Coca-Cola, the corporate parent of Columbia Pictures, has never made its presence in the movie business so pronounced as in the film Volunteers (released by Tri-Star, of which Columbia is part owner). During one scene in the movie Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, playing Peace Corps volunteers in the early '60s, enjoy a couple of Cokes (Classic formula, of course) in the jungles of Thailand. Trouble is the scene plays more like a commercial as they swig from bottles that plainly display the Coke label in Thai and English. According to Wilson, the Coke connection was more blatant in a scrapped version of the scene, in which the subtitle "Coke" appeared when the Thai label was shown. In another discarded scene, Wilson says, "There were 50 cans of Coke in front of me, and my character talks about how much she loves her favorite cola." There must have been a Pepsi lover in the editing room.
Miami Vice clotheshorse Philip Michael Thomas, who has lent his name to a women's clothing line due out this month, will introduce a line of menswear in September. Lhin-Yi Bisogno (who designed the women's line with her mother, Milan) is co-designing the men's fashions with Venezuelan couturier Valuccio. "The clothes will be similar to the Miami Vice look," says a spokeswoman. A suit, complete with the ubiquitous T-shirt, will retail for about $300. Meanwhile, MCA Records is about to bring out an album of Miami Vice music, including cuts by Tina Turner, Glenn Frey and Phil Collins.
It will be all in the family for Carroll O'Connor and Sally Struthers on an animated TV Christmas special, The Glo Friends Save Christmas. Struthers will do the voice of the Wicked Witch while O'Connor will be Santa. Both will sing a song or two, but don't expect any duets. O'Connor will record in L.A. while Struthers, on Broadway in the The Odd Couple, will lay down tracks in Manhattan....
NASA has taken an interest in a Saturday morning cartoon show called The Young Astronauts. The series, which will start this fall on CBS, concerns a 21st century space traveler and her three children. Each show will end with an "Astrominute" spot hosted by an astronaut. Since the captain of the cartoon spaceship is a woman, the producers hope Sally Ride will put in an appearance.
After being regarded as an almost certain candidate for the congressional seat being vacated by Tip O'Neill in 1986, Ted Kennedy Jr., 23, has announced he is passing up the challenge. A likely factor: the soon-to-be-published Living With the Kennedys: The Joan Kennedy Story by Marcia Chellis. A fellow recovered alcoholic, the author was once Joan's aide and confidante. Washington insiders speculate that Ted Jr. did not want to have to go on the defensive about his parents while campaigning.