New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 7, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Douglas is a quiet movie tycoon
By Richard Ashton
Copley News Service
With the release of the exciting computer thriller “Disclosure" hitting video stores everywhere, it is hard to remember that there is more to Michael Douglas than just being a movie superstar. Behind the scenes, Douglas is also a wildly successful producer of both Oscar-winning and financially successful films.
For years, Douglas struggled as an actor. Best known as “son of Kirk,” he worked as an assistant on many of his famous father’s films.
Douglas’ first big break was playing sidekick to Karl Malden in television’s “The Streets of San Francisco."
However, his ambitions were bigger than that, and following in his father’s footsteps, he optioned a book to be made into a film. That book was Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The landmark film won five Oscars, including one for Douglas as producer for l est Film.
He produced and co-starred in “The China Syndrome,” the release of which coincided with the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island. The subsequent publicity of that incident thrust the nuclear-crisis thriller into the limelight and made the film a box-office success.
Finding that level of topicality has been a common theme with Douglas’ films. “Fatal Attraction,” “Basic Instinct” and “Disclosure” all attracted unprecedented media attention because of their sexual content and the reversal of the typical sexual roles. And again, all three films were hits at the box office.
The highlight of Douglas’ career was Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street," for which he won the Oscar for Best Actor, which was presented by his father, Kirk. Douglas played the viciously greedy Wall Street trader Gordon Gekko, and he pro-
By Lee Littlewood Copley News Service Now that school’s about to begin, kids need exciting new books to open their eyes and get the reading juices flowing. Youngsters will love these.
Demi Moore lays clueing or starring
photo by Copley News Service
a snare for Michael Douglas in Disclosure. Douglas has created an empire for himself proin box office hits from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to Disclosure.
“Wig!” by the B-52’s; pictures by Laura Levine; Hyperion Books for Children; 32 pages; $14.95.
Rock’s wacky B-52’s are upbeat, lighthearted and perfectly suited to create a children’s picture book. The popular rockers’ far-out lyrics sing about rock lobsters, dogs dyed green, a planet named Claire and wigs on fire. The latter is part of their song, “Wig!” now made into one of the most fun and zany picture books I’ve seen. And Laura Levine’s pictures add the complimentary vava-voom to make “Wig!” the kitschy, rollicking book o’ fun that it is.
With “What’s that on your head? A wig!” “Fred bought his hairpiece at the thrift store — you know why? Because he didn’t want TO PAY!” and “It’s 2525 ... and we’ve
vided the lifeblood of the film. Gordon Gekko is one of the great screen villains, but Douglas didn’t overplay the bad-guy aspect of the character.
With “Disclosure,” Douglas maintains his position as one of the most popular leading men in the movies. With only a few exceptions, his films are huge financial successes, and Douglas seems to constantly have his finger on the pulse of what the public wants to see.
• “Disclosure” starring Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland and Dennis Miller. Directed by Barry Levison. 1995 (Warner Home Video — 124 minutes).
Douglas plays a manufacturing executive at a computer firm who
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finds himself forced out of the company and at the wrong end of a sexual harassment suit. He has to fight off the accusations of the predatory Moore while figuring out the corporate power play going on at the office.
e “The China Syndrome” starring Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Scott Brady and Wilford Brimley. Directed by James Bridges. 1979 (Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video — 123 minutes).
Douglas and Fonda are a TV news team who happens to witness a near meltdown at a nuclear power station. Despite denials from power station executives, Fonda and Douglas investigate the case and discover a massive cover-up. When they persuade power station worker Lemmon to tell the truth, he barricades himself in the plant.
• “Wall Street” starring Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, Martin Sheen and Terence Stamp. Directed by Oliver Stone. 1987 (Fox Home Video — 124 minutes).
Sheen stars as a Wall Street wannabe. In an attempt to impress his hero, corporate raider Gordon Gekko, he mentions his father’s (played by Sheen’s real-life dad, Martin) airline business as a potential investment. With his inside information the investment looks at
tractive, and Gekko seduces Sheen into the high-flying world of high finance. Too late, he finds that Gekko has been manipulating him all the time, with dire consequences for his father.
• “Basic Instinct” starring Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza, Jeanne Tripple-hom and Denis Arndt. Directed by Paul Verhoeven. 1992 (Live Home Video —127 minutes).
