MPAA may wheel and deal with Ukraine

GOOD MORNING: Jack Valenti, back from Cannes and at his D.C. offices of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, sent a note to all of the studios telling them it won’t be long before they’ll be doing business with the Ukraine. “One studio head answered me, ‘You went to Cannes and had meetings with the Ukrainians’?” Seriously, folks, Valenti says the Ukraine longs to do bizness with the studios, respect the copyright laws, etc., within a coupla months. And Valenti expects Russia to be next. He spoke with Yeltsin and will meet with him in D.C. Bill Clinton was asked, if elected, who he’d like to sing at his inaugural ball. “Dolly Parton,” he answered, “to come sing some of her early music.” … Dale Wasserman and his play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” may well have added fuel to the democratic movement at fever pitch in Thailand where “Cuckoo’s Nest” is being acted in the Thai language and adapted to its culture. The USIA arranged for a press confab with Wasserman and Thai newspapers–the target being young adults. The USIA noted putting the play into “local context was a delicate challenge as several of the play’s themes strike very close to home as Thailand struggles to return to democracy following a military coup.” … New contacts for Steve Guttenberg at Cannes included New Line’s Bob Shaye, and Steve says, “We now might be doing something.” Guttenberg was at the fest to announce his deal with Menahem Golan and 21st Century’s “What Do Women Want?” And further, Guttenberg says he got an offer there from Home Screen Ent. of London and the Shart Bros.’ “Impact” as well. Guttenberg and wife Denise are also developing an untitled script at Par by Gavin Scott. The thesp is now en route to Paris. … Barney Rosenzweig and wife Sharon Gless, location-scouting their feature “Personal Services” (she’d play a madam), were driving through Texas at 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. A state trooper stopped ’em, hauled ’em back 20 miles to the magistrate in Brady township. After a “lot of heated words about Texas hospitality,” Barney says they were given the option of a $66 fine or jail. “Not wishing to discuss reasons for evacuating the central Texas town so rapidly–the KKK had just registered with the town fathers for a public rally–I paid the fine while Sharon fumed, unmollified by a note from the bailiff in the midst of the proceedings saying, ‘I know who you are and love your work.’ ” The capper came at the end of the “trial” when the Justice of the Peace put down her gavel and asked La Gless for her autograph. Yes, she gave it. P.S.: The Rosenzweig company will not be filming there anytime soon.

JOHNNY CARSON APOLOGIZED TO THE TV ACAD, said Friday, his last day of taping, will be “too emotional for him” to attend the ayem unveiling of the Acad’s Carson sculpture by Ernest Shelton. Johnny’s son Cory and brother Dick C. will represent him at the outdoor Hall of Fame Plaza in North Hollywood. … Kushner-Locke is talking about shooting the next 22 segs of its CBS series “Sweating Bullets” in South Africa. The first 22 were filmed in Israel–which is still being considered, as is Australia. It all “comes down to the deal.” K-L has the four-hour NBC mini “Double Cross,” about Sam Giancana, being scripted by Tracy Keenan Wynn, plus two-hour telepic “The John Gotti Story,” about prosecutor Diane Gacalone, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Gotti. And K-L also has a half-hour pilot, “The Champ,” written by John Singleton, about a young boxer in the ghetto. And, they’re currently filming a two-hour NBC “Father and Son” TV pic with Louis Gossett Jr.’s banner, co-starring Blair Underwood and Rae Dawn Chong, directed by Georg Stanford Brown. And big-screen features are in the works as well Hollywood Pictures’ Ricardo Mestres and Claudio Bonivento have completed a deal for the latter to produce, in English, his Donatello Award-winning “Forever Mary” and the sequel “Ragazzi.” Bonivento’s first English-language film was “Inner Circle” directed by Andrei Konchalovsky.

SCREEN RIGHTS TO “Madame Cleo’s Girls,” loosely based on the story of the legendary Parisian Madame Claude, written by Lucianne Goldberg (Pocket), were bought by Jay Weston, N.Y. socialite Joan Nuss and financier Ron Linclau. The book’s a Literary Guild selection. Jay’d like Faye Dunaway to play Cleo. … Sally Kirkland, playing a sex symbol in AIP’s feature “Double Vision” in Mobile, commutes to Salt Lake City to play a role originally written for Robert Duvall (!) in CBS’ “Double Jeopardy” and then segues to Iowa to play Roseanne Arnold’s housewife-pal and Elvis Presley freak in “Graceland” for ABC. … Susan Strasberg celebrates her birthday (54) Friday at Book Soup in West Hollywood, where she’ll autograph her book “Marilyn and Me” (Warner). Susan will also be keynoter at the rededication of MM’s Hollywood Boulevard star on her birthday, June l, followed this summer by the 30th anni of Monroe’s death. … While 75 of the world’s top photogs are here shooting Collins Publishers’ “A Day in the Life of Hollywood,” lenser Dirck Halstead’s hanging from an 11,000-foot-high Cortina, Italy, cliff shooting Sylvester Stallone on the “Cliffhanger” set. … Back on terra firma, Jonathan Tisch hosted his annual, TV-selling Power Breakfast at the Regency Hotel in New York. Among those there: Alan Berger, Michael Fuchs, Dan Rather, Deborah Norville, Caryn Mandabach, Norman Brokaw, Lou Weiss, Bob Morton, Laurence Tisch, Howard Stringer, Jeff Sagansky and Mark Mandala.

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