By Dave Donnelly

Friday, May 25, 2001

Stars hit talk shows to
pitch ‘Pearl Harbor’

TODAY is the day that "Pearl Harbor" opens officially and it's safe to assume it will fill theaters all over the country. Reviews are no longer embargoed and the critics who were shown the film last week can check in with their opinions. Since it's a rare "spectacular" that also garners good reviews, look for some serious criticism ... The TV onslaught is on: Alec Baldwin showed up on the David Letterman show Wednesday, just two days after the "Pearl Harbor" premiere on the USS Stennis. The clip they showed was a dramatic moment where Baldwin, as Jimmy Doolittle, told his squadron of pilots to realize he or the man next to him may well die in the projected raid on Tokyo. Then he challenged all who were willing to join him to take one step forward. As one, every polished boot moved forward, and chicken skin ensued. A sober Letterman responded, "Boy, that's when a guy was a guy." ... Ben Affleck turned up on the Jay Leno show Wednesday with another new piece of footage, and Leno, who indicated he'd seen the film, gave it a serious "thumb's up." ...

RADIO 97.5 KPOI calls itself "The Rock You Live On," and two of the people that the morning duo of Helm & Laurie Ann interviewed in connection with "Pearl Harbor" were Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, producer and director of that film and "The Rock," not to mention "Armageddon." The two were joined by "Pearl Harbor" stars Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett in signing their autographs to an original Dec. 7, 1941, Star-Bulletin, which KPOI's Fil Slash bought at a garage sale six years ago. KPOI will now frame the collector's-item paper and present it to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitors Center ...

Name that hospital

THERE have been five names for what is now known as Kuakini Medical Center. One has particular relevance, thanks to Pearl Harbor. The hospital was founded in 1900 as the Japanese Charity Hospital, reports Kuakini's Marc Dixon. The various names always were prefaced with the words "Japanese" or "Kuakini" except after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, much in the news today thanks to the "Pearl Harbor" film. It was deemed prudent following the attack to change the name, particularly when the U.S. Army occupied what was then the Japanese Hospital. They called it the 147th General Hospital Oahu. Since Kuakini's board consisted of descendants of Japanese immigrants, Kuakini was the only U.S. hospital occupied by the Army. To give you an idea of the times, the leaders of the Japanese Hospital were detained and interned. Today, it's again proudly Kuakini ...

Is it Dunne yet?

WRITER John Gregory Dunne had a story in the May 7 New Yorker about the Navy's traditional fiefdom status for Hawaii. He reports that in 1990, Kaneohe Marines held a contest to "rename the islands" because they found Hawaiian words so hard to pronounce and spell. Example: Kauai was "renamed" Bush Island in honor of our then-President. But not just sailors have trouble with spelling. One of Dunne's examples of difficult Hawaii names was "Kalanianiole." What happened to those celebrated New Yorker proofreaders? ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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