GOOD MORNING: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason discovered footage of John F. Kennedy shaking hands with a 16-year-old Bill Clinton. She was doing research for her 15 -minute biofilm of Clinton, which will be shown Thursday at the Democonvention before he makes his acceptance speech. Thomason told me they found the film in the Kennedy archives. It was shot in the Rose Garden in 1963 when Clinton was there as a rep of Boys’ Nation from Arkansas. It has never been seen publicly before. And if Clinton becomes president it will become extremely significant footage. Thomason and Jeffrey Tuckman had been working around the clock to ready the biofilm from 10 hours of footage shot at the Arkansas governor’s mansion, plus another 18 hours and thousands of pages of text. Hillary and Bill Clinton viewed it yesterday and loved it. But Bloodworth-Thomason still needs to cut two minutes. “The Democrats found out what CBS has known about me for years,” laughed Linda. She says the footage is different from any previous candidate’s film. “People will get to see the Clintons they way their family and friends see them. I feel honored,” said Bloodworth-Thomason, “to be a part of history” “Youth for Truth,” the movie Robert Downey Jr. is shooting at the Democonvention–and to follow at the GOParty next month–“is between ‘Truth or Dare’ and ‘Woodstock’ in the ’90s,” said Elliott Kastner, who is producing it as a theatrical release. Although he admits he has pay-TV offers, Kastner, too, has Clinton (Bill and Hillary) footage, as well as film of H. Ross Perot and expects to get the same of George Bush. Vet producer Kastner is joined by young producers Josh Richmond, Donovan Leitch, Eric Cahan, Marc Levin and Marc Benjamin. Subjects filmed are “important to young people,” Kastner emphasizes. “Downey is marvelous–he’s contagious.” … Now being planned for airing on election eve is Larry Gelbart’s “Mastergate.” The play is being brought to Showtime by producer Charles Joffe and director Michael Engler (latter ditto’d on stage). And an all-star cast is now being assembled to play in the no holds-barred politicomedy-satire. … Robert Foxworth plays a sleazy political character, “The kind the American public finally seems to be waking up to,” says the “Falcon Crest” vet, returning to series in a recurring role in CBS’ “2000 Malibu Road.”
GREGORY PECK HAS KEPT IT A SECRET for a year, but now admits his Atticus Co. bought remake rights from Ingmar Bergman to his 1957 “Wild Strawberries,” and Peck will star in a contemporary American adaptation titled, “Dr. Demott.” Victor Sjostrom, Ingrid Thulin and Bibi Andersson were in the original cast. Martin Scorsese will exec produce, Noel Pearson produces and Anthony Peck and Joe Brutsman have written the new version. Peck tells me he has already gotten first-step financing from Canal Plus. A director is now being sought to direct the classic’s 1990s version. … A very happy Jean-Claude Van Damme phoned from N.Y. yesterday with the $10 million-plus weekend box office reports on TriStar’s “Universal Soldier,” in which he co-stars with Dolph Lundgren. Van Damme had a couple of days off “Crossing the Line,” a non-martial arts movie by Joe Eszterhas for Columbia with Rosanna Arquette, Ted Levine and Kieran Culkin (8 -year-old brother of Macaulay C.). Robert Harmon is directing and Craig Baumgarten (“Universal Soldier”) is producing. Last night, Jean-Claude dined with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis at N.Y.’s Planet Hollywood. He next stars in U’s “Hard Target,” about the homeless. His price in that one has risen to $3.5 million. He then returns to his Columbia pact.
BEFORE TONIGHT’S ALL-STAR game in San Diego, Tom Selleck (who stars in U’s “Mr. Baseball” bowing at World Series time), joins the ranks of baseball card stars for Upper Deck. It’s a first for a non-major leaguer. And on Aug. 29, Selleck joins the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum of Excellence in Williamsport, Pa.–along with Kareem Abdul Jabbar and George Will. … Diane Keaton segues to big screen directing for Steven Spielberg and WB’s “Pet People,” followed by another Alice Hoffman script at WB, “Seventh Heaven.” … Meanwhile, Susan Seidelman directs Juliette Lewis, Dianne Wiest and Samantha Mathis in Polygram’s “Yesterday” to shoot in Paris this October. … Michael Douglas winged in from Spain, Joel Douglas from Nice for tomorrow’s WGA memorial service for William Darrid who was married to the Douglas boys’ mother, Diana. … Signs of the times: June Levant, Oscar’s widow, has been receiving royalties from a long-forgotten song that Oscar wrote in the early ’30s: “Gay Love.” … Phyllis Diller celebrates her 75th birthday Friday at the St. Louis Muni where she’s appearing as the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” Diller drives in aboard a motorcycle, chased by a cop whom she slaps, then is tossed into a patrol car which exits with siren–and Diller–screaming. … Fred Savage celebrated his 16th birthday at Nicky Blair’s. Diners at Nicky’s wishing him happy birthday included Kenny Rogers and Chuck Norris. … James Woods and Heather Grant at Dan Tana’s again. … Julian Myers (74) placed second and third in running events at the USC Masters Meet (for his age group). … It’s “Mel Torme Day” Friday as he bows at the Bowl.