January 11, 1988 12:00 PM

For moviegoers who delight in surprises, there should be a screenful in 1988. Like bad boy Sean Penn playing a cop (of all things) in Colors, due in March. Or Sidney Poitier in Shoot to Kill next month, his first screen role in a decade. There will be more, of course. Lots more. For a glimpse at what’s to come in 1988—and what might be worth seeing—sit back, relax and check out these coming attractions:

Saddle Up.

Finding big-time success as a Moonlighting gumshoe, wine-cooler pitchman and white-boy soul singer could cause anyone’s head to swell. What to do? Find a hat that fits, naturally. For Bruce Willis (left), that would be the ten-gallon Stetson of Tom Mix, cowboy star of the early talkies. Willis will ride into Sunset, a film co-starring James Garner and based on a fictional story about the rodeo cowboy-turned-movie hero. Directed by Blake Edwards, the film will be Willis’ second big-screen venture (after last year’s so-so Blind Date), and it just might show whether Willis can fill a movie star’s shoes as well as his hat. (April)

Croc of Hits.

Crocodile Dundee wasn’t meant to have a sequel, but when it became the largest-grossing film worldwide of 1986, Australian Paul Hogan figured the people had spoken. Will the Croc tie the knot with newspaper reporter Sue Charlton, again played by Linda Kozlowski, in Crocodile Dundee II? He’s only promising more action, more reptiles of the toothy variety and the liberal use of fast-moving stuntmen. “I’ll get out of any stunt I can get out of,” says hunk Hogan, 47, “except the love scenes.” (May)

Lions & Tigers & Pee-Wee.

Ooooh, boys and girls! Mr. Paul Reubens, alias Pee-Wee Herman, is right now getting ready to make Big Top Pee-Wee! It’s a kind of surreal movie set in the circus, and Pee-Wee is in love with two women! Pee-Wee does a lot of his own stunts, including the kissing! (Ooooh!) One of the women is Italian actress Valeria Golino, who plays a trapeze artist, and there’s also Kris Kristofferson and a talking pig! They haven’t cast the hippo yet, but as Pee-Wee says, “There is so much cool stuff in the movie!” (July)


Rambo goes to the desert, Michael J. Fox goes to the dogs, John Travolta comes back from oblivion, and Hollywood moviemakers prepare to go to the bank

Yuppie Love.

Plunk Hollywood’s young and restless down in the heavenly Hamptons, and the result is Masquerade, a thriller involving Meg Tilly and Rob Lowe as upscale adolescents involved in a love triangle with newcomer Doug Savant. In traditional Hollywood style, director Bob Swaim leaks that the onscreen chemistry was close between Lowe and Tilly, the latter evolving from awkward to torrid as the film unreels. (March)

Flight of Fancy.

Armed with a script by director Paul Mazursky and Leon (Down And Out In Beverly Hills) Capetanos, Richard Dreyfuss (center) plays an American actor-turned-accidental dictator in Moon Over Parador. Filmed in Brazil, the comedy co-stars Raul Julia as Dreyfuss’ henchman and Sonia Braga as his girlfriend. (April)

Sly in the Sand.

Make room for Rambo III, with monosyllabic Sylvester Stallone and Richard Crenna fighting to save Afghan rebels from their Soviet oppressors. Crenna says this one has an epic look and calls it “Rambo of Arabia.” But seriously, folks, he adds that shooting in Israel, “where there are terrorist acts happening right around you, you get a feeling for the fragility of life.” The location was fraught with troubles caused by both people and camels, but nobody’s really worried about the box office. (May)

Urban Hedonist.

Executive producer Jack Larson went through five scripts before filming Bright Lights, Big City, which stars Michael J. Fox (above, with Gina Belafonte) as a young intellectual adrift in wicked Manhattan’s world of clubs and coke. The movie, which Larson says sticks closely to author Jay McInerney’s seriocomic novel, also stars Kiefer Sutherland, Swoosie Kurtz and John Houseman.(March)


Take my plot—please: Sally Field will play a stand-up comic in Punchline with Tom Hanks (March)….

The Robert Redford-directed Milagro Beanfield War, about a water rights battle in New Mexico, will finally sprout this March….

John Hughes, having finished exploring the high school years The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink) goes on to parenthood in She’s Having a Baby, with Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern (February)…

Dan Aykroyd and real-life wife Donna Dixon will star in Couch Trip, about an asylum escapee who takes over a dial-a-shrink radio show (January)…

The multiple-buddy flick Eight Men Out stars Charlie Sheen, Studs Terkel and John Sayles (who also wrote and directed) in the tale of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox scandal…

Staying alive, career-wise, John Travolta returns in The Experts as a disco owner who discovers that his small Midwestern town is actually a hotbed of Russian spies.


