Acad governors pass the Ball

GOOD MORNING: The Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy held its first post-Oscar meeting Tuesday night and, as promised, they discussed what to do about the Governors’ Ball. The decision was made–to have a committee investigate what to do. As one board member noted, “You know what a committee is–it’s made up of members, all of whom can’t make it on Tuesday.” Upcoming next is another Acad committee that will discuss the Oscar show–which needs no discussion. … Michael Wayne describes it as “tragic.” And this story points up the need for Hollywood to protect its product. Wayne went to the (Hollywood) vaults where the negatives of many John Wayne-owned films are stored and discovered many of the film cans filled with water. “It’s terrible–it’s depressing,” he added. “The vaults were presented to us as being climate-humidity proof.” The movies (original pre-print negatives) include “The High and the Mighty,” “Hondo,” “McClintock,” “Island in the Sun,” “Seven Men From Now,” etc. Many of them have not yet gone out to homevideo. “So there was a lot of life ($ ) left in them,” Wayne reminds. Some of these negs have been in this particular vault since 1977 –“and they (vault owners) have no liability,” Wayne fears. “We are trying to save them and have taken them to restoration and post facilities in the Valley.” … Another film classic, “Detective Story,” 1951, is making its way back via the contemporary remake route. Dino Conte, at Dan Tana’s, was talking the project with Sherry Lansing (there with husband William Friedkin).

They hope to star Nick Nolte, Sharon Stone and John Goodman. Stars of the original William Wyler multi-Oscar-nominated Par pic were Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker and William Bendix. (Goodman would again be playing a Bendix-originated role–both played Babe Ruth, you recall.) The movie was based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Sidney Kingsley’s play. We reached the 85-years-young Kingsley at his home in New Jersey, and he said he was “delighted” that the movie is being made anew. He’d spoken to producers Conte and Lansing. Kingsley (who also wrote “Men in White,””Dead End” and “The Patriots”) says he’s busy “researching” another project although he suffered a slight stroke a few years back. He sounded great to me! Conte and Lansing are longtime friends thanks to their association with (the late) Gary Hendler.

YESTERDAY’S CALL SHEET READ “Burns & Allen,” but it’s not what you think. The NBC “Today” show crew was taping segs with longtime Johnny Carson guests for the week of May 18-22, and yesterday’s call sheet was for George BURNS and, later, Steve ALLEN. This weekend, Burns (96) and Bob Hope (89 next month) duo at Caesars Atlantic City. And at the tag of the show, Hope dons a wig to play Gracie Allen to George. … When 75 of the world’s top still photogs descend on Hollywood May 20 for Collins Publishing’s “A Day in the Life of Hollywood,” subjects will include: a group picture of CAA, the mail room and film meeting at William Morris and, hopefully, a day with a top ICM agent. Also lensing: Steven Spielberg, Brian Grazer, Harrison Ford at a press junket for “Patriot Games,” John Singleton on the set of his “Poetic Justice,” etc. … With the rerelease of “Casablanca,” screenwriter Julius Epstein is at Cambridge’s Brattle theater today, where Harvard students have memorized the movie’s dialogue. Saturday, he conducts a seminar on the not-quite-so-classic “Reuben, Reuben.” He reteams with its producer Walter Shenson and Julius’ son Philip Epstein on “Happy All the Time,” from Laurie Colwin’s novel. … “Casablanca: As Time Goes By, The 50th Anniversary Commemorative” (Turner Books), by Frank Miller, is a terrif addition to the library of any movie buff. … Today’s the pub date of “Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success” (Simon & Schuster), by Daily Variety‘s Joe McBride–and it already goes into its second printing–with raves from the NYTimes and D.C. Post.

WHATTA PARLAY: Monday was the Ira Gershwin treat at the Taper for music lovers, and Tuesday, at the Music Center’s Pavilion, it was Rosie Clooney’s annual “Singers’ Salute to the Songwriter” soiree to delight all sing-along’ers. The tune-filled delight raised $500,000 for the Betty Clooney Foundation. And raised hopes for many. Rosemary and brother Nick made the evening seem effortless. She now takes off for Rome, where son Rafael (Ferrer) will marry Silvia Soro May 14. It’s the third Ferrer family marriage in a month. … Barry Manilow, who sang two of the songs he’d musicked to honoree Johnny Mercer, said he’d not recorded either of them–but Nancy Wilson has. Honorees Ray Evans and Jay Livingston–who were serenaded Tuesday p.m.–yesterday entertained 200 senior citizens at the Grace Simon lodge with their “and then I wrote” delightful routine. … Add happy musical note: Paula Abdul, in a yellow dress, and Emilio Estevez, in black tux, were married yesterday in Judge Jill Robbins’ chambers in Santa Monica. Paula leaves next month on her U.S. tour. … Mario Machado, a volunteer, was surprised with a Board of Supervisors proclamation as he m.c.’d the Annual Volunteer Awards.

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