GOOD MORNING: George Stevens’ footage of the death camp Dachau, liberated one week before the war ended, will be shown again — this time in CBS’ four-hour mini “Haven,” starring Natasha Richardson, Anne Bancroft, Hal Holbrook, Martin Landau, Amanda Plummer and Bruce Greenwood. Director John Gray told me, “It is important that it (the footage) be shown” in Ruth Gruber’s true story of the saving of 1,000 Holocaust survivors in their voyage to a safe haven in the U.S. … Stevens shot the scenes for the Army when he was assigned by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to organize movie coverage of the war in Europe, starting in 1942. George Stevens Jr., who produced “A Son’s Tribute” about his dad, recalled his father had put the footage in storage after reviewing the Dachau reel once for 10 minutes: “He had to shove it back under the covers; it was just too much for him.” Stevens had shot the scene in color and George Jr. had told the N.Y. Times, “the color film of snow-covered corpses in boxcars, bodies stacked like cordwood in the camp courtyard and skeletal prisoners who were infected with typhus and dying daily is evidence that will live forever.” (Death camp footage will also be shown in TNT’s July 16-17 “Nuremberg,” which also airs the exact transcripts of the trial from the Library of Congress) … “Haven” director Gray is filming in Toronto whose streets are doubling for Germany in the ’30s, with the U. of Toronto subbing for the U. of Cologne. Shipboard scenes with the survivors will be filmed aboard a former WWII troop ship on tour this summer, as a museum. “Haven” is a return to sea for director Gray whose “The Hunley,” about the Civil War sub, gets a rebirth as the boat will be raised from Charleston’s waters next month. Gray says he’s heartbroken he won’t be able to attend: “I was promised a front row seat.” He goes back to sea for his next film, “The Seventh Stream” for Hallmark Hall of Fame. This one’s set in the Irish sea at the turn of the century, the legend of seals who become humans. Gray’s also surrounded by water in another project, “Alcatraz” for TNT.
YOU WONDER WHY SOME movies get made today — and why some don’t. F’rinstance, director Bruce Beresford admitted to me he and playwright Alfred Uhry are still unable to get Uhry’s “Last Night of Ballyhoo” picked up for a film. In 1997 it won a best play Tony Award, and the two had teamed earlier on Uhry’s Pulitzer-winning play-to-film, “Driving Miss Daisy,” which won Oscars for best picture and Uhry’s screenplay. Beresford and Uhry talk about a possible “Ballyhoo” film almost weekly and the director tells me they want Richard Dreyfuss to be one of the stars. “And a wonderful cast to join him.” He reminds, “No one also wanted to make ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ until the Zanucks (Richard and Lili) decided to do it.” The Zanucks tried to get HBO to do “Ballyhoo” but they passed. Presently, Beresford’s in Austria directing “Bride of the Wind,” starring Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce and Vincent Perez. Wynter will be on screen this fall opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Sixth Sense” and with Winona Ryder and Ben Chaplin in “Lost Souls.” In “Bride,” she plays Alma Schindler Mahler, considered the most beautiful woman in turn-of-the-century Vienna. Yes, there are many love scenes in the film, and Wynter is to be seen nude, but Beresford promises, “It will be in reasonably good taste.” Beresford’s next is “Beatrice Potter,” for which Cate Blanchett is one of those being talked … From the sublime to –: in “Boys and Girls,” Jason Biggs admits to me the final (flatulent) scene with him and four Victoria Secret models is “as gross as it gets!” Well. it was difficult for Biggs to follow “American Pie.” But Biggs (22) promises he has no other “gross” scenes in the many films he’s gotten under his belt this past year: the currently filming comedy “Saving Silverman,” the comedy “Loser” (directed by Amy Heckerling, whom he describes as “Great!”), and the dramatic “Prozac Nation” directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg.
THE ACADEMY’S STUDENT AWARDS program paid off for three young creators, thanks to Steve Guttenberg. He was a presenter and was so impressed, he’s set the trio for his own feature film, “P.S. Your Cat Is Dead” from James Kirkwood’s play and novel. Guttenberg is directing, as well as starring, and he co-adapted the script with Jeffrey Korn and is producing with Kyle Clark. Steve is financing the pic on his own. The three student winners working on his film: David Armstrong, cinematographer; Derrick Vaughn, editor; and Marnie Banack, co-director. But the pic shuttered while Guttenberg recovers from a shoulder injury. He was also doing his own stunt! … Melanie Griffith’s sister Tracy is the chef, along with Jason Yamazaki at Mark Fleishman’s Tsunami eatery. On hand to well-wish ’em at their bow Wednesday: Melanie (natch), Pierce Brosnan, Suzanne Somers, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Spacey, Drew Barrymore, Cybill Shepherd, etc. P.S. Tracy’s on the lower level sushi bar, cooking … Add family showbizness: At the D.C. preem of the National Geographics docu “Destination Space,” producer John Rubin, his father Stanley (who produced “Destination Gobi” in 1952) and his mother, actress Kathleen Hughes (who starred in “It Came from Outer Space” also in 1952). Spaced out!