Live a Little, Kill a Little," "The Flame and the Pussycat," "Slay, Gypsy, Slay" and "The Fun-Fun-Killer."
If you have a good memory for colorful television, you might recognize the above as episode titles to Anne Francis' fabulous, short-lived series, Honey West.
Honey was a smoking-hot private eye with a lipstick walkie-talkie, earrings that doubled as smoke bombs and a way with judo. She was like Honor Blackman's Pussy Galore in Goldfinger -- but even sexier! (And like Ms. Blackman, Anne was at her peak -- in her ripe 30s -- when she played her most famous role.) Now we hear that writer Leslie Dixon (Outrageous Fortune, The Thomas Crown Affair) is warm to the idea of a big-screen version of Honey West for 20th Century Fox. The fox who wants in on the honey? Reese Witherspoon.
Witherspoon's screen characters -- even the dizzy-but-not-dumb heroine of Legally Blonde -- are famously determined. She won the Oscar for her true-grit performance as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. She does not suffer fools, on or off screen. She once told me, "I'll never play a victim." Reese could bring a lot of no-nonsense sizzle to this project. Writer Dixon wants to keep the movie retro -- '60s -- and true to the dark, rather perverse feel of the show.
Witherspoon is said to be looking super-sexy and dynamic these days; looking in fact very likely to pull a gun and kick your butt. This would not make her unpopular with a lot of L.A. men, if Reese liked L.A. men. But she doesn't much.
P.S. The original Honey, Anne Francis, is still a knockout in her 70s, still has that provocative beauty mark, lives quietly in Palm Springs, Calif., takes occasional acting roles and appears cheerfully at autograph shows. The series that made her so famous ran little more than a season in 1965-1966. But those were the days when TV stars worked, and Honey churned out 30 episodes. DVD anyone?
'Valkyrie' in Germany
Tomorrow, Tom Cruise, Patrick Wilson, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy and the rest of the cast and crew of Valkyrie begin filming in Germany. This is the story of Claus von Stauffenberg, a German officer who plotted to assassinate Adolph Hitler.
There was some initial resistance and brouhaha when Tom and company arrived in Germany. The minister of defense declared that Tom wouldn't be allowed to film on certain military sites. The minister used Tom's belief in Scientology as an excuse. Well, as it turns out, the minister of defense has no real authority in such matters. The truth may be that the German government felt it had been burned in past productions about World War II, filmed on certain sites, and didn't feel obliged to cooperate wholeheartedly.
But now, not only has the anti-Tom rhetoric faded -- the Germans have provided a substantial subsidy for Valkyrie. So, they're getting over it. Those close to the production will say only, with cautious optimism, "things have settled down." I bet Tom will get to film exactly where he wants. Tom always gets what he wants, usually with that famous grin. (OK, Matt Lauer got him on a grinless morning.) The movie is scheduled for a 70-day shoot in Europe.
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