Navy not keen on ‘McHale’s’ maneuvers

GOOD MORNING: Mebbe they should call it, “McHale’s Mexican Navy”? The U.S. Navy nixed cooperation on the Universal-Bubble Factory’s bigscreen version of its 1962-66 hit sitcom. “They (the U.S. Navy) thought it wasn’t a ‘Top Gun’ recruitment picture,” exec producer Lance Hool told me from the Barra de Navidad location south of Puerto Vallarta. “We got a lot of cooperation from the Mexican Navy,” Hool added. “But we had to build (salvaged) PT boats from the ground up.” When I recently spoke with Kelsey Grammer, star of 20th’s “Down Periscope,” he told of the Navy (U.S., that is, in SanFran) cooperation on that wacky pic — and said he was touched by a thank-you plaque he received from the Navy on the movie’s completion. In the Bubble Factory’s “Navy,” it’s Tom Arnold who skippers in the McHale role created by Ernie Borgnine. Ernie’s now playing an admiral — but his character name may remain the same. Get it? Hool’s “Flipper,” also made for the Bubble boys, was far tougher to shoot, Hool admits, because of the elements (mammoth storms, etc.) and, of course, working with the dolphin. And talking about storms, Hool recalls he filmed “Caboblanco,” directed by J. Lee Thompson with Charles Bronson and Jason Robards, on this same Mexico location in 1980. A tidal wave hit after the film troupe departed — the only thing remaining on the film site, says Hool, “was the bar set we built for Bronson!” Bryan Spicer’s directing “Navy” on this site now … There’ll be some 1996 computer magic in this “Navy,” but nowhere near that in “Flipper,” says Mexico City-born Hool, whose next project also will be made with Mexican cooperation: “One Man’s Hero,” set during the Mexican-American war, with Tom Berenger to star. They’re talking to the new Orion.

RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH TAKES A WEEK off fall post-production of his “In Love and War” to reprise his role in “The Lost World” opening and closing scenes. Hmm, does that mean visions of a second sequel to “Jurassic Park” already could be dancing in the minds of Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and company? “Lost World’s” only other “Jurassic Park” returnee (besides the dinos) is Jeff Goldblum. Attenborough, now filming in Venice, will be working around the proverbial clock on the post of “War,” starring Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell — New Line’s looking for release in time for anticipated Oscar recognition … Look for an onslaught of TV shows and commentaries to commemorate the second anniversary (June 12, 1994 — how time flies!) of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and the start of the O.J. Simpson saga. Faye Resnick will guest June 12 on “Day & Date.” Larry King tells me he will have the Brown family on his show … Meanwhile, he’s also readying to guest Benjamin Netanyahu, newly elected prime minister of Israel. King wound a week’s vacation at La Costa with Cyndy (Garvey) Truhan (who drew two years’ probation last week for filing false police reports about a formerboyfriend). Earlier in D.C., Larry gave a dinner party at the Four Seasons for Cyndy’s daughter Krisha on her graduation from Georgetown. King’s children also attended the family night — but Larry assures he has no wedding plans with Cyndy. “But we’re very close,” he admits … There’s no question about Par’s euphoria over “Mission: Impossible’s” incredible box office take — but their joy is shared (somewhat, natch) by CAA, which made “deferred compensation” back-end deals for Tom Cruise, Paula Wagner, director Brian DePalma and Jon Voight … Nic Roeg, getting a retro by the American Cinematheque in association with BAFTA-L.A., was greeted on his return here at the home of British consul Merrick Baker-Bates by toasting guests including fellow directors Sydney Pollack, Michael Apted and Ken Russell. Roeg just returned from Morocco directing TNT’s four-hour mini “Samson & Delilah” with Eric Thal and Elizabeth Hurley in the title roles, Dennis Hopper as the Philistine general –“A very different role for this extraordinary actor, ” said Roeg. Before filming, Roeg spent time in Rome with biblical scholars. … Anthony Hopkins presents BAFTA-L.A.’s “Britannia Award” to Bob and Harvey Weinstein at a June 26 gala at the BevWilshire.

MUSIC DEPT.: Dean Martin Blvd. gets new signs in Steubenville, Ohio, on Friday, which would have been Dean’s 79th birthday … Lalo Schifrin has a symphonic version of his “Mission: Impossible” theme on his new CD, “Jazz Meets the Symphony No. 3” (Four Winds). And June 15 at the Playboy Jazz Fest, Schifrin will play and direct a newly arranged performance of his “Mission” theme with trumpeter Jon Faddis playing the original solo of Dizzy Gillespie … Mel Torme’s next Concord CD, as yet untitled, tributes “the greatest singer who ever lived,” Ella Fitzgerald. He’ll record this month … Monica Lewis will tribute her late husband, Jennings Lang, with an album of songs commemorating their 40-year marriage. Tunes include “Taking a Chance on Love” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?”

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