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FIRST OFF . . .

<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

A Chicago-based home video company announced Tuesday that it plans to sell a videotape of Lt. Col. Oliver North’s appearance at the Iran- contra hearings to people who were unable to follow the 30-plus hours of testimony on television. “You can’t get an in-depth look at Oliver North in 90 seconds on the news each night,” said Jaffer Ali, vice president of sales at MPI Home Video. Instead, the tape will run about 90 minutes and the suggested retail price will be a low $19.95, Ali said. Tapes will be shipped to stores starting July 30. Ali said Waldenbooks has already made a commitment to carry the tape in its stores. In an unsurprising addition to Olliemania, Pocket Books announced its plans to release transcripts of North’s entire testimony in about two weeks.


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