GOOD MORNING: Hitler, Clinton and next, JFK. Sidney Blumenthal, who lived in the real West Wing as senior adviser to President Clinton, is now on the p.a. route talking up his hefty tome “The Clinton Wars” (Farrar Strauss & Giroux). He’s also negotiating for a TV docu version via his ICM agents in London. Blumenthal’s also returning to the bigscreen, reteaming with Menno Meyjes on a JFK feature. They duo’d on “Max,” the 2002 Adolf Hitler feature on which Meyjes direct-debuted on his script, with Blumenthal as associate producer. Blumenthal sees the Kennedy film as “a combination ‘American President’ meets ‘The Seventh Samurai’ — with a little bit of ‘The Maltese Falcon.’ ” . . . Coincidentally, Robert Dallek’s new book, “An Unfinished Life,” is now making waves revealing Kennedy’s relationship with another young White House worker, Mimi Beardsley . . . Blumenthal tells all about Clinton and says he did not show his book to either Bill or Hillary until it was completed. Hillary said, “My book is chattier!” And Bill’s reaction was: “I think it’s one helluva dime novel,” adding seriously, “It’s the one book that got all the details right!” Blumenthal also tells of his discovery of the Republicans’ plot against the president on camera in Harry Thomason’s upcoming feature “The Hunting of the President” which bows at the Toronto Film Festival in September. “He makes a couple of good points,” Thomason told me . . . Norman Lear will host Blumenthal one night at the Armand Hammer Museum during his L.A. book-tour stop.
IT’S NOT LIKE “You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again” — but producer Robert Cort’s novel “Action!” (Random House) will certainly raise eyebrows, turn heads — and? The book started out as a four-decade history of Hollywood and sold as nonfiction to Random House — but he decided to convert it into a novel — “a family drama set in the movie business.” Cort, 56, has been in the biz 28 of those years. He swears he’s not a character in the book — but he knows all the characters, as does his wife of 20 years, manager Rosalie Swedlin. He worried about her reading some of the sexy portions! Cort’s upcoming film is “Against the Ropes” for Par. Meg Ryan and Charles S. Dutton star and Dutton also directs. Cort has 11 more films in development at Par. They range from “David Copperfield” to an untitled “Dr. Kildare” project. He says he wants to do more comedy. “There’s nothing like sitting in the back row of a theater and hearing the audience laugh.” I suggested he see “The In-Laws” — I haven’t laughed that much in years! . . . Andy Garcia wound producing-playing in his fourth Univision album with Cachao (Israel Lopez) Tuesday night and tomorrow departs for Bucharest to start Mick Davis’ “Modigliani,” about the artist Amadeo Modigliani. As soon as he winds, Garcia wings to London, then western Canada, to star in Ron Bass’ “The Lazarus Child” with Angela Bassett. And then starts his long-planned (10 years) Cuba-set pic “The Lost City,” with Florida subbing for Cuba (where Garcia was born in 1956). Garcia’s also been told by Jerry Weintraub to be ready to start “Ocean’s Twelve” in February. This one’s an international caper.
MARVIN DAVIS, RECUPING from knee surgery at Cedars-Sinai, is due home in time for the holiday weekend . . . His daughter, Nancy Davis, and her husband, Ken Rickels, are expecting a baby this fall . . . Bernie Brillstein makes his first dramatic appearance before the cameras — in a poker session in “The Sopranos” . . . Edward Albee receives an honorary doctorate of the humanities Saturday at Savannah College of Art & Design graduation exercises . . . Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, author of the fascinating bio on Sam Spiegel, is now embarking on the bio of another colorful cinema star, Richard Harris . . . Michael Nouri, who just guestarred in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” in N.Y., next starts rehearsals as Auguste Rodin in Goodspeed Musicals’ “Camille Claudel,” co-starring with Linda Eder at the Norris Terris Theater in Chester, Conn. . . . With “X2” in release and “Runaway Jury,” with Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and John Cusack, not out until October, Bruce Davison took a theater break to star in a workshop production of “The Hiding Place” by Jeff Whitty at South Coast Repertory over the weekend . . . Lorna Luft, a hit at Hollywood’s Feinstein’s at the Cinegrill, was joined onstage by 12-year-old daughter Vanessa for a truly emotional moment when Lorna’s mom, Judy Garland, sang “Over the Rainbow” onscreen with Lorna counter-melody-singing “Shining Star” by Ken and Mitzie Welch . . . Rip Torn teams up again with Ray Romano on the bigscreen in “Mooseport” — they’re first upcoming in “Eulogy” . . . Walter C. Miller produces and his son Paul directs the National Memorial Day Concert from the Capitol lawn, airing Monday on PBS 8-9:30 p.m. The cast includes Ossie Davis, Michael Crawford, Charles Durning, Tony Randall, Joe Mantegna, Renee Fleming, John Glenn, Lone Star, Linda Eder and the National Symphony orch. The salute to the armed services includes the Brits . . . Betty Garrett celebrates her 84th birthday today (it’s actually Friday), gets her star on the Walk of Fame Friday and performs June 14 at Glendale’s Alex Theater in the “Life’s a Stitch” gala benefiting the Susan Love M.D. Breast Cancer Research Foundation . . . Frank Cooper celebrated his 91st birthday Wednesday, also his 78th year in showbiz and, on Friday, his 66th wedding anni with wife Sylvia . . . Ben Melniker, who was general counsel for MGM for almost 30 years, celebrates his 90th birthday Sunday . . . The HELP Group serving children with disabilities, honors Jerry Weintraub at its Teddy Bear Picnic June5 at the BevHilton.