By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Oct. 10, 2002 at 5:51 PM
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Actor Sean Connery is suing Mandalay Pictures and the company's co-founder because he says that the production company didn't follow through on plans to produce a thriller with himself as the star. The Hollywood Reporter says that Connery was told he would star in "End Game." The movie was to have been a thriller about the CIA. Additionally, Connery was to have produced the movie. The court action is being heard in Los Angeles. According to legal papers, Connery claims that he and Mandalay had even agreed on a final script and were in the process of planning the film's shooing schedule when the project ground to a halt. Filming was to have taken place earlier this year. Connery's lawyers claim that Mandalay had constructed a plan to finance the movie that was not based on solid ground and that when financing fell apart the company stopped talking to the actor and would not return his calls.


He's now 84. During the decades following the Second World War the songs of Eddy Arnold were everywhere on radio and jukeboxes. His yodeling "Cattlecall" song was imitated by millions. Now, in his later years, country legend Eddy Arnold isn't in the spotlight much anymore. But all that changed this week. News provider says that to the strains of his monster hit "Make the World Go Away," Arnold walked onto a Nashville stage to be honored by a local musicians union with its "artist of the century" award. In attendance were Brenda Lee, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Ray Price and many others from the Grand Ole Opry. Richard Edward Arnold's career has spanned five and a half decades, eventually shirking his "Tennessee Plowboy" image for that of a "country gentleman." Still handsome and walking with his traditional brisk gait, Arnold remains a great American treasure and is one of the most popular singers in the history of American music. He was honored in the first year of the CMA Awards as "singer of the year" and is among the most successful record-sellers of all time.


She has to be one of the busiest of all country stars when it comes to participating in charitable events. And because of her work, singer-songwriter Martina McBride has again been honored. She's been named the official spokesperson for USA Weekend's Make a Difference Day activities. The campaign urges people to give something back to their communities. In order to show her personal part in the project, McBride will be working at a Nashville homeless shelter called Safe Haven. That facility was constructed so that homeless families could live together in a clean, comfortable situation while they try to get back onto their feet. Additionally, the singer and many members of her family are throwing a Halloween bash later this month at Safe Haven.


It could be the result of the "graying of the baby boom generation" or just a longing for a return to "melodic music," but the few remaining big band ensembles are seeing an upsurge in their popularity. For example, the Stardust in Las Vegas is bowing to demands and has again booked Les Brown's Band of Renown into the Stardust Pavilion for another run. The hotel-casino tells United Press International that the group -- under the direction of Les Brown Jr., since the death his legendary bandleader dad last year -- has been a vital part of the American music scene since the 1930s. The elder Brown was in his late 80s at the time of his death. Over the years the band has fostered many other talents, including launching the singing career of Doris Day. Additionally, Brown's group was chosen by Bob Hope to be his backup orchestra on hundreds of occasions. One member of the Brown group has been with the ensemble for 55 years.


Singer Trace Adkins has been injured again. This time he was hurt when a small tractor he was using to build a farm access road turned over on him, crushing part of his ribcage and tearing a rib from his sternum. He also suffered a bruised heart muscle. CMT says that Adkins will certainly survive the accident, but could face weeks of slow, painful recuperation. The injury forced the cancellation of a series of weekend concert dates and a planned appearance on a Dallas television show. Ironically, because Adkins happened to have a cell phone with him, he was able to retrieve it from his pocket and call for help. In the past he's had some pretty serious injuries, including a car accident that required doctors to reattach his nose; a bullet through his heart and lungs, when shot by his ex-wife; a severed fingertip in an oil-drilling accident.


Beatle John Lennon would have been 62 this week. And to commemorate the event Yoko Ono tells New York media that she is setting up a new peace prize. She made the announcement before an international group of United Nations ambassadors and others from the world community. The initial winners of the prize and its $50,000 check are from the war-torn Middle East ... a Palestinian artist and an artist from Israel. Lennon's famous song "Give Peace a Chance" was played as a background for the announcement. The prize will be officially known as the LennonOno Grant for Peace. Ironically, the man convicted of shooting the former Beatle, Mark David Chapman, was refused parole this week, for the second time.


Today we are asking: "What was the most disappointing gift you ever received that was given in good faith but turned out to be the last thing you wanted?" Put GIFT in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Today we're printing the results of a question from last week slightly out of order. The reason, as you might guess, is to present the results in conjunction with the Lennon peace prize story. We had asked who was your favorite among the Beatles. From a random dip into the inbox here are the results:

1 ... Sir Paul McCartney (with 35 percent of the vote)

2 ... John Lennon (with 30 percent of the vote)

3 ... George Harrison (with 15 percent of the vote)

4 ... Ringo Starr (with 12 percent of the vote)

5 ... Any Beatle, was the pick of many and, oddly enough, Eric Clapton got a vote.

TOMORROW: Your magazines. GBA.

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