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Movie news for the week of July 6, 1990

Brief updates from the film world including scoop on Andrew Dice Clay, ”Die Hard,” and Pedro Almodovar

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No Dice
Wherever foulmouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay goes, trouble just seems to follow. First, there was the flap in May when he was host of Saturday Night Live. Now, it’s his new movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, that has people riled. An ad hoc underground protest group, Activists Against Sexist Pigs, took credit recently for defacing a billboard advertising the picture in Los Angeles. Marketing execs at Twentieth Century Fox, which is releasing the movie, decided not to replace the sigg, since it was scheduled to come down shortly, and had it painted over instead. In another incident, a banner attacking Fox chairman Barry Diller was hung over a six-story Ford Fairlane mural. The controversy over Clay certainly helped boost SNL‘s ratings. Fox will know soon whether the current commotion translates to big box office as well.

Berating the Ratings
When Miramax Films received an X rating for Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s latest movie, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, they were fit to be, well, you know what. After refusing the X and releasing the film as ”unrated,” the company next filed suit against the Motion Picture Association of America charging that the rating system is ”arbitrary.” Lawyer William Kunstler, representing Miramax, submitted a videotape containing scenes from five R-rated American films — Blue Velvet, The Accused, 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, and The Postman Always Rings Twice — that he argued were more graphic than the offending sexual footage in Almodóvar’s movie .This is only the third time in 22 years that the MPAA’s rating system has been challenged in court. New York Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos is expected to deliver a ruling this month.

Die Harder Dividends
With a budget estimated at $60 million by some industry observers, Die Hard 2 takes top honors as the summer’s most expensive movie. But author Walter Wager, whose novel 58 Minutes provided the basis for the Bruce Willis- starring sequel, walked away with only $250,000. ”It’s small potatoes by Hollywood standards,” Wager concedes. ”But the IRS and I are both very happy. Everybody to whom I owed money is celebrating. I paid off my debts, back taxes, and everything. And to my amazement, I actually have $8 left.” Just enough to cover a ticket to the movie.

You’re So Vain
Barbara Walters thought she had pulled off quite a coup when she snagged the normally reclusive Warren Beatty for an interview on her Oscar-night special. Beatty didn’t have much to say that evening, but since then he hasn’t shut up. Interviews with the producer-director-star of Dick Tracy have appeared in Newsweek, Premiere, Rolling Stone, Us, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, USA Today, Liz Smith’s column, Roger Ebert’s column, and Entertainment Weekly. In addition, Beatty has batted his eyes disingenuously on The Arsenio Hall Show, rolled his eyes in exasperation as Phil Donahue inquired whether he had ever slept with Madonna, and appeared on PrimeTime Live, 20/20, Regis & Kathie Lee, Larry King, and Late Night With David Letterman. As Warren said to Phil, ”(I’m a) publicity machine.” Which, when you think about it, is definitely a lot worse than being known as a sex machine.