All roads led to the Ziegfeld Theater on April 21 as Universal Pictures and the American Film Institute presented the newly restored “Spartacus” to 1,000 invited guests. On hand at the screening, which benefited the AFI’s National Center for Film & Video Preservation and the Film Foundation, were Tony Curtis and Jean Simmons, two stars of the 1960 epic. Also greeting the crowd were Martin Scorsese, chairman of the Film Foundation, and Tom Pollock, Universal Studios prexy. “Spartacus” topliner Kirk Douglas was absent per doctor’s orders. At a dinner following the screening, 400 guests feted the film at the Pierre Hotel. There, “Spartacus” restorer Robert A. Harris told VARIETY he’s taking requests for new projects – but admitted he said “no, no, no, no” to “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”
“Projected Radiance: The Cinema of Indonesia” is a film exhibition organized by L. Somi Roy, former programmer for Asia Society. Series is running through May 10 at Museum of Modern Art and May 1 to 12 at Asia Society, with a panel discussion at latter location May 2 featuring actress Christine Hakim, author Karl Heider and Salim Said, secretary of the Indonesian Film Council in Jakarta. Among the films to be screened are two starring Hakim, “Woman Of Courage” and “Behind The Mosquito Net.”
Loews Theaters will open a multiplex, Loews Village Theater VII, on May 24 at Third Avenue and 11th Street, raising the circuit’s Manhattan presence to 29 screens. Complex will occupy seven floors and brings the neighborhood’s film coverage up to par with other parts of the city, as City Cinemas recently opened a sevenplex at Second Avenue and 12th Street.
Twentieth Century Fox has made a seven-picture multiyear deal with John Hughes, according to a Fox spokesperson who declined to discuss details of the reportedly nonexclusive pact. Hughes will direct certain films and write and produce others. Projects will be developed and produced under the filmmaker’s Chicago-based Hughes Entertainment banner.
Four-time Oscar-winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz will be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Academy Foundation with a tribute May 6. Mankiewicz, who won Academy Awards for writing and directing “A Letter To Three Wives” and “All About Eve,” is set to attend the event, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Also planning to attend are Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, Roddy McDowall, Richard Widmark, Vincent Price and Burgess Meredith. Mankiewicz will discuss his work, and excerpts from his films will be screened. The tribute is presented in cooperation with the Directors Guild of America and American Cinematheque.
Principal photography will commence May 20 on Touchstone Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s screen version of “Noises Off,” based on Michael Frayn’s legit farce. Peter Bogdanovich will direct and Frank Marshall will producer. Cast includes Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Denholm Elliott, Julie Hagerty, Mark Linn-Baker, Annie Potts, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter and Nicollette Sheridan.
PRO Filmworks, in-house producing arm of Producer Representatives Organization, is ready to roll its fully packaged production, “Love Stinks,” a romantic comedy marking the feature directorial debut of “Hill Street Blues” actress and tv director Betty Thomas. Set to star in the film, slated to go before the cameras May 29 in L.A. and Ventura County, are Andrew McCarthy, Kelly Preston and Helen Hunt. Pic is a co-production of PRO and Wayne Rice and Sally Robinson’s newly formed Day Job Films. PRO prexy Morry Eisenman will produce with Rice, who penned the screenplay. Steve J. Wolfe and Gregg Hoffman are co-producers.