By Shane O'Neil

Former CEO RKO Pictures

Former CEO RKO Pictures



I am a big Theroux fan and, at my instigation, RKO Pictures made his novella, Dr. Slaughter, into a regrettably unsuccessful movie called Half Moon Street with Michael Caine and Sigourney Weaver. Before rewriting bits and pieces of the script, I called Theroux to ask his permission since he had written the first draft of the screenplay. I also had a few questions about what he intended Sigourney Weaver's character, Dr. Slaughter, to do in certain situations. 


He kindly reminded me that since we had paid for the screenplay, we owned it and could make any changes we wanted. I agreed but told him we all loved the screenplay (true) and weren't really going to make many changes (mostly true). We had a great conversation, but I never got a chance to meet him since he wasn't in London when we had the wrap party at Langan's, which Michael Caine conveniently owned about half of at the time. But, I've read all his books and look forward to reading anything else he writes.

I notice we don't have the Half Moon Street video on the website but no loss; the director screwed it up completely. Imagine taking all of Sigourney Weaver's clothes off and managing to make her unsexy in the process. Nice job. Incidentally, the subject was a little controversial for 1986 and not a lot of actresses wanted to do the dance of the seven veils, but Ms. Weaver really didn't care about being naked. Of course, that presented us with a bit of a problem because she's about 6'1" in the nude, so we couldn't exactly use Dustin Hoffman as the leading man. Caine was about the tallest actor working at the time and he also is a Theroux fan. Problem solved, except he had absolutely no use for her and she felt likewise. Oh well; you know the old line: that’s show business.

Doctor Slaughter
By Paul Theroux