Take One

updated 04/21/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/21/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Sylvester Stallone's Cobra, due in May, has taken guts-and-gore to the limit, at least as far as the Motion Picture Association of America is concerned. The MPAA, which rates movies and also approves publicity photos for films, vetoed one from Cobra in which a menacing Stallone stands beside a man impaled on a foundry hook. "The very idea of someone hanging on a hook! It's too gory," says Bethlyn Hand, the MPAA's director of advertising administration. "Stills should contain nothing people would find offensive for young children to see." Other no-no's: dead bodies with their eyes open, dismemberment and excessive blood. "I'll allow a trickle of blood," says Hand, "but not a stream."

The sound track of Ruthless People, starring Bette Midler and Danny DeVito, will boast Mick Jagger, Daryl Hall and the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, who are working together on the title song, and Billy Joel, who is recording another tune for the movie.

Burt Reynolds was surprised to see a double of himself in the film Echo Park, about a group of Hollywood unknowns with great aspirations. Admits the film's Rumanian-born director, Robert Dorn-helm, "Burt told me he liked the movie, but he wasn't overly pleased that we used a look-alike. We didn't get his permission." Dornhelm didn't fare much better with the makers of Right Guard, which at first was featured in several scenes about an actor who makes a deodorant commercial. He claims the company, which hadn't given permission to use the product, threatened an injunction against the film. Dornhelm, who had to re-shoot a number of scenes, says, "I guess I was kind of a fool."

Jeff (Purple Rose of Cairo) Daniels and Kelly (Witness) McGillis are the romantic leads in The House on Sullivan Street, a thriller set in New York in the early 1950s....

Comedienne Sandra (King of Comedy) Bernhard is scripting a movie called It Came From Poland, in which she'll play a cynical, chain-smoking New York writer who becomes involved with a Polish immigrant. Bernhard is also planning to write an autobiographical novel.... The producers of the planned TV series version of Down and Out in Beverly Hills are considering Gilda Radner for the Bette Midler role....

Another Saturday Night Live alum, Laraine Newman, returns to TV in June in a late-night syndicated show, The Canned Film Festival. Masquerading as the proprietor of a seedy movie theater, she hosts a series of camp classics....

Sheryl Lee Ralph of NBC's defunct series Codename: Foxfire has signed a $1 million, three-year contract to play Ann Jillian's role in the syndicated It's a Living. (Jillian left the series in December, citing a contract dispute.) Quips Ralph, "I can't believe they traded a blond bombshell for a black brunette."

Veteran surfer Don Stroud's show-business career has finally caught a wave. "I used to play psycho killers," says Stroud, who will portray a cop on the take in Armed and Dangerous, starring John Candy. "Now I get to wear a tie and carry a gun legally. With the way things are going, maybe next year I'll get to play a romantic lead. I've never kissed a girl without kidnapping her first."

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