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MOORE: SHOULD HE SAY NO TO SINATRA?

So Frank Sinatra wants Dudley Moore to co-star with him in the movie version of the musical “La Cage aux Folles.”

“Do it with me,” Sinatra told Moore on the telephone. “It will be a challenge--and fun.”

Did Moore immediately rush round to Cannon--which will make the film--to sign on the dotted line?

He did not. This, it seems, could be an offer he well may refuse.

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“I just don’t know,” he said this week. “I’m not at all sure I’m right for the role. In fact, my gut instinct tells me I’m not , and I usually go by that.”

Moore, who knows Sinatra and has been a guest at his Palm Springs home, paid a repeat visit to “La Cage aux Folles” on Broadway after getting the singer’s call.

He came away even less convinced that he was the right person to play Albin opposite Si natra’s Georges.

“I suppose the chemistry between the two of us could be interesting,” Moore said, “and Sinatra thinks the fact I play the piano is important. I wish I weren’t so ambivalent about his offer, but I am.”

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While he tries to make up his mind, Moore has had a meeting with the writers (David Crane and Marta Kauffman) of the projected Broadway musical version of “Arthur"--based on the film in which he scored such a success as a drunken eccentric.

“I met them more out of curiosity than anything else,” he said. “I simply can’t imagine it as a musical. Drunken songs? How can it work?”

He is also planning to do some promotion for the publication Oct. 15 of “Voices of Survival in the Nuclear Age"--a book in which, together with the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and dozens of others, he gives his thoughts about the perils of the nuclear arms race.

But clearly, he will soon have to make a decision about “La Cage aux Folles.”

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“Maybe for once I should go right against my gut feeling and do it even though I don’t think I’m right for the role,” he said. “But what I mustn’t do is say yes just because I’m flattered by the offer. That would be doing the film a real disservice.”

BACK AGAIN: Serge Bourgignon, the French director who won an Oscar in 1962 for his movie “Sundays and Cybele,” has been in Los Angeles finishing a new film, “The Fascination.”

Totally financed from Japan and shot in Greece, France and Japan, this English-language film stars Chad McQueen (son of the late Steve McQueen) and youthful Japanese actress Shiori Sakura.

Bourgignon, of whom little has been heard for some time, is no stranger to Hollywood. He came here after the success of “Sundays and Cybele” to make “The Reward” for Fox.

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Shot in Death Valley in July and August in 130-degree heat, the film was a debacle. Life magazine, covering the location, wrote at the time that “cast (among them Max von Sydow and Yvette Mimieux) and crew regarded Bourgignon as egomaniac, slave driver or sadist. . . . “

Said Bourgignon the other day, laughing: “The film was not a success but actually I rather liked it. It was an experience I cherish--despite the reviews.”

Before making “The Fascination"--about a Japanese student who wins a trip to Europe and gets involved with a young photographer (McQueen)--Bourgignon spent four years completing a film that was a labor of love, “My Kingdom for a Horse.” It’s due to open in France shortly.

“I filmed it all over the world,” said Bourgignon. “I even went to Afghanistan. It’s my tribute to horses--I have two Arabian thoroughbreds myself and I truly love them. And, unlike actors, they do not talk back.”

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QUOTE: Joanne Woodward, talking about her career in a new book, “Actress to Actress,” by Rita Gam:

“Acting is like sex. You should do it and not talk about it.”


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