Hi Hugh, although I'm almost sure you know this article already, I'm copypasting it here because it seems relevant. Maybe we can discuss all these movies? It's stolen from psychotronic video magazine:
GEORGE W. BUSH AND HOLLYWOOD
By Michael J. Weldon
I had to know if there was any truth to the vague rumor floating around that our president once produced a "slasher film." Some minimal research revealed that it was THE HITCHER (86). I've been a fan of that tense horror movie since I first saw it in a theatre in Stockholm while I was presenting a series of PSYCHOTRONIC film festivals in Europe in '87. So it's not like George W. Bush had money in CANNIBAL HOOKERS or SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
While some Bush haters insinuate the worst by saying he produced a "slasher film," some Republicans have mentioned that he backed some kid friendly Disney hits. I found a web site that played up the hypocrisy angle by listing only the R rated features that our first born again president was allegedly involved with. They pointed out that many of them were marketed to minors on MTV and that many of them starred Hollywood liberals (many starred actors with serious alcohol and drug problems too but that's another story). Interesting, but again, only part of the story. I wanted more titles, details, and facts. I found that GWB was actually an (uncredited) part of a company that produced at least 74 major release Hollywood features, over a period of ten years
. Some were good and some were very bad, some were for kids and some were for adults. Some were very profitable. Many were box office flops, but if you add in the considerable profits from video rentals and sales, years of repeated airings on cable and network TV, and aggressive overseas sales (especially the Disney titles), I'll bet the majority made profits. I saw and liked a few of these movies when they were new, but I've managed to ignore or avoid most of them over the years.
From 1983 to 1992 George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946 in New Haven, CT) was on the board of Silver Screen Management (or Partners), a company that produced movies exclusively for Tri Star, then Walt Disney. Silver Screen was founded by Bush's Yale frat brother (and fellow Skull and Bones member) Roland W. Betts. Betts and Bush were both class of '68.
These are all the movies known to have been produced by Silver Screen Partners and Silver Screen Partners II, III, and IV (the numbers changed over the years), along with my notes, some outside quotes, and some parallel finance, oil, baseball, and political events. The non film related info is all over the web and in many books now. I don't really understand it all and either do you. GWB's Hollywood involvement began while his father was Vice President and ended after his father, the President of The United States, was voted out of the White House. I'd love to know if GWB did anything besides lend his famous name and share in the profits of these movies. Did he help secure locations, read or approve scripts or make casting suggestions? Did he attend premieres and party with the stars? I think it's safe to say that the movie profits were an early part of a brilliant complex long term plan to help him reach his first big goal, becoming the Governor of Texas, then leader of the free world. Note how well Silver Screen Management practiced product placements, recycling (remaking French films) and outsourcing (filming in other countries). Read on...
The first Silver Screen Management feature went into production (in Texas) for Tri Star, a company which had just been formed by Columbia (then owned by Coca Cola) and HBO. Sony later bought Columbia (and Tri Star) in '89. In '83 GWB also became CEO of Spectrum 7, a Texas oil company. In '82 he had been bailed out by wealthy family friends as his Arbusto (aka Bush Exploration Oil Company) continued to lose money.
FLASHPOINT (Tri-Star) R rated. About Texas border guards (Kris Kristofferson and Treat Williams, who has a bare ass scene) who find $800, 000 in cash and a skeleton. With Rip Torn, Kurtwood Smith, Roberts Blossom, Miguel Ferrer.
ODD JOBS (Tri-Star) Five college buddies (including Paul Riser and Robert Townsend) go into the moving business. Don Imus has a cameo. Leonard Maltin: "Lame comedy."
