3 Men and a Ghost? Demand Soars
COPIED FROM: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ARCHIVES Originally published on Sunday, August 26, 1990.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Video stores have been besieged with requests for cassettes of ''Three Men and a Baby'' amid speculation that the ghost of a child lurks in a scene in the Disney movie.
''Everybody who's walked into the store today wants this movie,'' said operations manager Ryan Bicknell of Music Plus in Marina Del Rey, a suburb of Los Angeles. The comedy, made in 1987, is about three bachelors who rear a baby girl.
All the store's copies were rented out Friday morning, Bicknell said.
''Three Men and a Baby'' already is the No. 1 rental in video history, according to Billboard magazine.
Viewers have been transfixed by an eerie figure in a scene in which actor Ted Danson and Celeste Holm, co-starring as Danson's mother, walk by a window in a home shared by Danson and his buddies, played by Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg.
Partially obscured in the window is the figure of what looks to many to be a young boy, seemingly hiding behind a curtain.
''I was never a firm believer in ghosts or anything, but I'll tell you the truth, it made the hair stand up on my arms,'' Jon Roup of Network Video in Pittsburgh said Friday.
Callers from Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Utah and Vancouver, Canada, have inquired at Disney's video division about the scene for weeks, said Steve Feldstein, spokesman for Buena Vista Home Video.
KLOS, a popular radio station in Los Angeles, reported on the controversy Friday, setting off a rush for the video in the city.
Some viewers believe the figure is the ghost of a child who either died or committed suicide in a house where the movie was shot, Feldstein said.
But he said the mysterious figure was actually a cardboard cutout or standee of a man in top hat and tails. It was part of the set dressing in the movie that was made on a sound stage in Toronto, he said, not in anybody's house.
''It's a prop,'' he said (The following text ran in the 3* edition only) of the standee, a promotional device for a role played by Danson.
Some bought Disney's explanation.
''It doesn't look like a ghost,'' said sales rep Aaron Chu of Movies and More in West Los Angeles. ''There's no third dimension to the figure,'' he said, adding that it appeared to be the likeness of a young man.
Yet many people believe something supernatural is going on. After all, ''Three Men'' was directed by Leonard Nimoy, the former host of ''In Search Of,'' a television show tracking strange phenomena.
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