What's happening in Hollywood

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Jan. 14, 2003 at 4:32 PM
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Ron Howard's production company is reportedly planning a feature documentary examining the cultural impact of the groundbreaking 1972 porn film "Deep Throat."

According to Daily Variety, Howard's Imagine Entertainment will produce the project with directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato -- who made the documentary "Monica Lewinsky in Black and White" for HBO.

"Deep Throat" was made for $25,000 and has grossed an estimated $600 million -- making it the most profitable film ever. Imagine Co-Chairman Brian Grazer -- who once tried to develop a movie about the life of "Deep Throat" star Linda Lovelace -- told Variety he found her story too depressing.

"I find the actual movie and Linda's story less interesting than I do that moment in society where something ignites enough curiosity that it is like splitting an atom," said Grazer. "That single movie popularized pornography. It became the catchphrase in the Watergate scandal, it broke down all kinds of walls."

Bailey told Variety "Deep Throat" could be thought of as the film that started the independent film movement.

"It sparked a brief period when porn looked like it would be going from the backstreet raincoat brigade to mainstream," he said.

Lovelace -- whose real name was Linda Boreman -- became a crusader against pornography years after the film made her a household name. She died in 2002 from injuries sustained in a car crash in Denver.


The Writers Guild of America West has announced that veteran comedy writer Aaron Ruben will receive its top public service honor, the Valentine Davies Award.

Ruben -- who has written for such comedy legends as Fred Allen, Milton Berle, Burns and Allen, Sid Caesar and Danny Thomas -- joins a list of Valentine Davies winners that includes Alan Alda, Ray Bradbury, Hal Kanter, Norman Lear and Garry Marshall.

Ruben, a producer on "The Andy Griffith Show," was also the creator-executive producer of "Gomer Pyle, USMC," and a producer on "Sanford and Son."

The 55th Annual WGA Awards will be presented in Los Angeles on March 8.


The Art Directors Guild has announced the nominees for its 7th Annual Awards, perhaps providing a clue to the winner of this year's Oscar for art direction.

Since the guild instituted the awards in 1996, the Oscar has usually gone to the ADG winner. The guild presents two feature film awards -- one for period/fantasy and one for contemporary design -- and as a rule, the guild's period/fantasy winner has gone on to win the Oscar.

The nominees period/fantasy this year are "Chicago," "Gangs of New York," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "Minority Report" and "Road to Perdition." The contemporary design nominees are "The Bourne Identity," "Catch Me If You Can," "The Hours," "One Hour Photo" and "Panic Room."

The guild also announced nominees for its TV movie and miniseries art direction award -- "Live From Baghdad," "Martin and Lewis," "Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story," "Path to War" and "Taken."


Hollywood publicists will honor producer Jerry Bruckheimer with the 2003 Television Showmanship Award at the 40th Annual Publicists Awards in March.

"Jerry is being honored for his outstanding contributions to television and his exceptional grasp of marketing concepts in the presentation of 'CSI,' 'CSI Miami,' 'Without a Trace' and 'The Amazing Race,'" said awards committee Chairman Henri Bollinger. "These are the talents he has previously demonstrated in a long string of adrenaline-fueled motion picture hits."

Bruckheimer's film productions have included such box-office hits as "Black Hawk Down," "Pearl Harbor" and "Armageddon." He will be the first person to win both the showmanship awards for both television and motion pictures. He and his late producing partner, Don Simpson, shared the movie showmanship award in 1988.

Previous winners of the Television Showmanship Award include Steven Bochco, Bob Hope, David E. Kelley, Norman Lear and Aaron Spelling.


According to published reports in Hollywood, Steve Martin is in line to star in a remake of the 1950 comedy "Cheaper by the Dozen."

The original starred Clifton Webb as a corporate efficiency expert who tried to apply his professional expertise to his own household, and frequently tested his theories on his wife (Myrna Loy) and their 12 kids. Shawn Levy ("Just Married," "Big Fat Liar") is on board to direct.


The California coastal resort where Alfred Hitchcock filmed "The Birds" in 1963 is planning a big celebration of its 40th anniversary in the spotlight.

The Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa, about an hour north of San Francisco, will hold a yearlong fundraiser to benefit the Roar Foundation/Shambala Preserve -- the organization formed in 1972 by "The Birds" star Tippi Hedren. Shambala is an 80-acre wildlife habitat at the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles that is home to about 70 endangered big cats -- including African lions, Siberian and Bengal tigers, leopards, snow leopards, servals, mountain lions, lynxes, a Florida panther and a cheetah, as well as an African elephant.

During the course of the year, the Lodge will make a $5 donation to the Roar Foundation/Shambala Preserve for every night that certain suites are occupied. Also, Hedren is scheduled to appear at the resort in May for a reception to celebrate the movie's anniversary.

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