Sordid Lives Screening Celebrates DVD Release

HOLLYWOOD (Box Office Mojo) - A windy night in Los Angeles did not keep the cast of Del Shores' Texas farce, Sordid Lives, from filing into the Regent Theatre this week for a screening to celebrate the comedy's release on DVD ($34.99, Fox Home Entertainment).

Many had waited a long time; some had doubted that Sordid Lives, available in VHS, would ever be released on DVD. The picture, starring Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia and Beau Bridges, was released in theaters in May, 2001 and became especially popular in Palm Springs, California, where Sordid Lives is still playing.

The Tuesday night screening turned the Regent into Bubba's Beer Joint. Movie, TV and soap opera stars strolled the red carpet, which was decorated with stuffed ashtrays, crushed beer cans and a sign that read: "Never mind the dog: Beware of owner." The only thing missing from the trailer trash party was Newton-John, who played a bit part in the movie as a tattooed lesbian. A publicist said her daughter's illness prevented the Grease star from attending.

Writer and director Shores was thrilled with the screening. "All of this is just gravy," Shores said. "Let's face it, the reviews were very mixed. Palm Springs just adopted this movie."

Sordid Lives, a low-budget comedy centered on a Texas family's funeral arrangements, continues to play at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs, where word of mouth spread among the desert city's gay community, and sparked renewed interest.

Bonnie Bedelia, star of Lifetime's cable drama, The Division, said that she was looking forward to the screening, which would mark her fourth time seeing Sordid. Bedelia, who starred in Presumed Innocent and Die Hard, said her role as the neurotic, Baptist mother of a gay son (Kirk Geiger) was a welcome opportunity to play for laughs.

Veteran actor Beau Bridges, who plays Delta Burke's handicapped husband, attended with his wife, Wendy, and co-star Leslie Jordan, the mental patient who dresses as Tammy Wynette, both credited playwright Del Shores with the movie's success. Other cast members in attendance included scene-stealing Beth Grant, Ann Walker, Kirk Geiger, Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander, Sarah Hunley, and Earl H. Bullock.

The Regent Theatre was packed with enthusiastic fans and famous actors. Ex-Texan and veteran actor Earl Holliman (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Bridges of Toko-Ri) said that he had seen and enjoyed the Los Angeles stage version and wanted to see the movie. Other celebrities included Dick Van Patten, (Westworld, Eight is Enough), Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless), and Corey Feldman (Gremlins, Stand By Me).