When ABC looked at the sagging ratings for "American Bandstand" and decided to cut the show from 60 minutes to 30, it turned out to be a blessing for the long-lived show. Rather than submit to the time cut, "Bandstand" pulled up stakes, moved to first-run syndication and then trumpeted itself as the first series to play on local, network and syndicated TV. So in this hype-infested year of "Bandstand's" 35th anniversary, the next step may have been inevitable: There's now an "American Bandstand" movie in the works. Dick Clark Productions is reportedly working on a film about a group of working-class Philadelphia kids who became national celebrities dancing on "Bandstand," and what happens to them when the show goes national and moves to Hollywood (which is precisely what "Bandstand" did in 1964). Barry Levinson -- who wrote and directed "Diner," which captured the early "Bandstand" era on the East Coast -- is slated to direct.
Xs and Oh Nos Everybody's heard about movies that are initially rated X by the Motion Picture Association of America ratings board: Most of the time the director complains, then the movie is reedited, a few seconds of objectionable material are removed, and it's rated a more commercially palatable R. But Stephen Frears, the director of "My Beautiful Laundrette," has a different kind of problem with the MPAA: The organization's title regulation office has refused to accept the title of his new film, "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid." Frears adamantly resisted the idea of changing his title, so Cinecom, the movie's distributor, took the MPAA to arbitration and lost.
Now it's appealing the arbitrator's decision, and even if Cinecom loses another round it's free to resign from the MPAA's title registration bureau and release the film as is. But if Cinecom does that, its problems won't be over: In Los Angeles, for example, the L.A. Times refused to list the movie's title, billing a recent advance screening simply as "Sneak Preview." The film opens Oct. 30 in six cities.
The Old College Try "The Big Easy" hasn't torn up the box office, but the New Orleans-set thriller did win Dennis Quaid plenty of attention -- and now Quaid will be returning to Louisiana to work with Taylor Hackford, who directed "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "White Nights" and produced "La Bamba." Hackford's next film, which stars Quaid and Jessica Lange, is "Everybody's All-American," a drama set in the milieu of college football at Louisiana State University. Quaid plays a college football star who runs into financial and personal problems after he turns pro; the story covers 30 years, from the 1950s to the present. LSU, it turns out, got the job by accident: The script originally set the action at North Carolina State, while Hackford wanted to shoot in Mississippi until state officials objected to the script's depiction of racism, which they thought would cast the state in an unflattering light.
Film Clips "Like Father Like Son" has been drawing a steady stream of customers to the box office for the past three weeks, and it's had another effect as well: You have to figure the visibility of that Dudley Moore-Kirk Cameron film is one reason Dell Films' "From Father to Son" was just retitled "Blindside." Currently in production and due out early next year, the drama is directed by Foxe Greene and stars Betty Buckley and John Beck ... A film version of Anne Tyler's bestselling novel "The Accidental Tourist" will go into production late this month. Lawrence Kasdan is set to direct for Warner Bros., with William Hurt starring ... A sequel to "Eddie and the Cruisers" is in the works, even though the 1983 film about a '60s rock star flopped when it was first released and found its audience only when it later made it to cable TV. In the original, star Michael Pare lip-synced songs that were sung by John Cafferty; in the sequel, Pare reportedly wants to do his own singing ... And while Mickey Rourke has become a specialist in playing grubby, unshaven characters -- his artistic bum in "Barfly" is the most recent and the grubbiest -- he'll undoubtedly have to clean up his act somewhat when he heads to Italy in February: He'll be there to star as St. Francis of Assisi in "Francesco."