It’s déjà view all over again as TV gives a new look to past classics and turns best-selling books into prime-time miniseries

Worth a Whistle.

Like PBS’ 1986 tribute to Spencer Tracy by Katharine Hepburn, Bacall on Bogart, be a 90-minute retrospective of Humphrey Bogart, hosted by his wife and co-star Lauren Bacall (above, with Bogie in The Big Sleep). There will be clips from Bogie’s films plus interviews with old pals. (March)

Wagnerian Enterprise.

Cary Grant was Indiscreet on the big screen in 1958; Robert Wagner will take on the role—as a dashing American diplomat—for CBS, with Lesley-Anne Down in the part Ingrid Bergman made famous. Wagner will also go to Hong Kong to shoot a Hart to Hart ABC TV movie (no airdate as yet) and CBS’ Windmills of the Gods, a miniseries about diplomatic intrigue. (February)

Hep Cats Return.

“Hey, nostalgia is in—it’s warm, it’s family, it’s Middle America, it’s hot!” This from Dwayne Hickman, an executive producer at CBS, who grew up playing Dobie Gillis back in the early ’60s and couldn’t resist an encore. In the network’s Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis, Hickman returns as a Muppie (Middle-age Urban Professional), now married to the brainy Zelda (Sheila James) and pop to a befuddling teenager of his own. Even Bob Denver (top left, center, with Hickman and James today), as Maynard G. Krebs, is back. Like, hey, Dobie, high concept! (February)

Monkey Business.

Spencer Tracy and Fredric March starred in the movie classic Inherit the Wind (above) about the Scopes evolution trial in 1925 Tennessee. Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards (right) will brave the slightly altered remake for NBC. Director David Greene says that the preacher who objects to Darwinism will be played “not as a blowhard, but as someone who has intensely sincere intentions.” Take heart, Pat Robertson. (March)


Katharine Hepburn plays a jet-set writer who moves in with a middle-class family in the NBC TV movie Guest Appearance (spring)….

Pierce Brosnan is the noble presence in Noble House, the four-night NBC miniseries based on James Clavell’s best-seller about finance and romance in Hong Kong (February)….

Sid Caesar, Milton Berle and Danny Thomas become the Calvin Kleins of the senior citizen set when they design fashionable jeans for oldsters in the CBS movie Side by Side (spring)….

Mary Tyler Moore plays Mary Todd to Sam Waterston’s presidential presence in NBC’s Lincoln, a micro series based on Gore Vidal’s fictional biography (spring). … Elvis lives again—again—when ABC airs a miniseries version of Priscilla Presley’s book, Elvis and Me. (February)


A Michigan mom, a rock grandpa, a Broadway hit man and other greats find the groove

Punk Parent’s Rock Rebirth.

Patti Smith, former high priestess of punk, will release her first LP in eight years. Recorded with hubby Fred “Sonic” Smith, onetime guitarist with the MC5, the still-untitled album will include a lullaby to their son Jackson, 5, and songs about “how people communicate on a spiritual and emotional level,” says Patti, now 42. (March)

Another Pretty Face.

If hype can be weighed, then British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife, Sarah Brightman, are packing plenty of excess baggage to the New York opening of Phantom of the Opera. Lloyd Webber’s London-born pop opera, starring Brightman and Michael Crawford (above), hit some snags coming stateside when Actors Equity initially ruled against her performing on Broadway. “No Sarah, no show,” huffed Lloyd Webber, and the dispute was quickly resolved. All the hoopla, however, and Lloyd Webber’s past track record (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats) has helped turn Phantom into Broadway’s hottest ticket. (January)

Boss Gets Job.

Antique rocker Roy Orbison, recording his first new LP since 1979, knows whom to call as co-songwriters: Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and ex-Sex-Pistol Steve Jones. Also on hand: producer T-Bone Burnett and Los Lobos vocalist David Hidalgo. (March)

Soft Rock of Ages.

Sweet baby James Taylor hasn’t had a hit single since 1979’s Up on the Roof, but he remains a solid concert attraction. That probably explains his forthcoming LP, Never Die Young, which Taylor calls his most “live-sounding” record to date. Fans needn’t fear any new hard edges. All 10 songs were written or co-written by Taylor, and their overall sound is “very Southwestern,” he says. (January)


David Lee Roth wanted “something that you can listen to from beginning to end and not have to fast-forward through.” Skyscraper, his new LP expected later this month, is “a good bellyful of rock ‘n’ roll,” he says, and no doubt something worth hitting the replay button for….

