Roy Scheider co-star
in 52 Pick-Up, an
another filmization of
a novel by popular
mystery writer El-
more Leonard (Stick,
Compiled by Jimmy Summers,
Greg Ptacek, Sharon J. Pang
and Victor Davis.
* 'NIGHT MOTHER-When autumn arrives
Hollywood forgets about the silliness of summer
movies and gets serious. Boy, do they ever. This
one is about an unhappy woman who methodi-
cally prepares to commit suicide while her infirm
mother desperately begs her to reconsider.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play
and starring Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft.
* BLUE VELVET-A thriller about a young
man ina small town who stumbles into a mystery
involving murder and sex (not your normal gar-
den-variety type sex, either). David Lynch (who
* THE NAME OF THE ROSE-Based on
the novel that everybody bought and carried to
the beach (but few seemed actually to read), this
murder mystery set in a 14th-century monastery
stars Sean Connery and F. Murray Abraham.
* THE MEN'S CLUB-Roy Scheider, Treat
Williams, Frank Langella, Harvey Keitel and more
names than we could ever imagine fitting into
this little space make up the cast of a drama
about men who gather to talk about, complain
about, fight about and scream about women.
* CROCODILE DUNDEE-A superhuman
crocodile hunter from the Australian outback
finds himself on a different kind of adventure
* FOREIGN BODY-Victor Banerjee, whose
last English-language movie was Passage to In-
dia, takes on a big change of pace in this comedy
about a refugee from Calcutta who poses as a
doctor in London.
* RATBOY-Sondra Locke directed and
stars in this variation on the "Tarzan" legend.
The title should give you a clue to what exactly
that variation is.
* HALF MOON STREET-Sigourney
Weaver plays a London resident whose moon-
lighting as a call girl gets her involved in some
nasty intrigue. Michael Caine co-stars as one of
* CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD-William
Hurt stars in this adaptation of the Tony award-
winnning stage play about a teacher at a school
for the deaf, who finds himself falling in love with
a deaf woman.
* PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED-Kathleen
Turner stars in this fantasy about a woman who
bumps her head, wakes up and finds herself re-
living her high school days. It all sounds like it
could resemble last year's Back to the Future,
but with Francis Ford Coppola serving as direc-
tor, all bets are off.
* TOUGH GUYS-Old buddies Burt Lancas-
ter and Kirk Douglas are reunited to play another
couple of old buddies-two once-notorious
train robbers who are released into a strange
new world after spending 35 years in jail.
* HOOSIERS-Gene Hackman plays a zeal-
ous high school basketball coach in Indiana,
where basketball is slightly more important than
life itself. Barbara Hershey co-stars.
* THE COLOR OF MONEY-Tom Cruise
and Paul Newman star in this "sequel" to the
film classic, The Hustler. Martin Scorsese is the
* 'ROUND MIDNIGHT-An all-star collec-
tion of jazz artists, including saxophonist Dexter
Gordon, double as actors and performers in this
drama about an expatriate musician in 1950s
Paris. Herbie Hancock, who is also in the cast,
served as musical director on a soundtrack that
features both new and classic numbers.
* THE MISSION-Robert DeNiro and Jere-
my Irons star in this story about Jesuit priests
who find themselves in the middle of a territorial
argument between Portugal and Spain, set in
1750 South America. No, it's not a musical
* SOUL MAN-One of the odder-and sure
to be controversial-plot lines of the season.
This comedy stars C. Thomas Howell asa young
man who must pretend to be black to get into
Harvard. Rae Dawn Chong and James Earl
* TRICK OR TREAT-Ozzy Osbourne and
Gene Simmons take a few shots at their critics in
this comic/rock 'n' roll/horror film about Satanic
messages hidden in heavy metal music. Ozzy, or
so we're told, plays a fire and brimstone minis-
ter. Yes, that's right. A minister.
* JUMPIN' JACK FLASH-How on earth
can Whoopi Goldberg follow up her debut in The
Color Purple? How about this adventure-comedy
about a bored bank employee who suddenly re-
Goldberg usually choose to play timid charac-
ters? Just asking.
