Show Business: Monkey Business

Directors wearing puttees and waving bullhorns decorate Hollywood back-lots. The air reeks of bathtub gin. Model Ts cause traffic jams. At first it was simple evocations of the '20s (The Great Gatsby) and '30s (Chinatown). Now the trend is narcissistic.

Gable and Lombard, a steamy account of the King's stormy third marriage, will open early this year. So will W.C. Fields and Me, starring Rod Steiger. Mel Brooks is making a silent comedy, while Peter Bogdanovich is about to start work on a talkie set in the silent era called Nickelodeon. Ken Russell, fresh...

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