In a modern China, where things go better with Coke, could Bugs Bunny be far behind? Or was that Brer Rabbit hopping along the Great Wall? Or was it Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder of Denver, Colorado? Back in Washington D.C. last week from a congressional junket to China, she indignantly denied a report by The Associated Press that she had frolicked on the wall while dressed head-to-toe in a white rabbit costume with large ears and cottontail. The attractive, 38-year-old Schroeder admitted she had indeed rented a rabbit costume in Washington, taken it with her to Peking and sported it in her hotel dining room and later at an American embassy function "to amuse American families in China and remind them about the Easter bunny." But she huffed that hopping the wall in it would have been "in bad taste. I don't know where that came from. People ought to give me credit for having enough sense not to wear that bunny thing up to the wall." What else is up, Doc?
ired for undisclosed reasons" is the rather tactful way the movie moguls at Twentieth Century-Fox are referring to the dismissal of Five Easy Pieces' director Bob Rafelson who was canned last week during the shooting of Brubaker, a prison movie starring Rob ert Redford. But it appears that the rea Sons were more indiscreet than undis closed. For a start, after only seven days of shooting on location in Columbus, Ohio, Rafelson was four days behind schedule. That, in itself, is not a firing offence, but was serious enough to war rant a visit to the set by Twentieth Cen
tury Vice-President Dick Berger. When Berger arrived and saw how little work had been done he was incensed. So was Rafelson-at the interference-and be fore anyone could say "cut,"he attacked the v-P, punching him in the face. Shortly thereafter, Rafelson said good bye to Columbus and Red ford was offered the job as director. He declined opting to keep his less taxing role as warden, the part he plays in the movie. Ah, well . . that's entertainment.
D espite the fact he was the first U.S. president ever forced to abandon the office, Richard Nixon has been given a chance to clean up his reputation as a bad actor. Nixon has been of fered the film role of a U.S. president who is abducted from a Peking bathroom stall (while studying the Chinese graffiti) and re placed by a genetically engi neered double. "We feel that Nixon would be just perfect for the part," says Harry Hope, a producer of dc Productions' Falcon s Ultimatum. "A friend of the Nixon family has encour aged us to submit the script to the president." As an originator of Peking diplo macy, Nixon may not want to jeopardize his contribu tions to the advance of Sino
American relations by appearing in a schlock film but, on the other hand, he will be paid a sizable fee for his per formance. And, of course, there's al ways the consolation that should Nixon "misspeak" any of his lines, they can all be retaped with the public none the wiser.
F ilm buffs over 30 will remember her as the hysterical 18-year-old who made her movie debut as the mentally disturbed lover of Keir Dutlea in David and Lisa. It was a great start, but after one flawless performance, the name Ja net Margolin seemed to slip from the marquee and out of public view. Now, 16 years later, Margolin is back on the silver screen co-starring with Roy Schelder (Jaws) and Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter) in Last Embrace. Her second debut is no tamer than her first. Playing a murderess with a flair for invention, Margolin brings one amorous victim to a soggy end by drowning him in a bathtub. Although she no longer fears another 16-year layoff between movies, she's a little con cerned about being typecast. "Already
I’ve received a couple of scripts for powerful women murderesses,” she says. “But I’m not interested right now.” It’s just as well; it might be difficult to find her another bathmate.
There are times whem disco’s glitter girl Gloria Gaynor feels her chart-topping single I Will Survive is more a personal anthem to her durability than a measure of her success. Take last week, for example. When she arrived in Toronto in the midst of a 45-city tour with the New York group Village People, she was already suffering from chronic tonsillitis. When she showed up to tape a TV pilot for a new Canadianproduced fashion/disco/variety show she found the instrumental tracks for her vocals had been recorded by local musicians at the wrong tempo. Then she had to learn all her cues for the taping in only one runthrough and ended up competing for camera time with 19 dancers-cum-models (including Vanessa Harwood from the National Ballet). To top it all off, a local reviewer described her in print as “lurching across the stage like a wounded
water buffalo.” Exhausted as she was, she vowed to “punch that creep out” if she ever meets him.
Having firmly established himself as the thinking man’s talk-show host, Dick Cavett, whose televised tête-à-têtes with the highbrows and the mighty have assured him a spot as a cultural curio, has also bagged him a couple of roles in the movies. After making his cinematic debut as a laid-back but literate TV interviewer in Annie Hall, 42year-old Cavett recently completed another movie-making assignment in Robert Altman’s yet-to-be-released Health. Once again, he’s cast as a talk-show host. Although Cavett’s on-air behavior is a combination of bon mots and urbanity, according to Canadian costar Allan Nicholls, the man behind the mike can be a monster. Nicholls, who has cowritten scripts, music and lyrics and acted in various Altman movies, offers this caveat: “Everybody found Cavett irritating and grating. He’s an arrogant guy, an insecure s.o.b. who’d parade around in his towel to get noticed.” What does Nicholls believe to be the deep-seated psychological problem afflicting the host with the most? “He’s short.”
Last summer Dr. Peter Bourne, the
controversial former chief adviser on health and drug abuse to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, thought life was “a little bit unfair.” He had been forced to resign from his $51,000-a-year position in disgrace after giving a young female aide a prescription made out in a phony name for the tightly controlled drug Quaalude, a popular tranquillizer among the druggie set. Although he never faced criminal charges, the British-born psychiatrist and close friend of the president was reprimanded publicly last December by the state medical board in Georgia where he holds his licence to practise. But now, after a year in Nowheresville, Bourne has been laundered—and born again. He has been hired by the United Nations, at a salary not less than $50,000, to help plan a major UN project for development and conservation of worldwide water resources. While UN officials deny the Carter administration pressured them to hire Bourne, they admit he has “no expertise” in water conservation and that he was recommended for the job by the U.S. state department because he is “versed in dealing with UN bureaucracy.” It still pays to have friends in high places. Edited by
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