Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spotted: John Forsythe and George Hamilton

Before he ever tapped them for his lush primetime drama "Dynasty," producer Aaron Spelling put John Forsythe and George Hamilton to good use in another project, "The Users," a 1978 movie about the unsavory behavior of Hollywood.

In a script by Dominick Dunne based on Joyce Haber's novel, "The Users" is so '70s, a little slow in parts, and way-hokey in dialogue compared to today's standards. But for classic star fare, it rates big-time.

Tony Curtis as a tempermental actor rumored to be all washed up leads the way, with Red Buttons, Alan Feinstein, Joan Fontaine as the gossipy Hollywood-socialite cliche Grace St. George, Darren McGavin, a delightfully young Michelle Phillips, John Pleshette and even a Romulan we remember from classic "Star Trek," Joanne Linville! Wow. But that's not all. The one holding all the power throughout the movie is none other than one of Spelling's "Charlie's Angels," Jaclyn Smith, who as Elena Scheider looks like she drew from the very same yummy '70s wardrobe as Kelly Garrett. She's smart, she's cunning, and she pulls it all off as Ms. Small-Town Innocent as she climbs to acclaim on the arm of Curtis.

But back to John Forsythe and George Hamilton! Our future Blake Carrington (who, like Smith, was two years into "Angels" at the time) is not much younger here, but dashing as ever. His Reade Jamieson is steady and faithful and seems to be the only one who's not fooled by the petty games played in the industry -- and he certainly gets rewarded for it! To see him sharing an actual scene (you know, visually!) with his "Angels" co-star is delish.

As Adam Baker, our future Joel Abrigore is lean, suave, and confident enough, though a little bewildered and needy as a behind-the-scenes Hollywood heavy needing a big score. And yes, he's tan (you knew we had to mention that, right?).

We're guessing "The Users" didn't win any awards, but nowadays, its value is all in its vintage star appeal.

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