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Newsweek story has D’Works up in arms

GOOD MORNING: DreamWorks is mad as hell about Newsweek’s current cover regarding Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” and the subject “War is hell,” including nine pages inside about the war film. The movie is skedded to open July 24 and DreamWorks accuses Newsweek of going against the guidelines of release materials.

Further, DreamWorks’ legal department is investigating the use of quotes in the issue that Spielberg had given solely for Newsweek’s special issue on the AFI’s top 100, in which he wrote a section on war movies. Of course DreamWorks is also concerned that the early Newsweek break may jeopardize a hoped-for cover-and-story in Time magazine.

The ballyhoo runs counter to DreamWorks’ intent to open the pic to a minimum of attention and hype; the studio hopes to let audiences discover the film.

This may all be much ado about something else because the advance word on the film is that the Academy can start polishing up more Oscars for Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg — the latter proving that “Schindler’s List” was not a one-shot chef d’oeuvre of WWII.

THE PLAY, AND NOT THE BUDGET, is the thing for Jimmy Woods, who stars in pix of all prices. He segued from his banner’s “Another Day in Paradise” co-starring with Melanie Griffith (which goes to the Toronto Film Fest) to the current “The Virgin Suicides” for HandMade Films and exec producer Francis Coppola; latter is directed by Coppola’s daughter Sofia (“who is fantastic,” sez Woods), and co-stars Kathleen Turner and Kirsten Dunst. Previously, Woods costarred in Clint Eastwood’s “True Crime” for WB and upcoming are the Simon West-helmed “The General’s Daughter” with John Travolta for Par, “Race to Space” directed by Sean McNamara, followed by “Any Given Sunday” for Oliver Stone. Woods will take a break on the 22nd to visit his mom in Rhode Island (the actor is in that State’s Hall of Fame). And on the 27th Woods receives the Italian Fashion Industry’s award as Man of Elegance … Wedding pix of Barbra Streisand and Jim Brolin, shot by Deborah (Mrs. Jeff) Wald, will be published exclusively in the U.S. by People mag. It includes the cover plus 11 pages and is on the stands later this week. The pix were also bought by Hello in England and Bunte Illustrirte in Germany … Playboy mag’s multimillion-$ “Playmate 2000” search bus heads out across the country Friday to 35 cities to find “the Playmate of the millennium.” The bus features a totally equipped, high-tech photo studio. First stop is Vancouver; last is L.A. Dec. 16-18. On hand to farewell the bus will be Hugh Hefner, Perry Farrell, current cover (and uncover) girl Downtown Julie Brown, a bevy of bikini’d Playmates — and Dennis Rodman. Wonder what he’ll wear? … David Swift, scripter of the 1961 original “Parent Trap” (who also toplines the writing credit for the Disney version bowing this month) and “Dennis the Menace” creator Hank Ketchum have teamed on “Mr. Pic.” It’ll bow as a book, then segue into a movie. It’s another happy, family film, this one set in a museum. Swift says youngster Linda Lohan, the lead in the current Nancy Meyers/Charles Shyer “Parent Trap,” would also be right for this “Pic.” (Hayley Mills starred as twins in the original, you recall) … Add family fare: The touring “Sesame Streets Art From the Fuzzy and Famous” features celeb art, including works by Katie Couric, Tony Bennett, Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Bush, based on their impressions of “Sesame Street.” The show bows at L.A.’s Every Picture Tells a Story on Tuesday and finales in N.Y. with an auction at Sotheby’s in a gala benefiting children’s charities: the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Reading Is Fundamental, and the National Black Child Development Institute.

EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST — and doubly so for “Chicago” as the two troupes of national companies of the show lunch together at the BevWilshire today. Casts of both the Shubert and the company playing the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa will toast each other and perhaps exchange notes on respective audiences … Music lover Fred Hayman has donated $250,000 to the new Disney Hall in L.A. … .Lawrence Monoson, who plays recurring roles in CBS’ Chicago Hope” and ABC’s’ “The Practice,” will play studio chief Monroe Stahr in the first stage production of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Last Tycoon,” preeming July 17 at Hollywood’s Fountain Theatre. Pen West Award winner Simon Levy adapted “Tycoon” and directs. The Stahr character, loosely based on Irving Thalberg, was played by Robert De Niro in the bigscreen version … British stage and TV star Millicent Martin, who starred at the Shubert in “42nd St.” and at the Hartford in “Side by Side By Sondheim,” shelved a London Victoria Theater offer to star in “Baby Jane” and instead inked for her first running role in a U.S. soap, “The Days of Our Lives.” She and husband-vocal coach Marc Alexander hope to become permanent residents here. Meanwhile, she is house-guesting with close friend Bea Arthur … Kay Freeman (Mrs. Murray Weissman) and Marilyn Hewes (Mrs. Don Sherman) perform their “Still Struttin’ ” musical biog at the Actor’s Alley in North Hollywood’s El Portal starting July 19 for five successive Sundays … Patricia Medina appears with her truly touching autobio, “Laid Back in Hollywood,” July 16 at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip. Medina has also completed her second book, a novel “Where There’s A Will –” and is now talking to publishers … Ben Starr sold his screenplay, “Nothing To Sneeze At,” a comedy about a pharmaceutical company, to Sun, Moon and Stars Entertainment. Brian Hutton will direct, Barry Navidi produces … Gwen Davis’ guess-who novel, “West of Paradise,” written by her during a stay in Bali, is the No. 1 best-seller in Turkey. Gwen, of course, p.a.’d her book in Istanbul … “Psycho” director Gus Van Sant dined his costars Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn at Drai’s. Yes, Ellen DeGeneres was also there … Mark Addy (“Full Monty”) and Katey Sagal (“Married With Children”) received an ovation after filming the Carsey-Werner pilot “Earth Scum” before a live audience. They play a human and alien married couple living on another planet. Now it’s up to ABC to see where to put ’em in orbit in midseason.

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