Stone became a sensation with her role as the bisexual killer in this sexy thriller. Douglas plays the detective investigating Stone, but he soon falls under her spell and he might be her next victim.
• “Fatal Attraction” starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Stuart Pankin and Fred Gwynne. Directed by Adrian Lyne. 1987 (Paramount Home Video —119 minutes).
Douglas stars as a married man who has a brief affair with Close. Thinking the fling is behind him, Douglas is shocked to find that Close won’t leave him alone. Close becomes psychotic when Douglas ignores her, then she starts to harass his family.
o “Romancing the Stone” starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen
Turner, Danny DeVito, Alfonso Ar-au, Manuel Ojeda. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. 1984 (Fox Home Video — 105 minutes).
Delightful action/comedy in the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” vein. Douglas plays an adventurer who becomes involved with a romance novelist (Turner) when she gets lost in the jungle. Together they get tangled up in a crazy plot to find a missing diamond. Douglas' longtime pal DeVito co-stars.
e “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Scatman Crothers and Danny DeVito. Directed by Milos Forman. (The Saul Zanetz Co. — 133 minutes).
Douglas produced this stunning film, which stars Nicholson as a convict who feigns insanity in order to get an easy sentence in a lunati c asylum. But Nicholson soon finds the rules and regulations in the asylum overwhelming and Vies to rebel against the system. Meanwhile, his unsettling presence allows the other patients to find themselves for the first time. Fletcher won a well-deserved Oscar for her portrayal of the stern Nurse Rachett.
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and their voices were loud.” He then was “given a new set of clothes. Soon I looked like a wrangler from my head to my toes. But there’s more to a cowboy than boots and a hat. I found out the next day and the day after that.”
What happens after that fulfills any young cowpoke’s fantasies as Bleff becomes a true buckaroo and saves the day.
Teague’s illustrations are retro and comical, making the Plains of cowboy land look spacious and ripe for ropin’.
“The Magic Bicycle” by Berlie Doherty; illustrated by Christian Birmingham; Crown; 32 pages; $16.
One of the most frustrating tasks of young childhood is learning to ride a “grown-up” two-wheeler. This magical story tells of a little boy with a gap between his teeth and the ups and downs that occur as he tries to master his new bike.
“My brother can glide it round and round. Jenny can race it up and down. Even my uncle can wobble astride it. Everybody I know can ride it,” goes the verse, until the boy decides magic must be involved. He tries, he falls and he dreams, while Birmingham’s illustrations showcase all his emotions, from disappointment to glee. Eventually he succeeds and glides above the clouds, “like a bird over mountains, like a ship over oceans, to the end of the world, I had magic in me."
Youngsters learning to ride will empathize with “The Magic Bicycle."
‘Where s Waldo?’
“Where’* Waldo? In Hollywood” by Martin Hnndford; Candlewick Presa; 32 page*; $7.99.
Not exactly a reading book, but tons of fun, the “Where’s Waldo?" series is a huge hit with 5- to 10-year-olds. The latest installment, in paperback for the first time, has already been a No. I best seller in hardback. Handford’s ultrapopular “Waldo" series has sold over 30 million copies and with the paperback being half the price of a hardback, “Wheres Waldo’ in Hollywood” should up that number even higher.
Waldo and his friends hide in movie sets of westerns, dance numbers, epic battle scenes, horror flicks and “Robin Hood” extravaganzas. Searching for the little guy (and even a dog bone and film canister) makes me dizzy but thrills kids
“Press-Out Books”: “Ante Ark,” “Dinosaurs,” “Farm A mal*" and “Things That Go,” Dc teg Kindersley; 16 pages; $6 each.
Dorling Kindersley’s “Press-( Books” each include 50 pressc double-sided photographs of ch acters and a backdrop. Kids oh than 3 can stand the little char ten up and create their own i ventures with the pullout scenes
“Animal Ark” offers plenty the four-legged variety and a T ah’s Ark scene; “Dinosaurs” is I of favorite beasts and a nature a ting; “Farm Animals” contain] barnyard backdrop while “Thii That Go" contains an abundance cycles as well as a garage a roadway scene.
The set is bound to keep 3-6-year-olds busy for hours as ti playact and fantasize in any u they want.