Notes: In '84 Michael Eisner became chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and Touchstone was set up to make features for an adult audience (SPLASH was the first release). Buena Vista was Disney's distributor. Also in '84: The Reagan appointed FFC raised the number of TV stations one company can own from 7 to 12. This soon led to a total shakeup of network television (see 1986). The Bush Exploration Oil Company merges with another oil company (Spectrum 7) which is controlled by Mercer Reynolds and William DeWitt, future investors in the Texas Rangers and GWB "Pioneers." GWB becomes CEO and is awarded with a substantial portion of the stock, but Spectrum 7 loses money too. Meanwhile GWB meets Billy Graham (who had a history of producing movies himself, although always with Christian messages). Bush: "The Reverend Billy Graham visited my family for a summer weekend in Maine. I saw him preach at the small summer church, St. Ann's by the Sea. We all had lunch on the patio overlooking the ocean. One evening my dad asked Billy to answer questions from a big group of family gathered for the weekend. He sat by the fire and talked. And what he said sparked a change in my heart. I don't remember the exact words. It was more the power of his example. The Lord was so clearly reflected in his gentle and loving demeanor. "The next day we walked and talked at Walker's Point, and I knew I was in the presence of a great man. He was like a magnet; I felt drawn to seek something different. He didn't lecture or admonish; he shared warmth and concern. Billy Graham didn't make you feel guilty; he made you feel loved. "Over the course of that weekend, Reverend Graham planted a mustard seed in my soul, a seed that grew over the next year. He led me to the path, and I began walking. It was the beginning of a change in my life. I had always been a 'religious' person, had regularly attended church, even taught Sunday School and served as an altar boy. But that weekend my faith took on a new meaning. It was the beginning of a new walk where I would commit my heart to Jesus Christ. "I was humbled to learn that God sent His Son to die for a sinner like me. I was comforted to know that through the Son, I could find God's amazing grace, a grace that crosses every border, every barrier and is open to everyone. Through the love of Christ's life, I could understand the life-changing powers of faith. "When I returned to Midland, I began reading the Bible regularly."
HEAD OFFICE (Tri-Star) "The son (Judge Reinhold) of a powerful politician is given a high paying job with a major corporation... but he bungles every assignment." With Jane Seymour, Eddie Albert, Don Novello, Danny DeVito, Wallace Shawn, Rick Moranis.
HEAVEN HELP US (Tri-Star) R rated. "This raunchy teen comedy exposes the horrors of a parochial education in Brooklyn in the early 1960s, with the repressed and fascistic stupidity of priests comically contrasted with the lusty high spirits of a band of lovable rebellious students, led by Andrew McCarthy and Kevin Dillon." (Michael Medved Hollywood Vs. America). Includes some male bare ass scenes. With Mary Stuart Masterson, Donald Sutherland, Wallace Shawn, and John Heard. It's aka CATHOLIC BOYS.
SWEET DREAMS (Tri-Star) D Karel Reisz. Popular bio movie with Jessica Lang (who was Oscar nominated) as Patsy Cline and Ed Harris as her husband. The MCA soundtrack of original Cline songs made the charts.
VOLUNTEERS (Tri-Star) R rated. Tom Hanks stars as a spoiled arrogant Yale grad in the Peace Corps in Thailand in 1962, who builds a bridge. His friend (John Candy) is brainwashed by Communists. With Rita Wilson (Mrs. Hanks), Gedde Watanabe, Tim Thomerson, and George Plimton. Variety: "Lensed in Mexico, the pic features a muddy, ugly look, and the most offensive blatant plug for Coca Cola yet seen in the new era of Coke-owned companies." Leonard Maltin: "Dismal comedy."
BABY'S SECRET OF THE LOST LEGEND (Buena Vista) Dinosaur movie with William Katt, Sean Young, and Patrick McGoohan in The Ivory Coast (where it was filmed). Leonard Maltin: "elements of racism, sexism and much too casual violence just about kill it."
THE BLACK CAULDRON (Buena Vista) $25 million animated medieval sword and sorcery fantasy.
THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN (Buena Vista) Meredith Salinger plays a Depression era Chicago tomboy searching for her father and finding a wolf. With John Cusack, Ray Wise, Lannie Kazan, Barry Mille, Scatman Crothers.
MY SCIENCE PROJECT (Buena Vista) High school students (John Stockwell, Fisher Stevens) create a time machine, visit the post nuke future and open space warps. With Dennis Hopper as their science teacher. Leonard Maltin: "Laughless, tasteless" BOMB rating.
ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS (Buena Vista) A suicidal mother (Mary Steenburgen) meets her guardian angel (Harry Dean Stanton) and Santa Claus (Jan Rubes). Made in Canada.
RETURN TO OZ (Buena Vista) Dorothy (Fairuza Balk) visits the ruins of Oz and is given electroshock therapy, in a very dark and unpopular Oz sequel. With Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh, and Claymation FX.
Notes: None of the year's new look Disney movies were popular or profitable. In late '85 GWB started attending a bible study group in Midland, TX.
THE HITCHER (Tri-Star) R rated. D Robert Harmon. Supernatural seeming psycho killer hitchhiker John Ryder (Rutger Hauer) persues C. Thomas Howell throughout Texas saying "I want you to kill me." With Jennifer Jason Leigh. Leonard Maltin: "Some of the violence is genuinely grisly and unappealing."
