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No 'Dice' at Edwards Movie Houses in O.C.

May 17, 1991|MARK I. PINSKY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Andrew Dice Clay's controversial concert movie, "Dice Rules," won't beplaying on any of the 100-plus Edwards theater screens in Orange County, said the chain's chairman, James Edwards Sr., because the film does not meet the "high artistic standard" he sets for films rated NC-17, which supplanted the old X rating.

The 200-theater Loews theater chain also declined to book the Dice film, citing the comic's heavily derogatory remarks about ethnic and national groups, women, gays and the disabled, among others. "Dice Rules" was dropped by its initial distributor, 20th Century Fox, and later picked up by an independent.

Edwards said that, over the years, the Newport Beach-based chain has screened a few X-rated films--"Midnight Cowboy" and "A Clockwork Orange"--and, last year, "Henry and June," which carried the new rating, NC-17.

"Dice Rules" does not meet Edwards' standard, he said, "from what I have heard." This criterion is necessary because most of his theaters are in multiplexes that cater to family and mainstream audiences, he said.

No other Orange County movie houses have booked the film, which opens today in limited release around the country. Edwards owns substantially more screens in Orange County than any other exhibitor.

But James Edwards emphasized that the decision on "Dice Rules" does not mean the chain is shrinking from controversial or non-mainstream bookings. In fact, he said, Edwards' three-screen South Coast Plaza Village complex in Santa Ana, purchased last year from the UA chain, has been shifted to an "art policy," featuring specialized and foreign-language films that might not have "the usual high commercial values," he said. Now playing, for example, are "Impromptu," a European film based on the lives of George Sand, Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin; the French thriller "La Femme Nikita," and the BBC-produced "Truly, Madly, Deeply."

Such films, which in the past played at Edwards' single-screen Lido in Newport Beach, will now go to South Coast Plaza Village.

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