‘Touch’ and go

Worried over a potential lawsuit from Orson Welles’ granddaughter, the festival has yanked the re-edited Welles classic “Touch of Evil” from its slated May 22 screening.

Beatrice Welles complained that the only authorized version is the original release print and that the “altered” version cannot be shown without her consent.

Universal said her claims were unfounded, but wanted to respect the festival’s wishes to withdraw the pic. U still plans to screen it in Paris in coming months and give it a fall release through October Films.

– Dan Cox

Canal Plus eyes Polygram film arm

French pay TV group Canal Plus has said that it would look at the idea of being involved in a European offer for Polygram Filmed Entertainment if the group’s film division can be separated from Polygram’s music interests.

In a story suggesting that Polygram chairman Alain Levy is looking to put together a management buyout of PFE if Seagram acquires the Polygram group from Philips, French newspaper Les Echos quoted Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure: “Anything that can be done to prevent Polygram Films falling under American control deserves to be supported. We are ready to study a European solution if the opportunity of a separate sale arises.”

Canal Plus sources in Cannes admitted that they were saddened by the idea that Polygram’s efforts to be a European major working in Hollywood could end up with an American major owning the company.

– Michael Williams