The rest of the Silver Screen productions were all for Disney:
THE COLOR OF MONEY (Buena Vista/Touchstone) R rated. D Martin Scorsese. Sequel to THE HUSTLER with Paul Newman (who received an Oscar), Tom Cruise, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (who has a brief topless scene). The soundtrack is by Robbie Robertson and Iggy Pop has a bit part.
DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS (Touchstone) P/D Paul Mazursky. This was the first R rated movie from Disney, a fact which outraged many people at the time. In a remake of a French movie, Nick Nolte (who has bare ass scenes) is a bum who changes the lives of a rich couple (Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler). With Little Richard, Tracy Nelson, Valerie Curtin, Alexis Arquette.... It was also a TV series.
THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (Buena Vista) Animated feature with the voices of Vincent Price as a rat and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. Aka BASIL, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE.
OFF BEAT (Buena Vista) A librarian (Judge Reinhold) imitates a cop. With Meg Tilly, Joe Mantegna, John Turturro, Anthony Zerbe, Harvey Keitel, Penn Jillette.
RUTHLESS PEOPLE (Touchstone) R rated D Abrahams, Zucker, Abrahams (the AIRPLANE team). A couple (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater) kidnap the wife (Bette Midler) of the Bel-Air millionaire (Danny Devito) who had cheated them, but he was plotting to kill her. With Anita Morris, Bill Pullman, and a topless hooker. Leonard Maltin: "turns sour. These really are ruthless people."
TOUGH GUYS (Buena Vista) Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas as old ex cons. With Dana Carvey (later known for imitating President Bush), Eli Wallach, Billy Barty. Variety: "Depressing." Leonard Maltin: "gets childish and predictable."
Some things that happened to change the media (and the world) in 1986:
Capitol Cities buys ABC (now owned by Disney).
General Electric buys NBC.
Billionaire Lawrence Tisch buys CBS (now owned by Sumner Redstone's Viacom).
Fox (owned by Rupert Murdoch), the first new television network since the '50's, debuts with THE LATE SHOW STARRING JOAN RIVERS. One of her first guests is first lady Nancy Reagan.
Viacom buys MTV.
Al Jazeera, a pan-Arab satellite television news station based in the tiny oil sheikdom of Qatar begins broadcasting. It will later air world-wide calls for jihad by Osama Bin Laden.
10 years after his (only admitted) drunk driving arrest, GWB stops drinking and experiences "an intense, reawakening" of his Christian faith.
During a six-month period in '86, Spectrum 7 lost $400,000. In Sept. Spectrum 7 is acquired by Harken Energy. The Washington Post: "Harken assumed $3.1 million in debts and swapped $2.2 million of its stock for a company that was hemorrhaging money, though it had oil and gas reserves projected to produce $4 million in future net revenue. ... In addition to the seat on the board, (GWB) received more than $300,000 of Harken stock, options to buy more, and a consulting contract that paid him as much as $120,000 a year in the late '80s, when he was working full time on his father's presidential campaign." In Dec. ' 86: Bush exercises options for $96,000, but reports this transaction to the SEC 15 weeks late.
ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (Touchstone) Elizabeth Shue as a babysitter stranded in downtown Chicago with three kids. With Keith Coogan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miler, Lolita Davidovich. A CBS series pilot was produced in '89.
BENJIE THE HUNTED (Buena Vista) Dog sequel set in the mountains.
CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (Buena Vista) High school nerd (Patrick Dempsey) rents the girl (Amanda Peterson) next door.
ERNEST GOES TO CAMP (Buena Vista) Former TV commercial star Jim Varney stars. With John Vernon, Lyle Alzado, and Iron Eyes Cody . Leonard Maltin: "Aimed at children who aren't very bright."
GOOD MORNING, VIET NAM (Touchstone) R rated. D Barry Levinson. Robin Williams (who was Oscar nominated) as Armed Forces DJ in 1965 Saigon. With Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl.
HELLO AGAIN (Buena Vista) P/D Frank Perry. Suburban Long Island housewife (Shelly Long) dies, then is brought back to life a year later by her occultist sister (Judith Ivey).
OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE (Buena Vista) R rated. D Arthur Hiller. P Ted Field (a multi millionaire dollar heir known for funding Democrats). Two women (Shelly Long and Bette Midler) chase after a guy (Peter Coyote), thought to be dead, who had cheated on both of them (and is wanted by the CIA and the KGB). With George Carlin.
