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Spielberg to take break after completing ‘List’

GOOD MORNING: Steven Spielberg, although “on top of the world” with the success of “Jurassic Park,” admits he has been so “emotionally consumed” by his latest movie, “Schindler’s List,” that he is sending back all new scripts and plans to take five months off starting in November when he winds “List.”

“I have absolutely no plans to start a next movie,” he told me. “I spent many sleepless night in toxic shock going between the two movies.” While shooting “Schindler’s” in Krakow, he spent Sundays in Paris dubbing “Jurassic Park” with Skywalker Sound. “They took back all my notes.” He was on hand here for the final color correcting. Amblin’s post in-house, led by Colin Wilson and ILM, oversaw the work here after Steven had put “J.P.” in “frozen form” and left for Poland. George Lucas was standing in for any questions. But George was also busy on “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles,” Spielberg reminded … Spielberg lost 17 relatives in the Holocaust and said “it’s hard to discuss” how his movie handles the death camp scenes — graphically shown in many WWII docus. “I’m being very level-headed about it. But ,” Spielberg reminded, “no single event can ever erase hate. prejudice or doubt. I hope ‘Schindler’s List’ supplies new information — to high schools, for example, where 60% of those polled never heard of the Holocaust. And 22% thought the Holocaust never really happened. No movie can change the world. But we can put out information. ‘Schindler’s List’ is a whole different approach to telling the story. It’s a movie about a man’s life. I credit Universal because there’s very little commercial upside to this movie (which cost $ 22 million). It was very courageous of them.” He credits Sid Sheinberg. “He found the book for me.” As for box office records being set by “Jurassic Park” (it took in $ 8.29 million Tuesday for a five-day tally of $ 67 million), Spielberg admits, “I never dreamed it would do this. Sid (Sheinberg) had the guts to call it (in the Wall Street Journal). I’ve never called anything. I’ve never predicted any picture — by any filmmaker.” Spielberg, who has never seen one of his movies with the paying public (except at a sneak, “where I needed their input”) was taken aback when he saw “J.P.” at the Avco Westwood. “As the lights were lowering for the start, a youngster yelled, ‘THIS BETTER BE GOOD!’ ” Spielberg slipped lower in his seat — but was quickly revived “as the audience became the sixth character and shared the fun.” Spielberg has already said it’s parents’ responsibilities whether their kids are mature enough to see the movie. His four youngsters under the age of 9 have not been allowed because they’re “vulnerable to things that go bump in the night.” Tuesday Spielberg joined Sheinberg at Universal’s tour and took the “Back to the Future” ride. “It’s the most spectacular ride I’ve ever been on,” he admitted. “Doug Trumbull made the dream come true — and I NEVER go on roller coaster rides!” Although Steven admitted he has been on the Matterhorn and Space Mountain at Disneyland … Sheinberg also gave Spielberg a tour of U’s CityWalk and lunched at Gladstone’s, where Steven reminded owner Bob Morris he’d made his biggest deals at the Gladstone’s in Malibu … Sheinberg told me he’s yet to see a single foot of “Schindler’s List” footage. “But, I have the same confidence in it as I had in ‘Jurassic Park.’ Not from a financial point of view — but as a most important picture, communicating an important message to the world. The Holocaust cannot be told too often. I know Steven is totally committed to the project.”… Spielberg has always said he’d never direct a sequel to one of his movies, but “Jurassic Park” is such a natural for a follow-up I posed the question again. His reply — and the first time Spielberg has ever given me this answer –“No comment.”

OSCAR NOMINEE JAYE DAVIDSON (“The Crying Game”) arrives here today to talk a major role with Mario Kassar in “Stargate” for Hexagon Films. Kurt Russell and James Spader are already set for the futuristic movie to be directed by Roland Emmerich (“Universal Soldier”) and to shoot in Yuma … Jean-Claude Van Damme tells me he expects to be in China for six months directing-starring in “Quest”… Ruth Reichl segues from the L.A. Times to be the N.Y. Times’ restaurant critic in late August. CBS has kindly transferred her husband, Michael Singer, to N.Y. where he’ll be a producer on the nightly news with Dan Rather and Connie Chung … Alan Arkin’s here from N.Y. to join Bruce Willis and Jon Lovitz in Rob Reiner’s “North,” playing a judge … And George Segal joins William Forsythe and Jo Champa in Joseph Melhi’s “Direct Hit.” Champa’s talking with producer George Jackson re an American version of the Oscar-nominated “La Famiglia” in which she starred with Vittorio Gassman. Champa acquired the English rights to repeat her role as well as produce — but she’d doff the acting hat if Jackson gets it greenlighted for a black cast … Sen. Ted Kennedy , in L.A. for a day, blocked time out from his sked to meet with Rick Pallack for a new wardrobe — suits (dark), shirts (white collars and cuffs), etc. … Leonard Nimoy directs Patricia Arquette in Innerscope’s “Holy Matrimony” for Hollywood Pictures. They start July 19 in Great Falls, Mont. … Chad McQueen stars in NBC’s “Search and Rescue” pilot produced by Robert Conrad, who also stars with Dee Wallace, Wil Shriner and Kelly Curtis … WB in association with Kevin Costner and Jim Wilson’s Tig Prods. exercised their option on the historical novel “Powderkeg.” The script’s being written by Jan Skrentny and Neal Tabachnick … Colleen Camp joins U’s ensemble pic, “Greed” starring Michael J. Fox and Kirk Douglas … Tonight, at Dorsey High, Steve Forrest launches his Steve Forrest Academic, Leadership and Spiritual Awards (to supplement college tuition). His “S.W.A.T.” co-star Rod Perry helps him make the presentation to Kaeta Taylor … The song is ended but — Alexis Smith had completed a role in Martin Scorsese’s “Age of Innocence.” And, at last year’s Carnegie Hall tribute to Cole Porter, she recorded his “Nymph Errant” for an Angel/EMI CD … And the late Erroll Garner’s ongoing projects include Emarcy/Polygram’s five albums that include hitherto-unissued recordings — plus a sixth album in the “Erroll Garner Collection.”