100 Ways to Improve Hollywood
In the dark days before the internet, we had to get our silly lists from monthly periodicals. The April 1992 issue of Movieline magazine included one such list. After scientific polling, the staff came up with 100 great ideas to improve Hollywood. Some of these are still applicable 25 years later.
Without pausing to consider which of two time-honored adages–“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”–applies best to the current situation, Movieline recently queried a select roster of Industry insiders about any practical notions they might have for making Hollywood even more wonderful than it already is. Here are the top 100 suggestions they offered, and damn fine ones they are.
1. Have Christo wrap the CAA building with all the agents inside for one month.
2. Outlaw ponytails on all Industry men.
3. Establish a 24-hour “T.A.” hotline for movie stars obsessed with the urge to be tattooed.
4. Give Sean Young her own talk show.
5. Make Disney change its corporate mascot from Mickey Mouse to Scrooge McDuck.
6. Prevent movie stars from naming their own children(or, if possible, from having them).
7. Force studios to actually make the movies of any screenplays for which they paid over $75,000.
8. Allow no more than 70 percent of Hollywood movies to have happy endings (that’s already 69 percent higher than real life).
9. Lather up and hose down all male members of SAG under 30.
10. Put a moratorium on sex scenes with women on top until women in Hollywood actually get some power.
11. Take away Jeffrey Katzenberg’s car phone.
12. Tell Oliver Stone to give it a rest.
13. Prevent any “director” with a “background” exclusively in MTV videos and/or commercials from directing a feature without personally matching studio funds dollar for dollar.
14. Shelve all scripts about mental, physical or emotional deficits until the Academy stops automatically giving Oscar nominations to the actors who star in them.
15. Require that every movie with a rock and roll soundtrack pass a special Writers Guild test for the existence of content.
16. Demand rebates from movie stars who are paid more than $2 million for films that don’t open.
17. Require all development executives to take a course in movies made before 1980.
18. Auction off a preset number of permissions per year for the privilege of making any film longer than 110 minutes, and use the proceeds to fund an ongoing psychotherapy group for directors with grandiosity problems.
19. Limit the amount of talent from any single agency on any one film to 33 percent.
20. Require “Entertainment Tonight” to broadcast at least one item per week in which movie stars are not presented as the most balanced, exciting people in the world.
21. Forbid directors from putting their wives or children in their films.
22. Put a one-year moratorium on Oscar show musical production numbers not related to the Best Song category, to allow for a study to determine whether there are enough careers left in Hollywood to be sacrificed in this manner.
23. Fire anyone who proposes a sequel. To anything.
24. Follow Shakespeare’s advice: “Kill all the lawyers.”
25. Move Mortons and turn it into a ride on the Universal Studios Tour.
26. Outlaw the showing of commercials and, especially, music videos before movies.
27. Bring back double features.
28. Offer a prize of $1 million to the writer who comes up with the pilot that lures Bruce Willis back to television.
29. Torch the film schools.
30. Send Steve Guttenberg back to dental school.
31. Put the crossword puzzle back in Daily Variety.
32. Force studios that own an interest in theater chains to lower ticket prices.
33. Tell Robert De Niro to give it a rest.
34. Banish anyone who describes a comedy as “Capraesque” or a suspense thriller as “Hitchcockian.”
35. Fire anyone who proposes making a movie out of a Baby Boomer TV series, unless the idea is to have Macaulay Culkin play both parts in drag in The Patty Duke Show: The Motion Picture.
36. Save Spike Lee a place between Bullwinkle and Goofy in the next Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
37. Stop applying the Peter Principle to supporting actors. In short, Danny Aiello must return at once to small parts.
38. Free Brenda Starr. If it’s really as bad as everyone says, then why hasn’t it been released?
39. Deport Renny Harlin.
40. Put Tom Cruise together with good directors on a regular basis.
41. Forbid David Cronenberg from showing the sex-change operation in M. Butterfly.
42. Remake The World of Henry Orient starring Warren Beatty, Juliette Lewis, Samantha Mathis and Sigourney Weaver.
43. Shoot on sight actors who describe their approach to roles with the word “choices.”
44. Hide the peroxide bottle from Demi Moore, Madonna, Geena Davis and Patrick Swayze.
45. Hire Pedro Almodovar to direct the movie version of Evita, starring one of his favorite Spanish transvestites.
46. Forbid Dawn Steel from ever again uttering the word “karma.”
47. Preoccupy Steven Spielberg for the next few decades with designing his own theme park.
48. Test the entire membership of the Academy annually for Alzheimer’s, and announce the percentage of affected members at the beginning of each Oscar telecast.
49. Have Zalman King direct Luke Perry and Shannen Doherty in a remake of Duel in the Sun.
50. Make human sacrifices to the Box-Office God once a week at the foot of the Hollywood sign (using the stars of TV pilots that were not picked up).
51. Cast Keanu Reeves and Michelle Pfeiffer in a brilliantly written, sexy love story, insist they don’t play down their looks, photograph them fabulously, and celebrate ’90s-style movie stardom.
52. Make Mel Gibson do something besides stupid movies.
53. Force the studios to stop remaking stupid French movies until the French agree to remake Taking Care of Business, Curly Sue, and All I Want for Christmas.
54. Gag the Ninja Turtles.
55. Let self-deluded stars play those dream roles in movies they’re always blabbing about: Julia Roberts (young Louise Brooks), Shirley MacLaine (old Louise Brooks), Jack Nicholson (Napoleon), Al Pacino (Modigliani), Sylvester Stallone (Edgar Allan Poe), Debra Winger (Libby Holman), Sean Penn (Phil Ochs).
