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Black-tie fete for top gun Tom Cruise

Museum of Moving Image honors actor-producer

Sumner Redstone probably won’t be there. But everyone else will.

Tom Cruise will be honored tonight by the Museum of the Moving Image at its annual black-tie salute, to be held this time at Manhattan’s tony eatery Cipriani 42nd Street.

Looking for a full house in excess of 500 guests, the museum is hoping to raise at least $1 million for its educational programs.

Cruise is being recognized for his career as a whole, but it is his new role with United Artists that makes the timing perfect.

“Salutes are traditionally actors or directors,” says museum director Rochelle Slovin. “Some of these actors and directors are also multitasking, and Tom Cruise is one of them. His position with United Artists puts him into a whole new phase of his career, and that makes it a perfect time to honor him.”

The significance of Cruise and UA is not lost on a historian like Slovin: “It’s a movie studio started by Chaplin and Fairbanks and Pickford. Here is Cruise in that same tradition.”

The evening of tribute will include extensive clips from Cruise’s films, introduced by directors he has teamed with such as Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”), Michael Mann (“Collateral”) and Ron Howard (“Far and Away”). Also on hand is Kenneth Branagh, with whom Cruise costars in the upcoming “Valkyrie.”

The Museum of the Moving Image, founded in 1981, is located in Astoria, Queens, and contains a collection of 130,000 objects from the history of movies, television and digital media.

In addition to its archives, the museum unspools about 300 films a year.

TIP SHEET

What: Moving Image Salute to Tom Cruise

When: Tonight

Where: Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City

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