Whitney Houston is one of the lucky ones. She hit it big in her first movie role, while most other stars would like to forget-and hope you never discover- their dreaded debuts. Unfortunately for them, video sadistically ensures that the films will always be around. ACTOR/ROLE ALEC BALDWIN as Buck, a New York cop going to night school FILM Forever, Lulu (1987, Columbia TriStar) Unemployed woman (Hanna Schygulla) is depressed because there are no available men in the city. MEMORABLE LINE ”Parting is such sweet sorrow.” GREATEST MOMENT Has sex with Schygulla among the seafood in a Fulton Fish Market warehouse. HISTORICAL NOTE First sighting of Baldwin’s famously hairy chest.
ACTOR/ROLE Annette Bening as Kate, wife of a boob (Dan Aykroyd) FILM The Great Outdoors (1987, MCA/Universal) Two urban couples have stupefying time on log-cabin vacation. MEMORABLE LINE ”Sometimes I think the only way I’ll get any pleasure is by leaning against the washer….” GREATEST MOMENT Admires Aykroyd’s abilities on horseback. HISTORICAL NOTE Director Milos Forman kindly did not bring up this film when interviewing Bening for a role in Valmont.
ACTOR/ROLE Beau Bridges as a taunting school kid FILM The Red Pony (1949, Republic) Boy (Peter Miles) goes to pieces over illfated pet pony. MEMORABLE LINE ”Might’s ain’t gettin’s.” GREATEST MOMENT Prepubescent Bridges emerges from another child’s dream; has trouble spitting out his one line. HISTORICAL NOTE Director Lewis Milestone shared beachfront summer property with Bridges’ dad, Lloyd.
ACTOR/ROLE Kevin Costner as John Logan, dude-ranch owner FILM Sizzle Beach, U.S.A. (1974, Vidmark) Three wild bikinis go in search of a hot time in the Jacuzzi. MEMORABLE LINE ”L.A. women seem to be very impressed with money, and I want to keep a low profile.” GREATEST MOMENT Seduces woman by a fire, all the while wearing his cowboy hat. HISTORICAL NOTE His billing was bumped up for the 1986 release.
ACTOR/ROLE Harrison Ford as a bellhop FILM Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966, Columbia TriStar) A convoluted sex-and- money caper starring James Coburn. MEMORABLE LINE ”Paging Mr. Ellis.” Delivers telegram to Coburn, who doesn’t tip him. HISTORICAL NOTE This was Ford’s first gig under a seven-year contract with Columbia, starting at $150 a week.
ACTOR/ROLE Julia Roberts as Maria Collogero, demure daughter of a grape grower FILM Blood Red (1986, New Line) Turf wars among 19th-century Italian immigrant vintners, starring Julia’s brother, Eric. MEMORABLE LINE ”Si, Papa.” GREATEST MOMENT Leans on tree trunk in distress while dad is dragged by a horse, shot, and strung up. HISTORICAL NOTE * When she was still a nobody, she got the job through her brother, Eric- remember him?
ACTOR/ROLE William Shatner as Alexey Karamazov, a priest with siblings FILM The Brothers Karamazov (1958, MGM/UA) Dostoyevsky Lite about internecine warfare in czarist Russia. MEMORABLE LINE ”Dmitri, we all need love.” GREATEST MOMENT Uses all the platitudes at his disposal to subdue excitable older brother (Yul Brynner). HISTORICAL NOTE Playing diplomatic type was good preparation for his lifelong task of keeping Klingons in line
Jami Bernard, author of the new book First Films (Citadel Press)