Beach Boy Brian Wilson sails in with his first-ever solo LP, Love And Mercy, this spring, and his round-the-clock shrink, Dr. Eugene Landy, is getting executive producer credit….

Ever-unpredictable Joni Mitchell corralled Billy Idol, ex-Eagle Don Henley, Willie Nelson and hubby-bassist Larry Klein for Chalkmark in a Rainstorm, a February release that she says has a “Norwegian-Afro-Cuban” feel….

Not to be beaten in the ethnic department, the Talking Heads will include Arabian, Indian and African musicians on a recording in early spring….

Expect some more pop psychology—as well as mandolins and accordions—from Timbuk 3’s Pat MacDonald and Barbara Kooyman when Eden Alley hits the stores late in February…. Also due: albums from Bob Dylan, Art Garfunkle and (holy marimbas!) Appollonia.


Fergie in a net, an Olympian on ice, a football star who basks on the bench and some birthdays you certainly won’t want to miss…

What’s Snood?

No longer content to play me-too in the fashion game, Fergie, the Duchess of York, has heralded the return of the snood, a decorative hair net. Invented to keep equestriennes from snarling their manes in low branches, the snood had its last fling in the ’40s. Fergle uses hers for evening; it hangs from her signature black velvet hair bow. Princess Diana has worn one in Spain, under a black matador hat, although she has much less to hold up, on the hair front. No problem—short-haired women can buy the new snood with fake hair already in it.

Blade Runner.

American Brian Boitano, 24, just might cop the men’s figure-skating gold medal at the February Winter Olympics in Calgary. If, that is, he can pull off the world’s first quadruple jump, something he’s only done in practice. A banker’s son and the No. 2 figure skater behind Canada’s Brian Orser, 26, Boitano says, “If I didn’t think I could do the quad, I wouldn’t do it.”


John Updike describes his next novel, S, as “Hester Prynne’s side of The Scarlet Letter,” updated. His protagonist flees her middle-class 1986 life to live in an Arizona ashram. The story unfolds entirely through her letters and tapes home, a “technical challenge,” says Updike. As for creating a woman’s voice, “the American man grows up surrounded by female voices all his life,” he says. “I had no trouble.” (Knopf, March)

Ups and Downs.

Since their debut exactly 50 years ago, nylon stockings haven’t always had it smooth. Wildly popular after their development by DuPont, they were scarce during World War II, then for decades vied in popularity with other synthetic hosiery. DuPont now moves $3 billion in nylons a year, however, and says that sales of its half-century-old miracle wrap are holding up nicely once again.

Supreme Achievement.

Fifty years ago this June a University of Colorado football player did more than graduate tops in his class. He left school with an NCAA all-purpose yardage record of 246.3 yards per game. The record still stands, although the player—Supreme Court Justice Byron White (the tall guy in the top row at right and below in 1937)—was benched long ago.


It’s true. Mickey Mouse, who first appeared (but had no dialogue) in the cartoon Steamboat Willie back in 1928, turns 60 this year. In his honor, the big cheeses at Disney will offer a new book (Mickey Mouse: His Life and Times), birthday bashes at their two theme parks and probably enough new Mickey merchandise to make even Minnie (also 60) reach for the traps.


“Twoallbeefpatties-specialsaucelettuce-cheesepicklesonions-onasesameseedbun” is a registered trademark of the McDonald’s Corporation. It is also the recipe for Big Macs, the fast-food double burger that begins its third decade in 1988…

Older but no less beefy: Superman, who made his first appearance in comic books in the summer of 1938…

Other birthdays: Scotch tape and the first full-length movie talkie (60), 12-inch LP records, Nikon cameras and Dial soap (40), the Bank Americard and the American Express credit card (30) and The Whole Earth Catalog(20)…

Things to look for in 1988: fitness walking, the return of the martini, the rose motif on everything from men’s braces to women’s bras, water buffalo meat (less fat than beef) and a new President-elect…

Finally, on June 12th, the folks in Des Moines, Iowa, will welcome “The First-Ever World Pork Expo,” a two-day get-together featuring pig races, barbecues, Pork U T-shirts, scholarship contests for would-be bacon-raisers and an expected 75,000 visitors. Noting that 65 percent of the nation’s hogs are raised within a 300-mile radius of Des Moines, the National Pork Producers Council believes that the event will be anything but, ah, boaring.

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