STAKEOUT (Buena Vista) R rated. D John Badham. Two cops (Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez) try to protect a woman (Madeline Stow, who has a brief shower scene) from an escaped killer (Aidan Quinn). There was a sequel.
THREE MEN AND A BABY (Buena Vista) D Leonard Nimoy. P Ted Field. Remake of French baby comedy (with an added drug shipment sub plot) starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson. "These films displayed a dismissive or contemptuous attitude toward marriage: in each of them, single characters performed the parental roles with the cute and cuddly kids. The underlying message could hardly be more clear: babies may be rewarding and irresistible, but they are best enjoyed without the inconvenient entanglements of marriage." (Michael Medved Hollywood Vs. America writing about THREEMEN, BABY BOOM from the same year, and the later LOOK WHOSE TALKING).
TIN MEN (Buena Vista) R rated. D/S Barry Levinson. Richard Dreyfuss and Danny Devito as early 60s Baltimore rival aluminum siding salesmen. With Barbara Hershey, Seymour Cassel, Bruno Kirby...
Note: In the spring of 1987 GWB moved his family from Texas to Washington, so he could be part of his father's presidential campaign.
BEACHES (Buena Vista) D Gary Marshall. Drama about the lives of childhood friends, a famous singer (Bette Midler) from the Bronx and an S. F. lawyer (Barbara Hershey). With John Heard, Spalding Gray, and Lainie Kazan.
BIG BUSINESS (Buena Vista) D Jim Abrahams. Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin both star as sets of twins switched at birth. The plot concerns a corrupt corporation. Note: GWB's twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, turned seven in '88. Variety: "Shrill, unattractive comedy."
COCKTAIL (Buena Vista) R rated. P Ted Field. Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown as bartenders in NYC, then Jamacia. Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Lynch, and Gina Gershon all have partial nude scenes. Much of it was filmed in Canada. Leonard Maltin: "Junior high school level dramatics."
D.O.A. (Touchstone) R rated. Third remake of film noir classic, this time set in New Orleans. Dennis Quaid stars as the professor who was poisoned. With Meg Ryan (who has a near nude scene), Daniel Stern, and Charlotte Rampling. Variety: "Excessively morbid and unsubtle." Leonard Maltin: "Badly overdircted by the MAX HEADROOM creators." BOMB rating.
ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS (Buena Vista) A Florida cab driver (Jim Varney) picks up Santa Claus.
THE GOOD MOTHER (Buena Vista) R rated. D Leonard Nimoy. A single mother (Diane Keaton) has her child (who may have been sexually molested by her boyfriend) taken away. With Liam Neeson, Jason Robards, Ralph Bellamy, Tracy Griffith (who has a topless scene), and Matt Damon (extra). Leonard Maltin: "Tedious."
HEARTBREAK HOTEL (Touchstone) D Chris Columbus. In 1972 an Ohio kid kidnaps Elvis (David Keith) and brings him home to his divorced Presley fanatic mother (Tuesday Weld). With actual Elvis movie flashbacks.
OLIVER AND COMPANY (Buena Vista) Animated Oliver Twist with animals and the voices of Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Cheech Marin, and Dom DeLouise. Leonard Maltin: "Disney's grittiest (grungiest?) animated feature."
THE RESCUE (Buena Vista) Anti Communist features with American kids (one is Kevin Dillon) who rescue their fathers who had been captured in North Korea (later of the Axis Of Evil). Leonard Maltin: "Dumb, ovnoxious sick movies aimed at less discriminating 13 year olds." BOMB rating.
RETURN TO SNOWY RIVER, PART II (Buena Vista) Sequel from Australia with Tom Burlinson, Brian Dennehy, and many horses.
SHOOT TO KILL (Buena Vista) R rated. D Roger Spottiswoode. An F.B.I. agent (Sidney Poitier) and a trail guide (Tom Beringer) try to save the hostage (Kirstie Alley) of a killer. Filmed in British Columbia. Aka THE DEADLY PURSUIT.
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBITT? (Buena Vista) D Robert Zemeckis. Bob Hoskins as a private eye in 1947 Hollywood. Part animated $70M hit brings together characters from Disney and Warner Brothers. With Joanna Cassidy, Stubby Kaye, and the voice of Kathleen Turner. There's a conspiracy plot. Steven Spielberg was executive producer.
Notes: In 1988 GWB remained on the board of Silver Screen Management while he served as "senior adviser" of his father campaign for president (which was run by Lee Atwater). "Intense and sometimes volatile, he made appearances at fund-raisers and rallies, acted as an emissary to major campaign donors and leaders of the religious right, and occasionally bullied reporters whose publications he disliked." It was the year of Atwater's famous anti - Dukakis revolving door for black rapist Willie Horton ad. Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA was used as Bush's election theme (as it had been for Reagan in '84). Atwater arranged for Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Chuck Norris, and "three dozen" top country stars to do last minute campaigning for Bush and appear at live rallies with him. Arnold: "I only play the TERMINATOR in my movies, but let me tell you, when it comes to the American future, Michael Dukakis will be the real Terminator!" He also said that Democrats had "left America with an economy that looked like Pee-Wee Herman, a pip squeak defense, and a foreign policy with training wheels on it." Also in '88: Bush Sr. made the unusual move of attending the Hollywood premier of MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN, a Columbia sci fi comedy starring Kim Bassinger and Dan Akyroyd. He did it as a favor to his friend and campaign supporter movie producer Jerry Weintraub (who had managed Neil Diamond, Bob Denver, Wayne Newton, The Beach Boys, and Bob Dylan).
BLAZE (Touchstone) R rated. Paul Newman stars as corrupt governor Earl Long of Louisiana, having an affair with famous stripper Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich, who has topless scenes) in 1959.
CHEETAH (Buena Vista) An American kid (Keith Coogan) and his sister befriend a Masai boy in Kenya (where this was filmed) and they save a big cat.
DEAD POETS SOCIETY (Touchstone) D Peter Weir. A 50s New England prep school teacher inspires his students. Robin Williams was Oscar nominated. "Disgusting and destructive parents have become such a fixture in the minds of Hollywood screenwriters that they turn up in every sort of picture. - A cruel and emotionally abusive father drives his sensitive son to suicide despite the best efforts of prep school English teacher Robin Williams." (Michael Medved Hollywood Vs. America)
DISORGANIZED CRIME (Touchstone) R rated. A gang tries to rob a bank. With Corbin Benson, Ruben Blades, Fred Gwynne, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ed O'Neill, and Hoyt Axton as the sheriff.
GROSS ANATOMY (Touchstone) A medical student (Mathew Modine) gets the girl (Daphne Zuniga) as they dissect corpses. With Christine Lahti. Aka A CUT ABOVE.
HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS (Buena Vista) This hit (made in Mexico) had sequels and a TV spin off. It "presents dad (Rick Moranis) as a terminally klutzy mad scientist who inadvertently reduces his own offspring (and two of their neighbor brats) to the size of termites. Freed from their unwholesome dependence on their feeble and foolishly feuding parents the kids must learn to fend for themselves and work together during their heroic trek through newly gigantic obstacles in the backyard." (Michael Medved on Family Films, Destructive Images - Hollywood Vs. America)
AN INNOCENT MAN (Touchstone) R rated. D Peter Yates. P Ted Field. A man (Tom Selleck) is set up and sent to prison by two vice cops on a drug charge. With F. Murray Abraham. Variety: "This collection of clichés brings the prison genre to a new low. With one of the most absurd finales in history"
THE LITTLE MERMAID (Buena Vista) Animated hit with lots of merchandising tieins and sequels. "The story line effectively encouraged children to disregard the values and opinions of their parents. The blustery, tempestuous King Triton of the watery deep tries to stop his pubescent mermaid daughter, Ariel, from pursuing the earthbound Prince Eric. The heroic lass stubbornly defies his commands in order to follow her heart, and in the end, of course, pure, powerful adolescent love triumphs over all stuffy parental reservations about human mermaid intermarriage." (Michael Medved on Family Films, Destructive Images - Hollywood Vs. America)
THREE FUGITIVES (Buena Vista) In a remake of a French comedy, an ex con (Nick Nolte) finds himself on the run with a bungling bank robber (Martin Short). With James Earl Jones.
TURNER AND HOOTCH (Buena Vista) D Roger Spottiswoode. A police detective (Tom Hanks) is paired with a drooling junkyard dog to solve a double murder committed by drug smugglers. Variety: "Grossly miscalculated bummer of an ending." An NBS series pilot was produced in '90.
