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A second helping of `Fast Food'

March 04, 2007|Susan King

The life after: Richard Linklater is one of contemporary cinema's most iconoclastic directors. He's directed films in myriad genres: comedies -- the cult stoner fave "Dazed and Confused" -- and animated dramas, commercial family films and edgy westerns.

But his latest, "Fast Food Nation," didn't whet the appetite of critics or audiences. Based on the nonfiction book by Eric Schlosser, who co-wrote the adaptation, the film -- which arrives Tuesday on DVD -- gives a not very savory look at America's fast-food industry.

Linklater gathered a strong cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Wilmer Valderrama and Bruce Willis. But the negative reviews outweighed the positive notices and "Fast Food Nation" took in barely $1 million domestically in 77 days of release.

Be there, aloha

* The 411 on Five-O: Jack Lord played CIA agent Felix Leiter to Sean Connery's James Bond in the very first 007 movie, 1962's "Dr. No," and was even considered for the role of Capt. Kirk in the original "Star Trek."

But he didn't achieve real stardom until the classic CBS cop series "Hawaii Five-O." The show, which was an instant hit when it premiered in September 1968, makes its DVD debut Tuesday.

Lord, whose visage and hair never moved during the series' 12 seasons, played tough-as-nails Det. Steve McGarrett, who headed up Five-O, a squad of the Hawaiian State Police that reported directly to the governor.

James MacArthur was McGarrett's right-hand man, Danny "Danno" Williams -- "Book 'em, Danno" became the series' main catchphrase. Shot on location in Hawaii, the series featured memorable villains, including Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh), and the catchy instrumental theme song performed by the Ventures hit No. 4 on the Billboard charts.

"Hawaii Five-O" was the longest-running police show in TV history until, in 2005, ABC's "NYPD Blue" tied the series' record.

Because CBS had built expensive production facilities in Honolulu for "Hawaii Five-O," when the show went off the air, it was replaced with another popular -- and more lighthearted -- Hawaii-based detective series, "Magnum, P.I."

Truly, a lost boy

* Unhappily ever after: This Tuesday, Disney will unveil a special two-disc edition of the 1953 animated family film "Peter Pan." The hit was the last film child actor Bobby Driscoll was involved in at the Disney studio. Though "Peter Pan" was an animated film, Driscoll was the model for James M. Barrie's mischievous boy and supplied the voice for the character.

After making his film debut at age 6 in 1943, the young actor appeared in several Disney films including 1946's "Song of the South," 1948's "So Dear to My Heart" and 1950's "Treasure Island." He even received a special juvenile Academy Award for his performance in the 1949 film noir "The Window."

After the release of "Peter Pan," Disney terminated his second five-year contract two years early. Driscoll got married in 1956 and had three children. But with Hollywood no longer calling, he became a drug addict and was arrested several times for drug possession, assault and forgery. He spent six months in prison and was committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Driscoll eventually moved to New York and his last film appearance was in Piero Heliczer's 1965 underground movie, "Dirt," which was produced by Andy Warhol.

On March 30, 1968, his body was found in an East Village tenement by two boys playing in the building. He had died of a heart attack brought on by liver failure and advanced arteriosclerosis. He was only 31.

Because he had no ID on him, Driscoll was buried in a potter's field on Hart Island. A year after his death, a fingerprint match was made and Driscoll was identified. He remains buried on Hart Island.


-- Susan King

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