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THE EYE WIDE ANGLE

John Travolta is to play Bill Clinton in the forthcoming Primary Colors, a screen adaptation of the White House satirical novel which should perhaps have been dubbed Waiting to Inhale. If the movie goes ahead, Travolta will be the latest in a long line of acting presidents who range from the classic all-American hero to low-down dirty scoundrels.

The shortlist; GREAT COMEBACKS

Liz Taylor: The Queen Mum of Hollywood, Liz is set to play a 75-year-old woman in new Tinseltown epic Walking Through Egypt. Her last serious performance was in The Mirror Crack'd in 1980, otherwise she's starred in tacky perfume ads and LA divorce petitions. Comeback rating: she may give big hair a bad name, but underneath all those rocks and Estee Lauder, she's still got it.

Neil Young with Crazy Horse Broken Arrow Reprise 9362-46291-2 :Review

`The first three songs cleave to the classic Crazy Horse style - long, ragged guitar workouts - but it's poor stuff, even by the shaky standards of Young's recent work'

Not with a bang but a simper

FILM: Woody Allen sceptics may be surprised to find their faces cracking for the first time since 'Love and Death'

In here: Compound interest

The pound shop is paradise. Its non-existent frontage hides a cavernous expanse of pirate booty

Film: Rot in high places

CITY HALL Harold Becker (15) BROKEN ARROW John Woo (15) NELLY AND MR ARNAUD Claude Sautet (PG) THE NEW AGE Michael Tolkin (18)

Now for Mr Nice Guy

GET SHORTY; Barry Sonnenfeld (15) THE MOST TERRIBLE TIME IN MY LIFE; Kaizo Hayashi (nc)

The gender transcenders

It was written for a man. Now a woman is playing the part. Does the recent trend for role-bending change the play? By Paul Taylor

The 20 million dollar man

In the Seventies, John Travolta was a phenomenon, a craze - then it all fell apart. Now he's back, bigger than before, and maybe even better. David Thomson looks on; Is it the Scientology? Or do those kind eyes show us a rare man?

Soundtrack albums: listen without prejudice

Once upon a time in the movies there were original cast recordings and spin-off albums of dubious merit. That was before the big boys moved in. By Andy Gill

Obituary: Don Simpson

Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer had a formula: high-tech flashy movies with loud bangs, louder music, car chases, car crashes and straight guys who dig other guys. The audiences responded. They didn't know a Simpson from a Goldwyn, but Hollywood did. Even so, Simpson admitted, "People didn't really like us." "In the Eighties it was cool at one point to be the ugliest, meanest, most selfish bastard in the world," said Christian Wagner, who edited Simpson's last film, Bad Boys.

obituaries: Arthur Mullard

The growling cockney Arthur Mullard took his 6ft 2in bulk and bashed-in nose from the professional boxing ring to television screens and found his greatest fame as he was approaching retirement. Acting success took him 30 years to achieve and, after several decades as an extra in films and a feed to television comics such as Tony Hancock and Arthur Askey, he found it playing a scrounger called Wally Briggs in the situation comedies Romany Jones and Yus My Dear.

Six of the best hipsters

1Joseph, pounds 89 The stretch suede-effect camel trousers are beautiful to the touch, and a good shape. Sure to be a winner with those currently obsessed with all things camel. From Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1, and Joseph branches at 77 Fulham Road, SW3, and 26 Sloane Street, London SW1

NFT memberships to be won

Celluloid Jukebox, the National Film Theatre's huge season celebrating popular music and the movies, continues throughout July with golden oldies like Frank Tashlin's The Girl Can't Help It (5 July 8.45), Louis Malle's Lift to the Scaffold (20 July 8.40 and 23 July 8.40), Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (19 July 7.30) and High School Confidential (30 July 8.40), and more recent work like Alan Parker's The Commitments, pictured above (2 July 8.40), Saturday Night Fever (20 July 6.15), Rock 'n' Roll High School (3 July 8.45) and Barry Levinson's Jimmy Hollywood (13 July 8.45).

FILM : An Academy of dunces

Who will walk away with the Oscars next week? In Hollywood, the bets are on. Phil Reeves considers the odds
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