Notes: GWB's parents George and Barbara starred in THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL GALA (CBS), along with Frank Sinatra, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Walter Cronkite, Randy Travis, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Dan Quayle. After working on his father's campaign, GWB (advised by Karl Rove) joined the group of partners (led by Rowland W. Betts) that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in Arlington, TX, on April, '89. He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor. GWB's biggest move as manager: he traded Sammy Sosa to the Chicago White Sox. But to be fair, it probably wasn't even his call. "Under an agreement worked out by Betts and Rainwater, the title of "managing partner" would be shared between Rusty Rose and GWB - but the president's son would operate under a tight rein. He would function as the new ownership's friendly public face while Rose ran the business. Two months after his father's inauguration, George W. Bush called a press conference in Arlington to announce that the Rangers sale had been successfully completed for a price that was later reported to be $86 million. Proclaiming that the new owners would share a "civic dividend" with Texas, he began to promote himself along with the team. While Rainwater, Rose, and all the other partners remained in the background, George W. behaved as if he were "the owner" of the Rangers. He attended every home game and even printed "baseball cards" bearing his own picture to hand out from his box. Also in '89, Harken Energy sells 80 percent of a subsidiary, Aloha Petroleum, to a partnership called International Marketing & Resources. The catch is that IM&R was also Harken; the partners were all Harken insiders. Further, $11 million of the $12 million "sale" was through a note held by Harken. $8 million the company entered in its books as a capital gain was actually vapor. GWB was on the audit committee (although, of course, there's a good chance he didn't bother to go to meetings) and their auditing firm was Arthur Andersen.
BETSY'S WEDDING (Touchstone) R rated. D/S/star Alan Alda. Betsy (Molly Ringwald) gets married to Dylan Walsh. Comedy with Anthony Lapaglia, Joe Pesci, Catherine O'Hara, Ally Sheedy, Joey Bishop.
DICK TRACY (Touchstone) P/D/star Warren Beatty as Tracy in a yellow trench coat and in Super 35mm. With Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffmann. " Vincent Canby of The New York Times discovered that 'DICK TRACY has a higher body count than the original DEATH WISH, which remains one of the sickest movies ever made.' This is especially noteworthy since the PG rated DICK TRACY with its fourteen slayings, aimed unmistakably at an audience of children and teenagers. (Michael Medved - Hollywood Vs. America)
MR. DESTINY (Touchstone) A man (James Belushi) goes back in time and replays a high school baseball game in an IT'S A WONDERFULL LIFE type fantasy. With Michael Caine as the bartender angel, Rene Russo, Linda Hamilton, Kathy Ireland, and Jon Lovitz.
PRETTY WOMAN (Touchstone) R rated. P Arnon Milchan, D Gary Marshall. Big hit with Julia Roberts (who was Oscar nominated and used a body double for most scenes with any nudity) as Hollywood Blvd. prostitute who charms a Beverly Hills business tycoon (Richard Gere). With Ralph Bellamy and Jason Alexander.
THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER (Buena Vista) Animated sequel set in Australia uses some computer FX and the voice of George C. Scott as an evil bird.
SPACED INVADERS (Touchstone) Five Martians land in small town during a rebroadcast of Orson Welles' War Of The Worlds.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (Buena Vista) R rated. D Arthur Hiller. An escaped World Series fan con (James Belushi) assumes the identity of a Malibu ad exec (Charles Grodin). Variety: BUSINESS is one long commercial for a particular brand (FILOFAX, as the pic is called in the U.K.).
THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY (Touchstone) P Ted Field. The same three stars (plus Nancy Travis) in a sequel to a remake.
WHERE THE HEART IS (Touchstone) R rated. D John Boorman. In the sixties, a wealthy NYC demolition expert (Dabney Coleman) makes his family live in a Brooklyn tenement to teach them the value of money. With Uma Thurman and Suzy Amis (who both have topless scenes as nude models), Joanna Cassidy, Christopher Plummer, and Crispin Glover.
