HOLLYWOOD — John Wayne was known as “The Duke“ for his entire career. Now John Wayne Enterprises is suing Duke University because the school thinks it owns the title to all things named “Duke.” The Wayne family claims that, “Duke does not own the word ‘Duke’ in all contexts and for all purposes.” It contends that the North Carolina university believes products bearing John Wayne’s world-renowned image and signature will somehow be confused as being associated with Duke University.
Case in point: “Duke” brand Kentucky bourbon whiskey. The bottle is imprinted with “Monument Valley Distillers,” and John Wayne’s image and signature are prominently featured on the label, along with the image of a shotgun casing. The university doesn’t market or sell alcohol, but it objects to ANYTHING sold with the name “Duke.” We checked with a lawyer, who said, “If they don’t use the ‘Duke University,’ the Wayne family is not infringing on their name.”
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Gwyneth Paltrow is spearheading the “Stand Up to Cancer Telethon.” The show will air Friday, Sept. 5, on four big networks in Canada and 26 cable outlets in the U.S., including HBO, Showtime, E, Ion, Lifetime, Logo, Oxygen and TNT. But where are ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox?
Thanks to the success of “Maleficent” ($650 million and climbing), Disney is giving the 1941 animated classic “Dumbo” the live-action treatment. The adaption will add a unique family story to parallel Dumbo’s story. Also upcoming are live versions of “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Skyfall” has spawned a 24th James Bond film, which again will have Daniel Craig as 007 and Sam Mendes as director. We’ll all be in wheelchairs, and the British agent will still be wooing the Bond girls and foiling the villains. “Bond 24” won’t be released until Nov. 6, 2015.
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Some 80,000 die-hard Monty Python fans packed the biggest arena in London for five performances of “Monty Python Live (Mostly)” in July, to thunderous approval and critical praise. The five living members dedicated the shows to the late Graham Chapman, with Terry Gilliam standing in to do his famous routines. They were last here at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982, and there’s talk of them returning with this show … stay tuned.
One critic observed in Variety, “Terry Jones was clearly reading his lines (which many in the audience knew by heart); and John Cleese — who could scarcely keep a straight face — clearly wasn’t as spry as he once was. At their age the costume changes weren’t quite as brisk … and these days, they don’t need make up to play the four Yorkshiremen one-upping each other.” Guess they’re going to keep teaching us “The Meaning of Life” until we get it right!
© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.