Lots of movies are made and never released, most often because a studio simply considers them unsalable. But the unreleased drama "Judgment" may be a first: It's on the shelf because its financier and its female star are involved in acrimonious divorce proceedings, and by most accounts he doesn't want to promote her career.
The couple involved are Texas real estate baron Robert Trammell Crow and actress-turned-model Emilia Crow, who began work on the gang-related film under happier circumstances several years ago. As the marriage deteriorated so did the production, though writer-director Bill Sachs managed to finish the movie in 1989 with help from the likes of Elliott Gould and Karen Black.
Since then "Judgment" has been on hold, even though European distribution rights were sold for more than $2 million. A letter from Crow to his wife, which was introduced as evidence in the divorce proceedings, threatens to keep the movie unreleased until she agrees to his terms for the divorce. "Money I have lots of," he wrote. "I can wait forever." But she might not have to wait: Last month, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge okayed the foreign release, calling its delay "juvenile." The movie's American release, though, is still uncertain. Screen Talk
The nation's movie exhibitors are meeting this week in Las Vegas for the annual National Association of Theater Owners/ShoWest convention, and they'll have plenty to talk about.
The proliferation of movie theaters, to the point at which the United States now has a record 23,689 screens;
The decreased number of movies being released to fill those screens;
The trend toward movies that have huge opening weekends, when the studios receive up to 90 percent of the gross, and then drop quickly before the percentages turn in favor of the theaters;
And Disney chief Jeff Katzenberg's widely leaked internal memo that dissected the movie business and concluded that Hollywood should forget about making hugely expensive blockbusters and try to make smaller movies.
The organization is also giving out its Platinum Reel and Golden Reel awards for movies that grossed more than $100 million between September 1989 and September 1990. This year's Platinum Reel winner, for the biggest-grossing film during that period, is "Ghost," followed by Golden Reel winners "Pretty Woman," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Look Who's Talking," "The Hunt for Red October," "Total Recall," "Back to the Future Part II," "Dick Tracy," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Die Hard 2."
The first two movies on that list are the type of sleepers Katzenberg praised in his memo; five of the remaining eight films are the kind of big-budget extravaganzas he condemned ...
Richard Attenborough and Universal Pictures have gone their separate ways on Attenborough's planned film biography of Charlie Chaplin, which until last week had been in pre-production at Universal. The director plans to take the movie to another studio. So far, he told Daily Variety, Robert Downey Jr. is his pick out of the actors who've auditioned for the role of Chaplin ...
Dustin Hoffman will follow in the footsteps of Douglas Fairbanks and play Scaramouche in "Fatal Attraction" writer James Deardon's version of the Rafael Sabatini novel about an 18th-century Frenchman who vows revenge for his brother's death ...
Columbia Pictures will make film versions of the plays "Lost in Yonkers," "A Few Good Men" and "Love Letters" this year. The first of those projects comes from the new Neil Simon comedy now in a pre-Broadway run at the National Theatre, the second (which will be directed by Rob Reiner) from Andrew Sorkin's drama about an Army court-martial, and the third from an A.R. Gurney play in which a couple sit behind desks and read their letters to each other.