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MOVIESRecovered Treasures: More than 1,600 “lost” American...

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

MOVIES

Recovered Treasures: More than 1,600 “lost” American films, including many believed to have perished, have been donated to the American Film Institute by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive. The archive had planned to preserve the films, collected as part of a drive by Australia to preserve its own cinematographic history, but instead decided to focus on its own productions. The films, including many sole surviving copies, are mostly on unstable nitrate stock and will be preserved through the cooperative efforts of several U.S. archives, including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art and UCLA’s Film and Television Archive. The films range from pre-1900 through the 1950s and include all genres. Among the earliest are 1912’s “An Indian Sunbeam,” with Bronco Billy Anderson, the world’s first cowboy film star, and 1924’s “Bringin’ Home the Bacon,” one of Jean Arthur’s earliest features. Also included in the collection are master comedian Harold Lloyd’s 1915 works, “Once Every 10 Minutes” and “Peculiar Patients’ Pranks.”

TELEVISION

More Talk: KTTV/Fox 11 premieres two new weekday morning shows Sept. 12. “The Gordon Elliott Show,” with the former “CBS This Morning” correspondent, will air 10-11 a.m., followed by “The Dennis Prager Show,” starring the veteran Southern California talk radio host, from 11-11:30 a.m. Prager is currently heard on KABC-AM (790) on weekday afternoons. Also new on Channel 11’s schedule is “V. R. Troopers,” a new weeknight action series, premiering Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m., and the syndicated premiere of old “Simpsons” episodes, airing weeknights at 7:30 starting Sept. 19.

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THE ARTS

New Canova Twist: The saga of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s attempt to acquire Antonio Canova’s neoclassical sculpture “The Three Graces” for $11.5 million and export it from Britain has taken a new twist. John Paul Getty II, a son of the late oil baron who founded the Malibu museum, pledged $1.5 million last Friday to a campaign to buy the artwork for London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. But now the reclusive American billionaire, who resides in London, has threatened to withdraw his donation in retaliation for a BBC interview with Timothy Clifford, director of the National Gallery in Scotland, who charged that Getty’s generosity was motivated by animosity toward his father. In a letter to Clifford, who has spearheaded a coalition to keep the sculpture in Britain, Getty said the allegation was untrue and that he would withdraw his offer “unless you have any suggestions.” On Wednesday, Clifford issued a blanket apology, saying he hoped his “mistake” would not cause Britain to lose the sculpture.

New Associate: Bing Wang, 26, has been named associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 1994-95 season. Wang, former principal second violinist of the Cincinnati Symphony, replaces Irving Geller, who is on sabbatical through next season. Wang, who has occasionally served as associate concertmaster for the Philharmonic at both the Music Center and Hollywood Bowl, will also do so on the orchestra’s upcoming European tour.

Conductor Retaliates: Myung-Whung Chung, the U.S.-trained, South Korean-born conductor who was fired last week as musical director of the Paris Opera, said Wednesday he was suing the opera’s management for breach of contract. While the opera said he was released after rejecting all proposals in a contract dispute, Chung, 41, said he was offered only “unacceptable conditions to force me out. . . . By attacking me and saying that I am inflexible, that I’m blocking the opera . . . they have forced me to defend myself after forcing me to leave.” Chung said the dispute centered primarily on his freedom to select works and artists. He stressed that he would not accept an out-of-court settlement because his aim was to clear his name, not win compensation.

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QUICK TAKES

It’s official. Former “L.A. Law” star Jimmy Smits will replace David Caruso on ABC’s multi-Emmy-nominated series “NYPD Blue.” The network announced Wednesday that Smits will join the series in November. . . . Actress-singer Nell Carter (“Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”) will perform at the Hollywood Bowl Friday and Saturday night, replacing Jennifer Holliday, who withdrew from the engagement because of a death in the family. . . . Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder was acquitted of battery charges stemming from a fight outside a New Orleans nightclub before his defense even presented its case. The judge said he simply didn’t believe James Gorman and Anthony Martinez, who testified Tuesday that they got into a brawl with Vedder after the rocker spit in Gorman’s face. . . . O.J. Simpson murder case witness Brian (Kato) Kaelin will be a guest host for E! Entertainment Television’s “Talk Soup” on Labor Day, filling in for the cable program’s vacationing host Greg Kinnear. The program airs at 6 p.m.


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