Reid’s ‘Colored’ struggled with ‘too light’ label

GOOD MORNING: “It’s a little too light — it’s not edgy enough for a black genre film.” That’s what Emmy-nominated actor-turned-director Tim Reid says he was told when he tried, “for the last six years,” to get Clifton Taulbert’s coming-of-age in the South book, “Once Upon a Time — When We Were Colored” on the screen. And after Reid got financing ($2.5 million) from Blockbuster and BET and made the pic with a cast boasting Al Freeman Jr., Phylicia Rashad, Leon, Paula Kelly, Polly Bergen, Richard Roundtree, Isaac Hayes, Bernie Casey, Anna Maria Horsford — plus Tim’s wife, Daphne Maxwell-Reid, and daughter Tori, etc., he got the same “too light — not edgy enough” answer when he applied to get the pic shown at Sundance, he says. However, after Roger Ebert saw “Colored” at the Virginia film fest, he flipped for the movie and now Ebert and Reid will present it at this weekend’s Hawaii fest. It will also be at the St. Louis and Fort Lauderdale fests. It opens via Republic on the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Jan. 12. Reid has been in the biz 25 years, 10 series, countless features, and produced as well, and currently is in “Sister, Sister” and hosts “Save Our Streets.” He says of this type of (black) film, “We’d better show the other side of the rainbow if we want to live in a safer environment.” Although he agreed black filmmakers have mostly made the urban, “edgy” pix, he said, “That’s the only kind they were allowed to make. It’s like trying to get into the union — you can’t get in unless you have a job and you can’t get a job unless you’re in the union.” He next directs “The Hoochie-Coochie Man,” his ’50s-set story scripted by Shirley Pierce, and a contemporary Reid story, “Judge Not.” Budgets? Reid laughingly says, “Give me $20 million — I’ll make four films!”… Meanwhile, Sylvester Stallone, who won’t see daylight until March when his (how many millions?) “Daylight” winds in Rome, got this cheering news: The global gross so far on “Judge Dredd” has now passed the $110 million mark … Michael Sutton, Stone on “General Hospital,” “died,” on camera, that is, of AIDS Thursday — the seg to air in a few weeks. Last night, Sutton partied soap pals with whom he’s worked 2 1/2 years at the Trocadero. He has several live offers waiting — as soon as he regains the poundage he purposely lost for this role’s finale.

THE WEDDING NEARS FOR “Homicide” femme star Isabella Hofmann and Daniel Baldwin. Isabella just received her divorce papers and his are imminent, possibly next week. Hofmann, to be seen in Monday’s NBC telepic “She Fought Alone,” heads to Baltimore this weekend to host the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology All-Star fund-raiser, which Baldwin hosted last year … Nancy Sinatra Jr., daughters Amanda and A.J. Lambert and Tina Sinatra are at Chi’s Marshall Field’s today to open the “His Way Boutique.” You know whose. Items include CDs and musicvideos, plus F.S.-designed ties, lithos, coffee mugs, sweaters, caps, cards, napkins, food products — and Nancy’s just-out coffee table book, “Frank Sinatra: An American Legend” (General Publishing Corp.) … Diahann Carroll, who received love-letter reviews for her Norma Desmond portrayal in “Sunset Boulevard” in Toronto, records the Canadian cast album (Mercury/Polydor), produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber for the U.S. and Canada, available Dec. 6 … Music biz attorney Allen J. Grubman was honored by the Music & Entertainment Industry chapter of the City of Hope, and the top toppers from the industry, at the Century Plaza Wednesday, where nearly $ 4 million (!) was raised. David Geffen made the Spirit of Life Award presentation. Elton John sang six songs, Rod Stewart four, and the two dueted on “Your Song” (Elton’s) “Maggie May” (Rod’s) and “Great Balls of Fire” (Jerry Lee Lewis’). Johnny Gill sang the national anthem.

CLINT EASTWOOD, WHO STARRED Jim Carrey in his “Dead Pool” and “Pink Cadillac” (for far less than $20 million!), was on hand to host Carrey’s hand-footprint ceremony at Mann’s Chinese “because,” said Eastwood, “it helps with my research in preparation for my next starring role as ‘Ace Ventura 3.’ “… The Laugh Factory “graduates” youngsters from its “Comedy Camp” Monday. The kids from South Central, ranging from 8-16 years old, have been taking lessons at the Laugh Factory for the past 10 weeks. Owner Jamie Masada promised ’em the award ceremony if they finished the program. For many, it was their first time in Hollywood, and, of course, first time in a comedy club … Helping Ivana Trump celebrate the launching of her fragrance, Ivana (natch), at Spago was Faye Dunaway — who plays the wife of a hotel owner in “Dunston Checks In.” Nikki Haskell hostessed … The ACLU of Southern California honors Capitol Records prez/CEO Gary Gersh, Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Sheer with the Bill of Rights Award Dec. 7 at the Sheraton U. Rod Steiger hosts. Oliver Stone, Matthew Broderick, Marilyn Bergman, Danny Goldberg, E! Entertainment Television’s Lee Masters and Stanley Sheinbaum participate in this program.

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