For, Friday, May 8, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sometimes, back when I was the film critic at the Deseret News, I would build a ‘Hicks on Flicks’ column from what today might be called ‘Odd News,’ items that would have been right at home in Ripley’s old ‘Believe it or Not’ newspaper comic. Here’s an example that was published on Sept. 20, 1987 — under the headline ‘Odds and ends (take your pick) from our movie critic’s desk’ — and includes something related to ‘Fatal Attraction,’ which is reviewed below.

Here are some odds and ends that recently cropped up in movie-related news — actually more odds than ends.

THERE’S A NEW exercise designed for Marx Brothers fans — “Groucho Running.”

That’s sort of like jogging, except that you have to lower your pelvis, bend at the knees and employ the gait that Groucho Marx used when walking about in all those movies from “Cocoanuts” through “Love Happy.”

Would you believe this exercise in exercise was created by a Harvard professor of biology, one Dr. Thomas McMahon by name? So reports the Sept. 21 issue of People magazine.

McMahon actually published a paper on the subject, suggesting “Groucho Running” is shock-reducing because it decreases body stiffness associated with normal running and uses more energy, making it a better workout.

Glasses, morning coat, cigar and raised eyebrows are optional.


HOLLYWOOD RESIDENTS AND tourists last week saw more than just traffic jams paying homage to the visit by the Pope.

Pranksters altered the “Hollywood” sign high in the hills above Los Angeles by wrapping plastic around the first “L” so that it would read “Holywood.”

That’s not the first time the 55-foot tall “Hollywood” sign has been changed by jokesters, however. It once read “Holywood” on an Easter Sunday, and after Lt. Col. Oliver North testified at the Iran-Contra hearings it was altered to “Ollywood.”

We won’t talk about the time marijuana possession penalties were reduced and someone changed it to “Hollyweed.”

Kind of makes the letters painted on mountains above Utah’s colleges seem tame, doesn’t it? After all, how creative can you get with a “U”?


                           James Dearden

OBSERVANT MOVIEGOERS MAY notice the odd screenwriting credit given to James Dearden for “Fatal Attraction.” His billing in the opening credits reads: “Screenplay by James Dearden, based on his original screenplay.”


Apparently Dearden adapted the screenplay from a script for a short movie he wrote and directed. But that seems like a ridiculous credit line.

How about “ … based on this theft of ideas better handled in ‘Play Misty For Me.’ ”

DID YOU SEE the news story last week about the robbery suspect in Sacramento who held up a savings & loan, then fled into a mall where he bought a ticket to a movie theater playing “Robocop”?

True story.

He sat down in the front row and became so engrossed in the film that he didn’t notice police evacuating the other patrons behind him. He was arrested after police switched on the house lights and got his attention.

And he didn’t even get to see how “Robocop” ended.