Donna Freydkin and Daniel R. Coleridge

Richard Gere's New York Story

Richard Gere, 51, seems confounded about why Autumn in New York (premiering on pay-per-view March 1) crumpled like a fallen leaf in its theatrical release last year.

Well, trouble began a-brewin' when the old-fashioned tearjerker — which co-stars Winona Ryder as Gere's dying young lover — wasn't made available to critics for advance screenings. Industry wags then surmised MGM feared a frosty reception that could chill Autumn's opening weekend grosses. Gere and Ryder publicly objected to the studio's implied vote of no confidence, only to face rotten reviews after the film opened. Adding insult to injury, screenwriter Allison Burnett bashed Gere in interviews, accusing him of ruining the movie!

"I don't know [why]," Gere insists to TV Guide Online. "In fact, the last time I saw him, we embraced. He complimented me and said he loved the way I played the character. I didn't touch the character at all. I'm not the director. I'm not t read more

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