Here, Goldberg operates a computer that
transfers money between continents, a boring
job that she enlivens by passing cute messages
to other operators in her bank's globe-girdling
network. Suddenly her screen blips outa bulletin
from a spy who styles himself "Jumpin' Jack
Flash." Since this is the movies, Goldberg gath-
ers her gumption and sets out to rescue "Jack"
from the KGB, the CIA and maybe even the PTA.
Her sidekicks in this exploit are steady Stephen
Collins and ditsy Carol Kane.
Equally fantastic is Peggy Sue Got Married.
And yes, the film gets its title from a Buddy Holly
song by the same name. Kathleen Turner says of
her part (which she took over from Debra Winger
after Winger was laid low by back pains):
"Peggy Sue is a Midwestern hometown lady
with two kids. She married her high school
sweetheart. She goes to a high school reunion,
faints and wakes up back in high school. She
thinks she's still in the time she was before she
fainted. Mentally, Peggy's still the same but now
she looks 18. When a friend offers her a ciga-
rette, she says, 'I quit years ago.' The reply:
The only point of going to school reunions is to
brag, but Peggy Sue's predicament is like Marty
McFly's: she can't tell and if she did nobody
would believe her. It's a plot that undoubtedly
appealed to studio executives who were fans of
Back to the Future's grosses. But their choice of
Francis Ford Coppola as director of another high
school movie (remember Rumblefish?) suggests
that ads for Peggy Sue should carry a disclaimer
like, "Warning: Art Attack." As for Turner, she
says, 'I've been wanting to play a nice woman
who is everything she seems to be." Coppola's
nephew, Nicholas Cage, co-stars.
Mad Max meets Indiana Jones in Crocodile
Dundee, a comedy oddity from Australia. It stars
Paul Hogan, seen widely here in the commercials
for "Fa-estahs La-eggah." Hogan plays a ruffian
from Australia's wild Northern Territories who
entrances an American newspaper heiress,
played by newcomer Linda Koslowski. The Ho-
gan character, a tracker-hunter-fisher who oper-
ates a tour service called Never-Never Safaris,
got his nickname when he barely retrieved his leg
from a crocodile. New York seems just as dan-
gerous as his jungle home when he encounters
his stateside sweetheart's dad, who has a par-
ticular marital fate in mind for her.
What elevates Crocodile Dundee from the
mass of intriguing little foreign movies and justi-
fies a big release campaign by Paramount is the
movie's record-breakieg success in Australia
this spring and the magnetism of Hogan. Hogan
is an irreverent man-of-the-people type who
ment directly from a job helping build the Sydney
harbor bridge to being Australia's premier TV
star. By all accounts he's like Johnny Carson
would be if he were Benny Hill. .
Fellow Australian Bryan Brown plays a swash-
buckling merchant-pirate in the long-delayed film
version of Tai-Pan. The movie extracts all the ro-
mance it can from the massive best-seller, con-
densing the intricate intrigue of James Clavell's
saga about the founding of Hong Kong. Chinese-
born actress Joan Chen plays Brown's beautiful
and elegant concubine.
The first major Western movie made in China,
Tar-Pan was financed by Americans, produced
by Italians and directed by a Canadian. The Chi-
nese provided the cast of thousands and a mass
of red tape during production. "Making movies
should be fun, not a row," complained producer
Rafaella De Laurentiis while she was horsewhip-
ping the bureaucratic Cantonese trying to get the
cameras to roll.
Tai-Pan did get finished, and the good news is
that it was pulled from its original position on the
summer release schedule. That means the stu-
dio figures the movie is too interesting to be a
major hit among the double-digit IQ set. Those
who saw Bryan Brown as the imaginative special
effects man in the sleeper hit F/Xlast spring will
appreciate another chance to see this rough-
and-ready performer. *
Bart Mills is a Los Angeles-based free-lancer
who writes about film.
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