Motion Picture Association of America saw the film, fought off cardiac arrest and decided to hang an X rating on this film dealing with young love.

The men responsible for 'Endless Love,' Peter Guber and Jon Peters, went straight through the roof, screaming like wounded banshees. They claim the MPAA overreacted to the subject matter.

Guber, who produced 'Midnight Express' and Peters, who produced 'A Star Is Born,' are not without credentials.

They feel they've been victimized by the conservative wave sweeping the country politically and by the Moral Majority on the religious front. Both men are parents of teenagers.

After a two-pronged attack on the rating administration office, headed by Richard Heffner, and a couple of changes, 'Endless Love' was given an R rating.

'Part of the problem was that Brooke is such a big celebrity that the MPAA was aware that the film would draw a lot of attention,' Guber said.

'The story deals with the exploratory age of teenagers when they begin to experiment with personal liberty and mobility and when they are being assaulted by sexuality on television.

'Their minds and bodies are awakening to sex at age 12. One-hundred and fifty years ago people were getting married at 15. Biologically, most young people are ready for sex at that age. And that's what our movie is about.'


Peters added, 'It's a story about a girl 15 and a boy 17, the crucial adolescent years, growing up. It's also a story of two families and the differences in their attitudes toward one another.

'We haven't isolated the young people's love story. It's as much a story of the reactions of two sets of parents as it is the involvement of the leading characters in a new relationship, a new experience.

'The picture was made in good taste by one of the best and most sensitive directors in the business, Franco Zeffirelli, who directed 'Romeo and Juliet' so beautifully and tenderly a few years back.

'Sexualawakening in young people is a beautiful thing that can be explored tastefully. If these feelings are denied, they can become cancerous. It's a stage in peoples' lives that should be dealt with, not ignored.'

Guber took over, saying, 'I think the code office wanted to demonstrate they were doing their job. The problem is they wanted to give the picture an X for the wrong reasons. They don't worry about violence, only sensitive feelings.

'They didn't get up tight about the content of the film but rather the issue. They were hysterical that we could make a movie about teenage sexual exploration. They didn't believe a 15-year-old could have these emotions.


'What gets me is the power of censorship, the idea that they are able to blow us away is reprehensible. The MPAA was objecting to the subject matter, not actual scenes on the screen.'

Peters explained that Zeffirelli made some minor changes demanded by the code office, playing down some steamy love scenes. He said there was no total frontal nudity, just breasts and bottoms.

The breasts and bottom, it was made clear, belong to a double, not Brooke.

'We didn't dwell on the nudity,' said Peters. 'There's just enough to make the point. It's not gratuitous. It's not explicit. If 'Blue Lagoon' got an R rating, then 'Endless Love' is certainly an R.

'We've made a picture that parents of teenagers ought to see. And kids should see it themselves. I have a 13-year-old son and he loved it.'

'My daughter is 14,' Guber said. 'After seeing the picture she told me it was a learning process that changed her point of view. She didn't think it was dirty.

'The film is erotic and powerful emotionally and it has shock value.'

Due for release nationwide July 17, 'Endless Love' is certain to add to the growing controversy of its star, Brooke Shields.


adv for pms Fri.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us