Not quite as saucy as it sounds, Naked Hollywood is a BBC documentary series looking at the business of Hollywood. The first episode is The Actor and the Star. The series has a lot of big name talking heads.
James Caan isn’t complimentary about ‘big movie stars’. “You look at some of these so-called big stars today… They really make light of what it is that I do. Because one guy lifted weights, another guy can’t talk?” This statement coming directly after a clip of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Caan is good value here, listing a number of great films that he ended up turning down.
This episode is very interested in Schwarzenegger, who was, at this time, possibly the biggest movie star in the world. There’s some interesting footage of him at a press junket, where you see some of the things that happen outside of the actual interviews, with him schmoozing the journalists.
Wendy Leigh talks about her unauthorised biography of Schwarzenegger.
Ivan Reitman talking about Arnold: “The idea of having The Terminator or The Predator as a kindergarten teacher…”
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 24th February 1991 – 20:05
The next episode is Four Million Dollars is Cheap and looks at hollywood agents. it opens with James Hong reading from Sun Tsu’s The Art of War.
You can date this show by the number of people in cars on phones which have wires coming out of them.
I wonder how much, if any, hollywood has changed. At this time, Michael Ovitz was the uber-agent, but a few years later, his friend Michael Eisner gave him the job of President of the Walt Disney company, and he completely tanked in the job, and after that, I think he rather disappeared from view.
But he was so powerful that he decided to make his Aikido instructor a huge movie star. That was Steven Seagal.
The programme goes into the scandal of a notorious letter sent by Joe Ezsterhas about the threats that Ovitz made to him when he left his agency to join another. “My footsoldiers will blow you away.”
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd March 1991 – 20:05
The next episode is Good Cop Bad Cop and looks at producers. Here’s Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson.
There’s an amusing scene where they’re looking at Top Gun footage and arguing over what kind of a missile an Exocet is. “No, it’s a ship to air missile.” “So what’s the other kind?”
Simpson tells an actually quite touching story of his first cinema experience, seeing The Greatest Show on Earth, and being so upset by the ending that Bruckheimer teases him that he’s spent his entire life trying to change the ending.
If you get a chance, read High Concept, about Simpson’s rather drug-fuelled life and excesses. This programme doesn’t really cover much of that.
Obst and Hill are the producers on The Fisher King, and part of the programme looks at the production, with the usual problems of going over budget, and lots of rain.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th March 1991 – 20:05
The tape ends just after this programme finishes.