H’wood remakes get redux
Celebrities may come, celebrities may go, but not if you’re making a buck remaking oldies which once used to be called moving pictures which once used to play in movie theaters which once we also used to have. Every oldtime bigtime past-time Hollywoodite’s returning. Wait long enough and we’ll get Boris Karloff in a G-string making X-rated love to a naked Marilyn Monroe type. With Gary Cooper watching.
Now comes Chris Evans who was Captain America in Marvel’s whatever and plans to produce and play Gene Kelly in a new movie. Singer-dancer-actor Gene Kelly danced, sang and etcetera’d in 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain” with Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse — all now gone. It’s labeled “Best Musical Ever Made.”
So who else is in this one? Andrew Saffir — who does all the bigtime movie screenings — answered: “I don’t know. I only know Boris Karloff isn’t.”
More. Gary Oldman, who’s jazzed up a crate of Harry Potter movies: “I met the cast as kids. Now some are married. Grown up.” Yeah, but still has fans.
“Return to Hogwarts” — Harry Potter’s 20th Anniversary — is casting a spell on HBO Max.
Wait. More. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock directed Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in some jewel thief South of France cat burglary robbery thing. It’s coming back. Again. And so what’s a little 68-year difference make except that the newie’s not with Cary and Grace. It’s being remade into a new film to star the “Wonder Woman’s” wonder woman Gal Gadot. I won’t go. I’m still waiting on line for “Gone With the Wind.”
One more. Francis Ford Coppola’s new/old 35mm print coming to the Film Forum. He oversaw the restoration. It’s his conversation about small 1974’s “The Conversation” with Gene Hackman listening into the private chats of Harrison Ford and Cindy Williams.
Coppola: “It dealt with invasion of privacy and its erosive impact on victims and perpetrators. I conceived it 50 years ago. The idea still resonates today.”
“Convo” got three Oscar nominations but lost. Winner that year was “Godfather II.” Also, in case you missed it, that was also Coppola.
His supper cost a song
Don’t go anywhere. I got more. Jackie Gleason’s TV cash register “The Honeymooners.” Coming back to CBS in a female-driven remake. Lady writer. Lady director.
Can’t recall if I told this before — so I’m retelling it in case I haven’t. My late husband, comedian Joey Adams, and I lived on Fifth Avenue, same building as our friend Jackie. We had the 10th floor. He, the penthouse. His bedroom was in red flocked wallpaper. One day our doorbell rang. Gleason. On hands and knees. “Tell Joey I’m broke. I need bread. Tell him I need three grand.”
Understand, Gleason was then TV’s No. 1 comedy star. Earning millions. ”Honeymooners,” his weekly show, on for years, was the big number.
In those days, before credit cards, guys had access to cash. No questions asked, Joey peeled off $3,000. That very night we all had dinner together in a restaurant. Gleason blew the whole $3,000 on hiring a band to serenade Joey.
In line with our new back and forth interstellar moon rockets:
Melvin the Martian lands in New York. The spaceship’s front wheel breaks off. Whizzing past a deli Melvin sees bagels in a deli and radios back: “Get one for a wheel.” He’s told: “Not a wheel. It’s a bagel. You eat them.” Slicing one in half, a waiter offered it to him. Grinned Melvin: “This is great. Needs only cream cheese and lox.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.