Exex excited about a few good movies

GOOD MORNING: It can’t happen here. That’s what Mark Canton and Sid Ganis said vehemently after reading yesterday’s L.A. Times story claiming that Matsushita was tightening its creative and financial hold on MCA, the longtime domain of Lew Wasserman, Sid Sheinberg and co. “It’s not happening here (at Sony),” volunteered Ganis. “Guber, Medavoy and Canton wouldn’t stand for it.” And Canton furthered, “Absolutely not. People we deal with (at Sony) are creative people. They have a much stronger idea of the way our business is run.” While they agreed all was well in Culver City, Ganis said the turn of events at Universal City “was damned scary.” The duo were otherwise euphoric in the praises for two just-sneaked Castle Rock pix shown in Santa Monica and Woodland Hills. “A Few Good Men” (in which Sony also has a financial interest), starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore, is to be Col’s Christmas movie, out Dec. 18. And the Billy Crystal-directed/starring “Mr. Saturday Night,” peeked at Sherman Oaks, goes out Sept. 25. Canton said Crystal’s debut direction “is a stunning accomplishment.” Next from Castle Rock via Col is “Honeymoon in Vegas.” And they hope for four a year. “We (Columbia) have an ongoing relationship” to distribute domestically.” … The talk about the Matsushita-MCA tension was not limited to talk at Sony, of course. Some industryites wondered whether (when?) Wasserman, Sheinberg and perhaps David Geffen would attempt to buy back MCA. … Meanwhile, a hefty WB contingent was in N.Y. for the MoMA screening of David Wolper’s “Here’s Looking at You, Warner Brothers,” a sentimental journey of 75 years of filmmaking.

Bob Daly, Bruce Berman and Rob Friedman were also viewing Clint Eastwood’s just-wound “Unforgiven,” which may be a MoMA preem benefit. After the Museum doings, the WB group plus Kevin Costner, Quincy Jones and Nastassja Kinski, Farrah Fawcett, Alana Hamilton, Bobby Zarem, Richard Dreyfuss, Frances Fisher, Maria Schneider, Greg Harrison and Richard Baskin delighted surprised diners at Grand Street’s “in” eatery, Jour et Nuit. Table talk here was the hefty figures CBS was talking to air WB’s “Lethal Weapon 3” and “Batman Returns”–$13 million and $ 20 million, respectively. … Here at Le Dome, Anne Douglas hosted a dinner for Jihan Sadat, widow of Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat. Guests included Edie Wasserman, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, the Charles Wicks, the Sidney Sheldons, Leonard Gershe, Bill Codus and General Seoud. Kirk Douglas was in N.Y. being followed on his every move by “60 Minutes” and Lew Wasserman was also in N.Y.

STARS IN THEIR LATER YEARS and their children have been principals in dramas far more emotional than any roles: Groucho Marx, following his relationship with Erin Fleming; Martha Raye and daughter Melody Condos. And now, Glenn Ford’s son Peter tells me, “I need to bring him back into the bosom of his family.” While not mentioning any names, young Ford says, “He (Glenn) is easily influenced in many ways not to his best interests and he ends up with people who have other agendas than his family has. I have to assert my authority and make sure no one interferes–if necessary, I will move into his house or have him move into my house. I want to protect him, but I don’t know if he wants it.” He added, “I am not a happy camper. I’m not going to put up with it any more.” Young Ford, a building contractor and the only son of the thesp, has three children of his own and has been married 22 years. … Glenn Ford and Pauline Kiernan have been together 10 years. She told me that Glenn, at St. John’s hospital for the past three weeks, appreciates the flowers, cards and prayers of all his friends and fans The L.A. riots KO’d location sites for Robert Radler’s “Best of the Best II,” so he moved major action scenes into a giant, “coliseum-like” set constructed in a Vernon warehouse where fights “to the death” are featured in the sequel. The first “Best” came in at $5 million and grossed $50 million. The sequel’s budgeted at $ 9.5 million, sez Radler. It stars Eric Roberts, Wayne Newton (in another sleazy role), Meg Foster, Christopher Penn and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6’8″ pal, Ralph Moeller. Radler tells me his next movie, “People Are Strange,” will be more peaceful.

ARSENIO HALL INVITED Hillary and Bill Clinton to return anytime he wants following Wednesday’s sensaysh visit. … The U.S. Olympic Basketball team’s locker room was inaugurated by Frank Sinatra, who used it as his dressing room at Barcelona’s Sant Jordi stadium, where Sinatra bowed the Cultural Olympics. Sinatra left a message on a locker room door: “To the U.S. Team, Bury them!–Frank Sinatra, Boy Singer, June 3, 1992.” After his triumphant concert, to be aired on Spain’s TV3, Sinatra continued on other European dates, returning here next Wednesday. … RAI-2 TV’s President Giampaolo Sodano arrives tomorrow at the Peninsula for Monday’s Four Seasons bash. He’s bankrolled $ 200 million in intl. TV’ers, including the just-wound $ 15 million “Judith Krantz’s Secrets.” … It’s a boy, born June 3 for Clein & White’s Cara White and husband/producer-director Martin Bluford. Name to come on their next release.