Sunday, April 21, 2024

“2016” Producer’s First Movie Was About Cocaine and Partying in the 80s–and He’s a Mormon!


Well, this is weird. Gerald R. Molen, producer of the slanted anti-Obama documentary “2016,” you know, is a Mormon. Like Mitt Romney. That’s why he’s backed the movie. But what’s really strange is that the first movie Mormon Molen executive produced back in 1987 was “Bright Lights, Big City.” The Michael J. Fox film was based on the popular story by Jay McInerney about partying unapologetically with massive amounts of cocaine. It was a bad movie. But Molen must have liked the premise– he raised the money for “Bright Lights, Big City.” I can’t think of a movie that would more violate the Mormon sensibility and lifestyle.

Later, Molen–who was raised in North Hollywood, California but likes to say he’s from Montana–went to work for Steven Spielberg’s company, and has producer credits on five of his movies including “Schindler’s List.” Molen likes to promote himself as the sole producer of that film. But really all of Steven Spielberg’s movies are made by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. Molen simply worked for them.

With the money he made from Spielberg, Molen’s other movie credits are dreadful. They include “The Other Side of Heaven” (2001) which was sort of like the serious non musical version of “The Book of Mormon.” It’s very bad, although it does feature Anne Hathaway in her film debut. Also, the even worse “View from the Swing,” which no one has really heard of, and the Mormon fable “The Legend of Johnny Lingo,” also a failure– which brought Molen’s film career to an end in 2003.

Earlier this year, Molen was dis-invited from giving a commencement speech in Montana because of his nutty politics.

As for “Bright Lights, Big City”–lines of cocaine are snorted right up the middle of the street in that one. Mr. Molen must have thought all that white stuff was the salt in the Salt Lake!

“2016” finished in fourth place on Friday night.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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