Dunaway leaves dry spell far behind

GOOD MORNING: When you’re hot — you’re you-know-what. Faye Dunaway and Garry Marshall shot their “The Twilight of the Golds” scenes for director Ross Marks on weekends, because Dunaway’s also co-starring in “The Chamber” for director James Foley, while Marshall starts directing “Dear God” March 15, and Faye has a start date in Spain for “In Praise of Older Women” for director Fernando Trueba (“Belle Epoque”). Dunaway admits, “I love to work, but I had a dry spell.” Her first scene in “Chamber” was with fellow Oscar winner Gene Hackman; they hadn’t worked together since “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967). He’s playing her father (gets an older look), with their initial reunion scene taking place on death row. Dunaway recalled Warren Beatty’s praise for Hackman on “Bonnie”: “He gave the most authentic performance — never a false moment.” Dunaway shifts from playing a Jewish New Yorker in “Twilight” to a Southern socialite in “Chamber.” The latter’s not too tough for her: she’s from Tallahassee. Dunaway works two months in Mississippi. And after he departs death row in “The Chamber,” Hackman takes on “Extreme Measures” for a couple of weeks … Harvey Weinstein sits next to Prince Charles at tonight’s Royal preem of Miramax’s “Restoration” for the Prince’s Trust at London’s Leicester Sq. Empire theater. Happy Harvey reminds that his movie’s about Charles II “and if he (Prince Charles) becomes king, he’ll be Charles III.” Oscar-nominated director Michael Radford (‘The Postman”) is winging over with Weinstein — the London Crix Awards will be given Friday.

WITH APOLOGIES TO “SOUTH PACIFIC” and Rodgers & Hammerstein: there is nothing like a hit! I’m talking about MGM/UA’s “The Birdcage,” whose Mann’s Village preem brought out the kind of reaction filmmakers dream of. And I must see it again, having missed much of the dialogue because of the laughs. The party in a giant tent over UCLA’s Parking Lot 32 was a joyous occasion, but celebrants had a tough time hearing one another’s praises because of the music’s drowning-out decibels. The sound was finally called to a halt at 12:30 because of curfew laws — otherwise it might still be going on. The celebration, however, was so infectious, some of the guests walked into the (very shallow) 60′ x 40′ pool that Pat Ryan’s crew from Parties Plus West had built, with added sand, pool chaises, etc. to fantasy the Florida South Beach setting of the pic. Scantily dressed drag queens from Chi’s Baton Club, on plastic platforms, gyrated throughout the night. Among those who dipped into the water: Jim Brooks, Doug Wick and Helen Hunt. Joining a giant conga line was the pic’s co-star Christine Baranski, who also danced on the prop Birdcage stage where Robin Williams can-can’d with drag queens. Robin’s pal Ron Kovic joined the dancing in his wheelchair. The cost of the party equaled the N.Y. bash at Roseland — about $180,000. But everyone, especially Frank Mancuso, John Calley and Mike Marcus, was talking anticipated huge grosses both domestically and foreign for the pic. Others getting congrats: Mike Nichols, Robin, Hank Azaria, Baranski and Calista Flockhart.

HOT ON THE (HIGH) HEELS of the gay-themed “Birdcage,” comes “Whistling Dixie.” Rex McGee’s original screenplay is about the present-day battle in a small town that discovers a Civil War general, whose statue adorns the town square, was gay. David Foster and Em Green will produce and natch, they’ll offer MGM first crack at it … At NATO/ShoWest Wednesday, Jim Garner who’ll co-star with Jack Lemmon in WB’s “Fellow Americans,” told the assemblage, “I did my first TV series for WB, did my first movie for WB — and won my first lawsuit against WB!”… Tonight’s the big Coca-Cola ShoWest “Blues Blowout” with Jim Belushi’s Sacred Hearts Band at the Aladdin after tonight’s awards ceremony … Brooke Shields got a new sparkler from Andre Agassi, making the wedding one cut closer … Marlo Thomas, here for tonight’s St. Jude gala starring Roseanne and Tony Bennett at the Century Plaza, is making her second guesting on “Friends,” as Jennifer Aniston’s mom “who wants to get a divorce and be like her daughter — and she will definitely get the divorce”… Lisa and Andy Licht (“Cable Guy” producer) welcomed son Daniel, Monday at Cedars-Sinai … A special celebration is held tonight at N.Y.’s “21” for headwaiter Walter Weiss toasting his 50th anni there … Gerry and Chuck Panama celebrate their 42nd wedding anni tonight — at the UCLA-Washington basketball game … Arthur Penn receives the SanFran film fest Akira Kurosawa Award for Lifetime achievement by a director. He is in post-production on “‘Inside,” the South African drama starring Nigel Hawthorne, Louis Gossett Jr. and Eric Stoltz. Hilly Elkins produced. The fest also showcases Penn’s “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Little Big Man” and “Night Moves”… Allyn Ferguson composes the score for CBS’ “What Love Sees: A True Story,” and he’s now writing the rally song for the Oakland A’s. He hit a homer already for the SanFran Giants.

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