Notes: In 1990 GWB "managed" The Rangers, remained on the board of Silver Screen Management, and planned to become Gov. of Texas. He also made $848, 560 by unloading much of his Harken Oil stock (considered by many to have been an illegal insider trade). In Jan. '90, IM&R sold its 80 percent of Aloha to a privately held company called Advance Petroleum Marketing. APM was now obligated to pay the Harken loan. Also in January, the government of Bahrain announced it had awarded exclusive offshore drilling rights to Harken. This astonished people in the oil industry, as Harken had never ventured out of the Texas-Louisiana area, and had never drilled offshore at all. In May a renegotiated corporate loan agreement for Harken Energy featured an unusually high interest rate of 12 percent, a smaller loan for acquisitions, a $750,000 debt fee and requirements by some of Harken's major stockholders to guarantee $22.5 million in debt. On June 22, '90, GWB sold his Harken stock for $4 a share. On August 2, '90, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. "Saddam's aggression drove down the share prices of every oil company doing business in the Gulf, including Harken, whose shares fell to $3.12 . Gee, you think maybe the son of the President of the United States might have been tipped off to get out of the Persian Gulf? By August 22, 90, Harken could no longer conceal it was losing money; its second quarter report was a disaster. Stocks fell to $2.37 a share. And, that fall the Securities and Exchange Commission discovered the Aloha sale scam.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Buena Vista) Animated hit followed by a Broadway version, sequels, a TV series, and much merchandising. The voice of the Beast is Robby Benson. Note: lyricist Howard Ashmun died of AIDS the year this was released.
DECEIVED (Touchstone) "'She thought her life was perfect.' proclaimed one of the ad lines for (DECEIVED) offering an ominous warning to all those misguided souls in the movie going audience who may have felt satisfied and secure in their own marriages. Our girl Goldie appears to have it all a glamorous career, a bright, beautiful daughter, and a devoted and brilliant husband (John Heard). As the picture progresses, she discovers that her partner is actually leading a double life and a triple life, with several fake identities and faked deaths, another wife in another city, and participation in a murderous international art theft conspiracy. Eventually, inevitably, the heinous brute attempts to kill her, and she fights for her life in a bloody and protracted confrontation. Reflecting on her situation as she gradually awakens to the horrid reality of her marriage, Goldie tearfully delivers the movie's punch line: 'It turned out that everything I believed in was a lie'" (Michael Medved on Maligning Marriage - Hollywood Vs. America)
THE DOCTOR (Buena Vista) A surgeon (William Hurt) with throat cancer encounters the horrors of cold hospital bureaucracy. With Mandy Patinkin, Christine Lahti and Elizabeth Perkins. In 1991 "Hollywood unleashed three big budget medical melodramas, DYING YOUNG, REGARDING HENRY, and THE DOCTOR. In all three films, the protagonists faced dire illnesses and long hospitalizations, with life and death hanging dramatically in the balance. At no point in these proceedings, however did the main characters, or any of their friends or family members, turn, even for a moment to the power of prayer, or ask to see a member of the clergy, or in any way invoke the name of God." (Michael Medved - Hollywood Vs. America)
THE MARRYING MAN (Buena Vista) R rated. In a Neil Simon story, an L.A playboy falls for the mistress of Bugsy Siegel (Armand Assante) in 1948 Las Vegas. With Robert Loggia, Elizabeth Shue, Paul Riser... Variety: "A stillborn romantic comedy of staggering ineptitude." "The ironically titled THE MARRYING MAN offers Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger as a mismatched pair who marry- and then divorce- three times in succession, alternating moments of burning lust with explosions of violent rage." (Michael Medved on Maligning Marriage - Hollywood Vs. America) Aka TOO HOT TO HANDLE.
ONE GOOD COP (Buena Vista) R rated. When the partner (Anthony LaPaglia) of a NYC cop (Michael Keaton) is killed, he and his wife (Rene Russo) take in his three little girls. Leonard Maltin: "Doesn't work."
OSCAR (Touchstone) D John Landis. Remake of French comedy stars Sylvester Stallone as a 30s gangster. With Ornella Muti, Don Ameche, Peter Riegert, Tim Curry, Kirk Douglas.
THE ROCKATEER (Touchstone) In 1938 Hollywood, a hero (Bill Campbell) with a rocket back pack battles a Nazi actor (Timothy Dalton) patterned after Errol Flynn. With Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, an actor as Howard Hughes and a killer patterned after Rondo Hatton. Note: A stuntman died filming the $40M box office flop, based on comics by Dave Stevens.
RUN (Buena Vista) R rated. A law student (Patrick Dempsey) accidentally kills a gangster's son. With Kelly Preston.
SCENES FROM A MALL (Touchstone) R rated. A wealthy lawyer and his psychiatrist wife spend their wedding anniversary at The Beverly Hills Center shopping mall. "Many other films highlight the emptiness and cruelty of married life. In director Paul Mazursky's unwatchable embarrassment SCENES FROM A MALL, a long wedded couple played by Woody Allen and Bette Midler spend the entire movie hurling food and insults at each other in a crowded shopping mall while they tediously discuss their various infidelities and betrayals." (Michael Medved on Maligning Marriage - Hollywood Vs. America). Note: George And Laura Bush celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary around the same time.
