‘Sierra Madre’ inspires ‘Spider-Man’ helmer

GOOD MORNING: On May 23, “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi reveals “The Movie That Inspired Me” on Oscar winner Curtis Hanson’s program for the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Raimi’s inspiration was/is “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston and Tim Holt. Hanson tells me he was able to get the Library of Congress’ magnificent print of “Sierra Madre” for the event. He and Raimi will hold a discussion post-screening. Of course, Hanson has seen — and enjoyed — “Spider-Man.” Don’t forget, he knows Tobey Maguire from “Wonder Boys,” which Hanson directed and produced. Hanson is busy in the editing room for his “Fight Song” starring Eminem. He spent the winter filming the rapper in Detroit. I told Hanson that Eminem’s new CD reportedly contains a track called “White America” in which Eminem attacks both Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynn — with a video reportedly including a mock electrocution of the VP. I read some of the lyrics to Hanson and asked him if similar songs will be part of the Universal-Imagine film that he directed and produced with Brian Grazer. Hanson admits Eminem “raps in the movie — in freestyle battling. He (Eminem) hopes to take people into the world that people don’t know much about.” The film is skedded for release by U in November.

THEY’RE NO STRANGERS: Tony Awards co-hosts Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines worked with the show’s producer, Gary Smith — 40 years ago when Smith produced the Kraft Music Hall TV shows. Both Peters and Hines were guests. She was appearing n “Dames at Sea” and he was vaudevilling with his brother Maurice and father in their act “Hines, Hines and Dad.” Buz Kohan is writing the Tonycast (PBS 8-9, CBS 9-11, June 2), Ricky Kirshner is producing along with Smith and Glenn Weiss will direct the show from Radio City Music Hall. The nominees in new category Special Theatrical Event, Bea Arthur, Elaine Stritch, Barbara Cookand John Leguizamo, hopefully will perform as an ensemble. Smith wings back to L.A. Thursday to “work” for his wife, Maxine, who is producing the SHARE show Saturday from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Gary has overseen this show 14 years for the charitable ladies. He returns to N.Y. Monday morning to resume work on the Tonys. This year’s SHARE show is “Gotta Dance” and president Joni Berry hosts this cast: Ray Charles, Garry Shandling, emcee Roseanne. James Gandolfini will present the Shining Spirit Award to HBO programming topper Chris Albrecht. Charlene Painter choreo/directs the show … Steven Spielberg wound “Catch Me If You Can” at 3 ayem in Montreal — on time and on budget. He returned to L.A. to join wife Kate, DreamWorks partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, and David Geffen to host a fund-raiser for Gov. Gray Davis at Morton’s Monday night. Melissa Etheridge entertained. They raised $500,000. “Catch Me If You Can” is skedded for Christmas release. Spielberg’s “Minority Report” comes out June 21. Katzenberg winged out Tuesday for Cannes and the “Spirit” screening.

RECOVERING FROM BACK SURGERY, John Frankenheimer was unable to be on hand for Tuesday’s toasting and screening of his (HBO) “Path to War” at the DGA, which co-hosted with the Museum of Television & Radio. Gary Sinise, who plays George Wallace in the LBJ drama — and also starred as Wallace in Frankenheimer’s “Wallace” — subbed along with Frankenheimer’s wife, Evans. HBO’s Colin Callender introduced the film … Arthur Hiller winged back to his hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, where a street was named Arthur Hiller Way. He returns there regularly to workshop students at the Victoria School of Performing & Visual Arts. While there, he also met with Canada’s Olympic Gold Medal figure-skating duo, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, who skated to the theme of “Love Story” — which, of course, Hiller directed … A.E. Hotchner’s article on Elaine’s eatery, to appear in the July Vanity Fair, will boast a pic of the regulars lensed there Tuesday by photog Jonathan Becker. The smiling group included Hotchner, George Plimpton, David Halberstam, Nelson Aldrich, former Mayor David Dinkins, Lewis Lapham, Fred Kimball, Terry McDonnell, Fred Seidel, Father Pete Colapietro, Chuck Pfeifer, Bobby Zarem and, of course, Elaine Kaufman … At the May 29 fund-raiser for the (other) Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center at the Pierre, honorees included Gerry Byrne and Peter Schickele. Harvey Keitel hosts.

BARBARA COOK RECEIVED the New Dramatists Broadway 53rd-anniversary tribute Tuesday at the Marriott Marquis theater. Hal Prince made the presentation to the Tony nominee … Sad to report thesp Ray Stricklyn lost his battle with emphysema Tuesday morning. The star of stage, feature and TV films was 70. He managed a final appearance at the Ahmanson in 2000 when he was honored with the Theater L.A. Ovation Award for career achievement… An all-star final tribute to Milton Berle will be given Friday by L.A.’s Friars Club … New York’s Friars honored legendary and continuously active bandleader Skitch Henderson with a toasting m.c.’d by Marvin Hamlisch.

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