You're sick of the Oscars, I'm sick of the Oscars . . . no more Oscar stuff, OK?
Except for this: Watching the stars gather for the Oscar broadcast Wednesday brought to mind how many TV stars are trying to become movie stars these days.There's a lot of talk about how respectable television has become as a playground for actors, and it does seem more and more that the lines between TV and movies are blurring - but that hasn't stopped actors from trying to get out of the series rut and into theatrical features.
It's hardly a new trend, of course, with everyone from Goldie Hawn to Michael Douglas to Robin Williams to Michael J. Fox having made the transition from a successful TV series to a successful movie career - and sometimes back again (Burt Reynolds, Jamie Lee Curtis)!
But recently it seems to have taken on a new impetus:
Tom Selleck, who finally succeeded in crossing over with "Three Men and a Baby," lost a little steam with the lukewarm "Her Alibi." But "Baby" is a hit on video and should keep his star shining for a couple more films, whether or not they click at the box office.
Likewise, Selleck's "Baby" co-star Ted Danson has his followup film in theaters, "Cousins," which started out with strong box office numbers, but quickly fell off. But Danson, like Michael J. Fox, has not abandoned his TV show. And he's soon to co-star with Selleck again in "Three Men and a Baby II." This guy's no dummy.
Danson's former TV co-star Shelley Long, without a strong movie co-star, such as she had with Bette Midler in "Outrageous Fortune," has fared less well in the solo feature ventures "Hello Again" and "Troop Beverly Hills."
Cybill Shepherd got a strong start in the movies with "The Last Picture Show," but her stiff screen persona helped sink most of her subsequent film projects. Currently she stars in "Chances Are," and she hasn't loosened up any.
Don Johnson tried light comedy last year with "Sweet Hearts Dance," which bombed, and then went back to playing a cop in the rough-and-tumble thriller, "Dead-Bang," which hasn't exactly set box offices on fire.
John Ritter has had a spotty movie career while doing TV series, and his latest, "Skin Deep," probably won't change that.
And Catherine Oxenberg has a co-starring role in "The Lair of the White Worm," which unfortunately shows she is outclassed when surrounded by people who can act.
Perhaps the real sign of movie stardom comes when we have gotten so used to someone in movies that we forget they had a TV series, as with Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, etc.
Whether Selleck, Danson, Long, Shepherd, Johnson, Ritter or Oxenberg - or any others I may have overlooked - will ever achieve that level is something only time will tell.
Interestingly enough, the most successful TV crossover examples these days seem to be the "Saturday Night Live" and "SCTV" comedy veterans - Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Billy Crystal, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Martin Short, Rick Moranis and Steve Martin (though Martin was never a "regular"). Each has been in a few hit movies, but they've also had more than their share of box office duds. Yet no matter how many bad movies in a row they do, their personal stars seem to remain on the rise.
- DID ANYONE ELSE think during the Oscar broadcast that the Revlon ads with Lauren Bacall, Joe Montana, Harry Dean Stanton and others had about 10 times more class and star power than the Oscar show itself?
Except for James Stewart and Kim Novak.
And Candice Bergen and Jacqueline Bisset.
And Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
And Cyd Charisse.
- OK! THIS IS THE last Oscar comment - honest! Did anyone else feel after Sammy Davis Jr. offered a VCR Alert for the clips from Oscarcasts past that they were so short and quick they weren't really anything anyone would want to keep on tape?
The time has come for a video of the best of the Oscar shows, featuring amusing, embarrassing and entertaining highlights from the past 30 or 40 years that they've been broadcast.
It would have to be more entertaining than sitting through the actual 3 1/2-hour Oscar show every year.
- CHEVY CHASE remained the No. 1 box office draw in the country last week, as "Fletch Lives" took in another $5 1/2 million, bringing its two-week total up to $17 million.
Kids went to the movies in force during the spring break, making Disney's animated "The Rescuers" No. 2, followed by the Oscar-winning "Rain Man," "Lean on Me" and the one new film in the top five, Don Johnson's "Dead-Bang."
But "Dead-Bang's" grosses were rather disappointing, as were those of another new film, Shelley Long's "Troop Beverly Hills."
Here's the latest national "top 10" countdown, according to the show business trade papers: