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Penn Pals

October 05, 1986

Fired film publicist Chris Nixon's bleat about how he was treated by Sean Penn during the filming of "Shanghai Surprise" raises disturbing questions (Calendar Letters, Sept. 28).

Are we to assume that if Penn had agreed to the photo call Nixon described, the grosses of "Shanghai Surprise" would have been significantly better?

Would the film have benefitted financially from Nixon's continued employment on the picture?

Has Nixon improved his prospects for future employment by rushing to the typewriter to tittle-tattle about someone who told him to "buzz off"?

If you think the answer to all of the above is "yes," you are suffering from the same curious malaise that attacks self-important film publicists the world over. This unhappy band sadly believe they somehow "shape" careers.

Sorry, Mr. Nixon, it's the work the public judges, not a photograph in Newsweek.

I've seen Penn's work. It's first rate. Actors manage to produce good performances without publicists. Strange but true.


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