56. Make Ross Hunter produce, Joel Schumacher direct, and Harry Connick Jr. and Winona Ryder star in Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, A Love Story.
57. Make Ross Hunter produce, Joel Schumacher direct, and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer star in The Natalie Wood Story, featuring Brad Pitt as James Dean, Johnny Depp as Robert Wagner and Esai Morales as Sal Mineo.
58. Get the Prozac out of the Los Angeles water supply.
59. Establish a licensing system for directors, then temporarily revoke the licenses of Wim Wenders, Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, Kathryn Bigelow and Sean Penn; permanently revoke those of John Schlesinger, Robert Towne, John Frankenheimer, Howard Zieff, Norman Jewison, John Badham, Peter Hyams and Lizzie Borden.
60. Put a public relations ban on anyone who says “Movies aren’t brain surgery” or “Acting isn’t rocket science.”
61. Let Peter Weir do whatever he wants.
62. Find a great role in a great movie pronto for Debra Winger, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Demi Moore, Bridget Fonda, Liam Neeson, Loren Dean, Beverly D’Angelo, Robert Downey Jr., River Phoenix and Andy Garcia.
63. Maroon Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, Don Johnson and Shelley Long on an island surrounded by shark-infested waters.
64. Find the new Carole Lombard.
65. No more rear angles, please, on Barbra Streisand, Goldie Hawn or Kevin Costner.
66. Tell Joel Silver to either make the “quality” biopic of Jed Harris, already, or shut up about it.
67. Turn Joel Silver over to Robert Bly for six months.
68. Fund apprenticeships with Billy Wilder, Robert Wise, Stanley Donen, John De Cuir, Irene Sharaff, George Hurrell, Ernest Lehman, Julius Epstein and Charles Bennett.
69. Give Vanna White a vacation and bring on guest letter-turner Daryl Hannah.
70. Force movie stars to donate large sums to any organizations they front.
71. Star Daniel Day-Lewis as the vampire Lestat in three movies based on the Anne Rice trilogy, with Stephen Frears, Peter Weir and Gus Van Sant Jr. as the directors.
72. Have Rhino Records compile a collection of songs by Bruce Willis, Dennis Quaid, Don Johnson and Eddie Murphy, to be sent by overnight mail to any actor harboring fantasies of rock stardom.
73. Pass a federal law against remakes of All About Eve, Sunset Blvd., Love in the Afternoon, Some Like It Hot, any Hitchcock and, yes, Lolita.
74. No more movies about the rainforest, set in the rainforest, or featuring creatures from the rainforest.
75. Require all studio heads to spend two uninterrupted weeks a year in a town of less than 25,000 outside California.
76. Stop pairing short, homely New York actors (yes, you, Joe) opposite gorgeous gals half their age until Rhea Perlman does a romantic lead opposite Brad Pitt.
77. Get Harrison Ford to do something besides stupid movies.
78. Star Mike Ovitz as a secret agent in a remake of Tora! Tora! Tora!, the story of the Japanese attack on Hollywood.
79. Have all characters shot by bullets in movies pee in their pants as Steve Martin did in Grand Canyon.
80. Shampoo Mickey Rourke and Gary Oldman.
81. Found a Movie Star Institute with required courses in: The Science of Interviews (taught by Claudette Colbert), Persona Management (taught by Jimmy Stewart) and Comeback 101 (taught by Lana Turner).
82. Forbid any further teamings of: Don Johnson &.Melanie Griffith; Dustin Hoffman & Robin Williams; Jessica Lange &. Sam Shepard; Kim Basinger & Richard Gere; Aidan Quinn & Daryl Hannah; Patrick Bergin &anyone.
83. Take the calorie information off the menus at the 20th Century Fox commissary.
84. Ban vanity license plates, and ban the person, whoever he or she is, with the plate that reads “STRMKR.”
85. Limit the number of films per year John Goodman may appear in to under 10.
86. Stop giving producer credits to people who haven’t produced.
87. Give Judy Davis something wonderful to star in.
88. Pair Eastern European directors who have something to say but don’t know Hollywood with young American directors who know Hollywood but don’t have anything to say.
89. Shut Jack Valenti up.
90. Make films about black people who are ordinary people, not heroic or drug-addicted.
91. Tear down the Warner Hollywood Studio to make room for more parking for the Formosa Cafe.
92. Require the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild, the Producers Guild and all studios to fund a program for the retraining (e.g., law school) of actresses over 40 whom they won’t give work to.
93. Give Simpson/Bruckheimer the deal of their dreams at Orion.
94. Have Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and any other entertainment business outlets report box-office statistics as ticket sales minus the production, marketing, distribution, profit sharing and all other expenses, so we can actually see what is and what is not a hit movie.
95. Stop adding any more stars to the Hollywood Walk of Fame until at least one person is located who can identify even 25 percent of the ones that are there.
96. Somebody help Julia Roberts figure out who her friends are.
97. Start a “Hollywood Appreciation” campaign that requires a fixed number of celebrity superstars to actually live in Hollywood proper, on the very streets where winos throw used condoms at Japanese tourists.
98. Cast James Woods as Albert Einstein in Ernest Goes to Armageddon.
99. Arrange a special evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences entitled, “Women in Oliver Stone Movies: The Real Conspiracy.”
100. Banish “100 Most Powerful People in Hollywood” lists.