GOOD MORNING: Two of the principal players of “Our Fathers,” award-winners Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy, pull no punches in their reactions to the story — and both wonder about the future fate of the characters they play. Plummer plays Cardinal Bernard Law, demoted from his tenure as Archbishop of Boston and sent to the Vatican where Pope John Paul II set him to head St. Mary Maggiore Basilica. Dennehy plays Father Brian Spagnolia whose powerful condemnation of the church from his pulpit brought him removal from the church. Spagnolia is suing while the unsavory story unfolds nationwide … Dennehy, reached in London where he was readying his legit bow at the Lyric in ” Death Of A Salesman” says “I have very strong feelings in this area. I know personally of families to whom this happened. I know of one in which the guy committed suicide. I don’t think the church realizes the repercussions on the families — it’s a crime that keeps on going. I don’t know what the church didn’t send them (the failing priests) to jail instead of to a new assignment. The Church is a dictatorship .This scandal is not over — the Church has to figure out a way. It must be held accountable. They cannot hide behind their crimson robes.”
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER WAS as vehement in his condemnation of the Church — and Cardinal Bernard Law — whom he portrays. “He should be in a labor camp. And it was incredible that they (the priests) were (exonerated).” Plummer reminds he’s no stranger to playing villains, “I played Hitler and Richard III, and it was fascinating to play Cardinal Law. I like playing villains — they always believe they are right.” He also reminds that he played a cardinal on “The Thorn Birds” and Archbishop Hume in “Blessed.” … Law is awaiting his future status under Pope Benedict XVI — who was present (as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) when Law was brought before JPII for judgment. … Dan Curtis directs the Showtime no-holds barred film about the pedophilia scandal, the rape of hundreds of Catholic youth by priests serving under then-Archbishop Bernard Law. And Curtis tips his fedora to Showtime for going full throttle in this story without end. “Showtime backed us 100%. Bob Greenblatt loved this project. I want to show my appreciation to them and will appear at the Boston premiere,” he says. “We had some of the real victims on the set.” … Plummer is a member of the Church of England. However, growing up in Montreal, he says he went to services in the Catholic Church “which was more showbiz — it even had a full orchestra.” Plummer had just returned home from L.A. and a quickie three-day re-shoot on “Must Love Dogs” in which he plays Diane Lane’s father. He’s also completed “The New World” in which he plays Capt. Newport who sails with Capt. John Smith (Colin Farrell) and bride Pocahontas to England. And he’ll also costar in “Il Mare” with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Next, he stars in “Four Minutes,” the story of the four minute mile-breaker Roger Bannister with Jamie Machlachlan running-starring for ESPN with Gerald Abrams and Bud Greenspan exec producing, Charles Beeson directs. Frank Marshall told me in June he was readying to bigscreen Neal Bascomb’s “The Perfect Mile” based on the four-minute mile race of Bannister, John Landy, and Wes Santee.
KITTY CARLISLE HART was winging to L.A. with lifelong friend/neighbor Anne Kaufman to see son Christopher Hart direct “You Can’t Take It with You,” written by his father and George S. Kaufman, at the Geffen at the Brentwood Wednesday. So Geffen director Gil Cates asked Kitty if she’d do one performance of her show, “Here’s to Life” the previous night. She agreed — and brought down the house, which was set up for the Hart-Kaufman comedy. Cates said “It was one of the nicest evenings I’ve ever had in my life.” He is trying to set Kitty H. to do another stand — to celebrate her next, 95th(!) birthday … Samuel L. Jackson and wife LaTanya Richardson are event chairs for L.A.’s “Star Wars: Episode Three — Revenge of the Sith” preem May 12 at the Mann Village Theater. Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) hosts with proceeds going to ANSA’s initiative to help children orphaned by AIDS in South Africa. Jackson said, “We are grateful to George Lucas to give us this premiere which will alleviate effects of AIDS by funding two villages in Kwazulu Natal. He and his wife are currently costarring in N.Y./N.J. in Joe Roth’s “Freedom Land” starring Julianne Moore, Ron Eldard and Edie Falco … Jackson, who played Mace Windu in the “Star Wars” saga, has been in talks with Lucas, who wants Jackson do direct (first time) a WWII story … Dr. Irene Kassorla, husband Dr. Norman Friedman and daughter Ronnie hosted a gathering at their home Wednesday to benefit the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. On hand were football great Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc, who suffered a spinal cord injury, and the Kassorlas’ grandson Alec, who sustained an accident that left him a quadriplegic … The Museum of TV and Radio screens a restored print of the 1959 “What Makes Sammy Run” May 9 with cast member Dina Merrill, director Delbert Mann and cowriter Budd Schulberg on hand … And Shirley Jones is on hand Friday at the Acad’s Goldwyn Theater for the screening of the roadshow presentation of “Carousel.”