After the phenomenal recruiting-poster success of the Miramar-based "Top Gun," the Navy threw open its gates for "The Hunt for Red October."
The makers of "Red October" got unprecedented access to super-secret nuclear submarines berthed at Ballast Point on Point Loma. Ships, helicopters and sailors from North Island were pressed into service.
Sensing an aroused public appetite for action military movies, Hollywood has now turned its gaze to the most
gung-ho lot of all, the Navy's elite Sea Air Land (SEAL) commandos.
This time, however, film makers are learning there are still some secrets that the Navy does not want on the screen.
The screenplay for Orion Pictures "Navy SEAL" was reviewed by the Navy's Hollywood liaison, the Pentagon, and brass at the SEAL training base on Coronado. "The project is not one the Navy feels comfortable with," concluded a Navy spokesman.
The film was granted only "limited courtesy cooperation" at the Norfolk, Va., naval base.
Exterior filming of two aircraft carriers was allowed. But no real SEALs were made available, no filming was allowed aboard ship, and a "Good Morning America" interviewer was not allowed on base.
"The Navy made it very clear that it would much rather see no movie made about the Navy SEALs," said the movie's publicist David Linck.
Beyond the SEAL secrecy, the Navy was also uneasy about the steamy plot, where two SEALs (Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn) fight for the favors of a sexy journalist (Joanne Whaley-Kilmer from "Scandal") while planning and executing a covert mission in the Middle East.
This is not the first time the Navy has flinched from a SEAL movie.
It refused to help Disney Productions with a movie about the sons of SEALs mounting a mission to rescue their dads from a North Korean prison. The film began as "SEAL Kids" but was released as "The Rescue."
Even before the release of "Navy SEAL" next summer, two other SEAL scripts are being mulled by the studios.
Next week, the "Navy SEAL" crew moves to the Mediterranean coast of Spain. The Spanish Navy has promised complete cooperation.
Judge Gives Potential Juror a Charge
Here and there.
* Calling signals from the bench.
When Bob Wolf was called last week for jury duty in federal court, he asked for a postponement until after the football season.
Wolf, a retired Milwaukee Journal sportswriter, supplements his pension by helping The Times cover the Chargers. He got his postponement.
He also got a lecture from the judge: "The Chargers stink. Tell them to fire (general manager) Steve Ortmayer."
* The Navy tries to leave nothing to chance.
Large sign at entrance to Miramar Naval Air Station: STOP. Small sign beneath the large sign: THEN PROCEED.
* Former President Jimmy Carter comes to town Tuesday for Habitat for Humanity, a San Diego-Tijuana group that builds housing for the poor.
He'll attend a meeting in Mission Valley, hold a press conference and be honored at an invitation-only dinner at the Hotel del Coronado. Next year he'll return with overalls and hammer.
S.D. Trivia Available at $20 per Pound
For the latest in San Diego County arcania on things to do, see and eat, the folks at the Convention & Visitors Bureau have just published the snappily titled "Information Handbook."
For $100, you can have the entire 5 pounds, but here's a sample for free:
* Where's the best place to get medical care if you speak only Urdu? Mercy Hospital. How about Estonian? Palomar Medical Center.
* How would you describe the clientele at the Texas Teahouse blues and jazz nightspot in Mission Beach? Earthy beach crowd.
* Is there a local Lebanese nightclub? Yep, Hazzi Baba in Mission Valley, complete with belly-dancers.
* If I'm in Tijuana and need to see a consulate official from the People's Republic of China, am I out of luck?
Don't panic, just go to 312 Avenida Jalisco.