For those who suspect that the nation's plague of violent crime stems in part from the entertainment it consumes, the news from Hollywood is mixed.

The bad news: Hours after President Clinton publicly denounced violent films, studio executives waged a frantic bidding war for a script ("Overkill") in which 11 people are dispatched in the first seven pages.The good news: In 1993, moviemakers produced 17 G-rated films, 91 percent more than in 1988.

Also this from New York-based columnist and moviegoer John Leo: "A trailer for one of Hollywood's stupidly violent shoot-'em-ups came on screen, and the audience erupted into hissing. I have never heard an entire movie crowd hiss before."

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Mass spontaneous disdain for the cinema of blood? That sounds to us like the best news of all.

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