To the rescue: a case of Cannes do derring-do

CANNES — The al fresco dinner and party following last week’s competition screening of Warner Bros./New Regency’s “L.A. Confidential” drew a slew of established and rising stars to the Piper Heidsiecke vineyard above Cannes.

The film’s stars — Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger and Danny DeVito — joined writer-helmer Curtis Hanson and producers Arnon Milchan and Michael Nathanson, all of whom were chauffeured to the Palais screening in late-’50s vintage American cars.

But for all the derring-do in the film, some of the evening’s biggest heroics came when one guest passed out and fell into the champagne vineyard’s pool. As black-tied guests watched, Liz Byrne, wife of Variety publisher Gerry Byrne, threw off her jacket and shoes, and dove into the water for a dramatic rescue, after which she calmly took her seat for the sit-down dinner and fireworks show.

She didn’t even ask for a hair dryer.

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