I'm a sucker for King-inspired things, and this one hits that chord well enough to be worth a look over your Christmas break.
All in all, it was an exciting week for "The French Connection."
LAKE GENEVA, WI -- There is just no keeping up with all the new Ann-Margrets. Last year's new Ann-Margret abandoned her image, as the press releases say, to play a committed graduate student in "R.P.M." Her quandary: Should she still shack up with Anthony Quinn after he stops being a radical professor and becomes a moderate administrator? That's a dicey quandary, believe me, because Ann-Margret was playing a liberated woman even if she didn't have her own motorcycle and had to ride on the back of Anthony Quinn's.
NEW YORK - After the second screening of "The Murder of Fred Hampton" at the Museum of Modern Art, Mike Gray was sitting at the bar of the Chelsea Hotel and trying to decide how to take New York by storm. The museum screenings have generated a lot of enthusiasm and favorable reviews, but it costs $30,000 minimum to open a movie in New York and advertise it properly.
McKEESPORT, PA -- The sky hung low and dripping over the Sheraton Motor Inn, and Robert Mitchum hunched his shoulders against it and scooted around to the other side of the Mercury.
Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun" seemed for years to be one of those novels that could never be made into a movie. It took place entirely within the mind of a soldier who was so grievously wounded in World War I that he had only the most tenuous contact with the world. He had no arms, no legs, no sight or hearing, no way to speak.
"That's all gone, now, the old, Hollywood," Warren Beatty was saying. "All gone. I remember once I was being interviewed by Hedda Hopper. Are you still going with that Joan Collins? She's too old for you. And, Warren, you really should do something about your clothes! Look at those clothes! Marriage, you should be thinking about marriage at your age, Warren."
I went back to Mister Kelly's the other night to catch Mort Sahl again, and found myself sitting next to a friend who writes for another local newspaper. He was there to do a story on the girl singer - a very good girl singer - who is also there, and when she'd finished singing my friend got up to leave.
It was just that moment of the evening when you need the lights but you don't quite want to turn them on. There were two big old overstuffed wing chairs facing each other in front of the fireplace, and in one of them Gene Wilder had thrown his leg over the chair's arm and was talking softly and slowly...
Rod McKuen was in Chicago to plug the record album for Walt Disney's "Scandalous John," for which he wrote the score.
It's a crazy business," John Frankenheimer said. "It's gotten to the point where all they want to know is how much money your last movie made. A body of work doesn't count anymore..."