TRUE IDENTITY (Touchstone) British comic Lenny Henry stars as a black actor disguised as an Italian hitman. With Frank Langella, James Earl Jones, and Melvin Van Peebles. Note: Michael Medved points out the urination scene.
V. I. WARSHAWSKI (Buena Vista) R rated. A Chicago private eye (Kathleen Turner) is on a murder case. Planned as the first of a series, it was a major boxoffice flop. Leonard Maltin: "wretchedly scripted, directed, photographed" BOMB rating.
WHITE FANG (Buena Vista) Ethan Hawke in another version of the Jack London dog story set in Alaska. With Klaus Maria Brandauer and Seymour Cassel. There was a sequel and an Italian rip off version.
WILD HEARTS CAN'T BE BROKEN (Buena Vista) During the Depression a girl (Gabrielle Anwar) becomes a horse riding diving girl in a traveling show. With Cliff Robertson and Kathleen York.
Note: In 1991 George W. Bush managed The Rangers, remained on the board of Silver Screen Management, and planned to become Gov. of Texas. $200 million in public subsidies from Texas taxpayers paid to start building a new stadium in order to keep the Rangers from leaving the state. In April '91 the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Securities and Exchange Commission had not been notified of his timely Harken trade until eight months after the legal deadline. The regulatory agency commenced an investigation that concluded with no action against GWB. It was hardly a surprise. The SEC chairman at the time, Richard Breeden, was an especially ardent Bush loyalist, and the agency's general counsel was the same Texas attorney who had handled the sale of the Rangers baseball team for GWB and his partners in '89. Bush has insisted that he didn't know about the firm's mounting losses and that his stock sell off had been approved by Harken's general counsel. Although no wrongdoing was proved, the suspicions surrounding Harken Energy and other dubious enterprises associated with the president's sons-particularly Bush's directorship of a crooked Colorado savings-and loan-caused the family severe embarrassment during the '92 election.
BLAME IT ON THE BELLBOY (Buena Vista) Comic mix ups in a Venice hotel with Patsy Kensit, Dudley Moore, Bronson Pinchot, and Bryan Brown. This forgotten movie (from England) was the last known Silver Screen Management production.
Notes: In 1994, as Bush was running for governor of Texas, the new Rangers Stadium finally opened. The "compassionate conservative" was elected on November 8, but he kept his stake in The Rangers. In '98 the team was sold for $250 million, three times what GWB and his partners had paid 10 years earlier. Bush made $14.9 million for himself. We know where GWB is, but what happened to his frat brother, film business partner, and GWB Pioneer Roland Betts? Betts is "the creator, chairman and CEO of The Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in NYC. Located on the Hudson River, the sprawling 1.7 million-square-foot complex includes ice skating rinks, roller rinks, gymnastics, indoor soccer, basketball, rock climbing, a four-tier golf driving range, a comprehensive health club, sound stages, restaurants and other facilities. It also serves as the production site for LAW AND ORDER and SEX AND THE CITY, and films." (from the Chelsea Pier web site). Expect many top Republicans to spend time at The Chelsea Pier during this year's Republican convention.
George W. Bush: "During the more than half century of my life, we have seen an unprecedented decay in our American culture, a decay that has eroded the foundations of our collective values and moral standards of conduct. Our sense of personal responsibility has declined dramatically, just as the role and responsibility of the federal government have increased. The changing culture blurred the sharp contrast between right and wrong and created a new standard of conduct: 'If it feels good, do it.' and 'If you've got a problem, blame somebody else'. "Individuals are not responsible for their actions,' the new culture has said. 'We are all victims of forces beyond our control.' We have gone from a culture of sacrifice and saving to a culture obsessed with grabbing all the gusto. We went from accepting responsibility to assigning blame."
Some quotes are from Leonard Maltin's annual Movie And Video Guide (Signet) and Hollywood Vs. America (Harper Collins, 92) by Michael Medved, who if I'm not mistaken, is a Bush supporter. If anybody has anything to add to or dispute about this PSYCHOTRONIC (web site only) feature please contact me.
Michael J. Weldon
Copyright ©2005 Michael J. Weldon, All rights reserved.