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INTO THE NIGHT / BETTY GOODWIN

'Article 99': Highs, Lows of a Premiere

March 06, 1992|BETTY GOODWIN

The Scene: The L. A. premiere Wednesday at the Directors Guild of "Article 99," a movie with a hot young cast and a story about medical anarchy in a Veterans Administration hospital. The event benefited Far From Home Foundation, an organization that draws attention to homeless veterans, and Citizen Action, which promotes national health insurance.

The Buzz: Although people genuinely liked the film, the mood was depressing. There are 60,000 homeless vets in Southern California, according to Far From Home's president Steve Peck. And, Orion Pictures, which is releasing the film later this month, is in dire straits, having recently declared bankruptcy and started the process of doling out pink slips. But, hey, Orion will have its final blowout at Rex following the Academy Awards.

Who Was There: The film's director, Howard Deutch, and wife Lea Thompson, who plays a bespectacled physician in the movie, plus other cast members Ray Liotta, Kiefer Sutherland, John C. McGinley, Kathy Baker and Troy Evans; producers Michael Gruskoff and Michael I. Levy, and screenwriter Ron Cutler. Also there, Ron Kovic, Oscar nominee Laura Dern, Kate Jackson, John Lithgow, George Peppard, Jodie Foster and Alan Thicke with Gloria Allred.

Point/Counterpoint: Commenting on this week's Daily Variety headline, "Bloodletting Begins at Orion," on a story about 200 Orion employees expected to be fired soon, Mike Kaiser, Orion's president of marketing, said, "There's no bloodletting going on. It's a downsizing."

New Breed of Actor: Troy Evans, who plays one of the movie's veterans, is a real-life vet. Asked how he turned to acting, Evans replied, "I went to Vietnam and came back a raving psychotic maniac. I was arrested 20 times in two years. I ended up in prison, sobered up, and I said to myself, 'I bet nobody asks an actor if he has a felony conviction.' So I became an actor."

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