LATEST: Illusionist-turned-movie producer PENN GILLETTE has blasted AMC Theatres boss DICK WALSH for banning his new film from cinemas across America.

AMC Film Group Chairman Walsh took offence to Gillette's new documentary The Aristocrats, which showcases comedians like George Carlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Connolly telling the same vaudeville-era filthy joke, insisting it was too lewd for his audiences and has declined to show it at all of his 3,500 screens.

But PENN + TELLER star Gillette claims Walsh is simply trying to get his name in the newspapers.

He fumes, "One guy worked really hard to buy a lot of theatre chains and all of a sudden he wants to get his name in the paper. He's a mercantile shopkeeper who's decided not to stack something on his stupid, useless shelves.

"If he said War of the Worlds would not be allowed in his theatres, STEVEN SPIELBERG or Tom Cruise and all those big studios would squash AMC like the insignificant little bug it is.

"We have no muscle at all so he could grab a little bit of ink while pretending he's moral... There's nobody in this country that doesn't believe in freedom of speech, including the AMC guy. There's nothing more American than dirty jokes."

26/07/2005 09:32