GOOD MORNING: One chapter is closing — and another is re-opening. The former is the story about the German government and companies that are reaching an agreement (tentatively set at $5.2 billion) to compensate Nazi-era forced and slave laborers. And now here is news about the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich and the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes. Revelations of the sole surviving terrorist who took part in the operation are part of a secretly completed feature, “One Day in September” by award-winning producer Arthur Cohn. Michael Douglas is the narrator. The production actually tracked down the surviving terrorist who has been living in secrecy ever since. He reveals for the first time what really happened in Munich. The film tells about the day when international brotherhood was to have been celebrated in sport and instead became one of horrific bloodshed and terror. Of the eight terrorists, five were killed in the shoot-out at the Munich airport and three were arrested by the German police, but later freed when a German Lufthansa plane was hijacked on the way from Beirut to Frankfurt and threats were made to blow up the plane if the three were not released immediately. Subsequently, the Israeli Mossad secret service killed two of them — but one remained free. That sole survivor was tracked down by the film company, which has been working secretly on the movie for 17 months. The director of the film is Kevin Macdonald, a grandson of Emeric Presburger who fled Hitler’s Germany and went on to team with Michael Powell on such films as “The Red Shoes” and “Tales of Hoffman” … “One Day in September” was completed in England in collaboration with Passion Pictures. It has a music score composed of classics of the ’70s … This is Cohn’s first film since last year’s Golden Globe and BAFTA-winner, “Central Station. ” (He of course, also produced the Oscar winning “The Gardens of the Finzi-Continis”). The American Film Institute has had a private screening of “September” and Jean Firstenberg tells me “It is a powerful and unique film made by a distinguished producer and director.” And the AFI will world premiere “One Day in September,” Jan. 18 to an invitational audience at the Writers Guild in BevHills. The AFI had coincidentally also had the premiere of Cohn’s “Central Station,” which went on to win many awards … And speaking of Douglas, I am reminded of a humorous line in Kirk Douglas’ touching Bar Mitzvah speech: “I always fasted on Yom Kippur. I still worked in movies but I fasted. And let me tell you, it’s not easy making love to Ava Gardner on an empty stomach.” And while we’re in this same vein of thought, Miramax-Dimension’s “Tale of the Mummy” producer Daniel Sladek tells me he’s been named chairman of the Jewish National Fund Entertainment Council. The 100-year-old JNF is the official caretaker of the Land of Israel providing support for ongoing ecological and environmental development projects.
TWO OF BARBRA STREISAND’S CLOSEST friends (and collaborators) will not be attending her New Year’s Eve celebration at the MGM Grand. They are Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Marilyn underwent another knee surgery Wednesday in L.A. and she tells me she’ll be “quiet” for a month. There’s a chance the Bergmans will be able to look in at Barbra’s Vegas rehearsals now in progress in Manhattan Beach. One of the numbers she’ll do in the millennium show is the Bergmans’ new song, “Simple Pleasures.” Alan Bergman just completed a two-night singing stand in N.Y.’s Algonquin hotel “with special guest” Tony-winner Donna Murphy. The Bergmans are also working with Quincy Jones on the CBS millennium special from D.C. — they’re writing text for the “Circle of Hope” seg that will include many of the world’s spiritual leaders … At Tom Hayden’s 60th birthday party, Warren Beatty said, “I hope in 10 to 15 years, that Tom Hayden will help me celebrate my 60th birthday.” (Warren is 62) … Olivia de Havilland was on hand Wednesday night in Paris for UNESCO’s 60th anni screening and party for “GWTW.” Marisa Berenson, a UNESCO representative was among the celebs on hand.
MICHAEL CAINE WAS FETED by pal Roger Moore in London where Moore screened “The Cider House Rules” for chums — and Acad members over there. Caine says he reverts to the American accent he adopted for the pic, “only when I have two or three drinks.” Sure, he says he’d return to Hollywood if nominated (again). ” I have learned to do ‘the face’ — you know ‘the face’ you put on, saying, ‘I’m so pleased for him’ — when they read someone else’s name as the winner!” Caine of course is a winner — for “Hannah and Her Sisters” back in 1986 — and was nominated three other times. But not last year for “Little Voice” for which he got a Golden Globe … The Endeavor Agency held its fifth annual Christmas party — in tradition-like black tie and formal-gowns at L.A.’s historic Park Lane hotel. Door prizes included trips to Aspen, Palm Springs and Mexico and a $2,000 gift certificate at Armani. It was a very good year. … The sad saga of Carol Channing and Charles Lowe continues. Carol is contesting the will of her late husband and a hearing is set for Sept. 28 in L.A. He had rewritten his original will during a lingering illness during which Carol moved to Florida and filed to divorce him.