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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 16, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 16, 1980

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Page 12. HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News, May 16. 1980 Oor00o,. ,n James Caan Proves Directing Ability; George Burns to Portray 'God' Again by Herbert G. Luft (Copyright 1980, JTA, Inc.) George Burns is reprising the role he originated in 1977 GEORGE BURNS to star in with "Oh, God!" with a sequal "Oh God II," in which he co- stars with I I -year-old Louanne (no surname) of "Annie" fame. Her role is that of Tracy, precocious child of an estranged couple portrayed by Suzanne Pleshette and David Birney. She talks with God, lunches with Him at a McDonald drive-in, catches Him on the Johnny Carson Show, gets help from Him with her school work and even takes a wild motorcycle ride on the freeway with Him. What more can one expect from a nice Jewish girl? The whimsical yarn, which is not offensive to any religion, was written by Josh Greenfeld. James Caan currently can be appraised in his capacity as a motion picture director of MGM's suspense drama, "Hide in Plain Sight," adding informers of organized crime activities. Prior to his cooperation with the police, a small-time crook had married a divorced woman with two small kids, children of the character portrayed on the screen by Caan. In reality, the father spent eight long years tracking down his offspring, thwarted at every step by the invincible wall of silence; the film condenses the time span to 18 months. When producers Rick Rosenberg and Robert Christiansen couldn't find a director who would satisfy their and James Caan's artistic requirements for the filmization of "Hide in Plain Sight," the star himself under- took the chore of guiding the involved venture on actual locations in Buffalo, Washington, D.C. and Albuquerque thereby giving the finished picture a touch of authenticity. "Oh God IL " to his reputation as a fine actor "The script would not make with a cinematic flair for sense with conventional precision and meticulous directing," says Caan, pointing details, out there were 152 scenes. "If The story by Leslie Waller we shot this' with normal (with a screenplay bySpencer treatment, the end result Eastman) is e dramatization would be a filmatic ping-pong of an incident that took place game -- it would be choppy, in 1967 and concerns a man's uneven and jumpy, with no long search for his two flow." children who had become He added that he was innocent victims of the "standing back a bit, using government's witness close-ups only when l felt the ,...,....d-',),,,, relocation program, a audience wanted them. ]tried 01m IS .*d program set up to protect to shoot in a disciplined manner, without the aid of a :.  Now you can enjoy ... Complete Dinners i s with a 'Tam' , Roast Chicken Stuffed Cabbage Beef Stew Turkey ... and more! ... and now we are serving * ICE CREAM V BREAKFAST SPECIAL I (Saturday & Sunday--8 a.m.-1 p.m.) I SALAMI and EGGS, S go BAGEL a COFFEE ............ 2 ] 0000T-OW_N in the newSF)RiNGS PLAZA, Hwy. 434, Longwood Mondays 8-7 Fri-Sat 88180 869 5900-" Tue-Thu 8-9 Sundays mm Kosher, Kosher Style Oeli, Appetizers & Catering Specialist HiHiHiHiHHHiiHHH zoom and sticking' basically with just one lens." The result i a tedious, weary account of the individual's fight against bureaucracy, with the uplifting moment of truth during the final scene. Yet, "Hide in Plain Sight," void of sensationalism and excursions into the sex vogue, is a dignified statement of conditions and regulations that needed to be exposed. After completion of "Hide in Plain Sight," Caan co-starred in "Chapter Two" essaying the character of playwright Hell Simon. The picture was released ahead of the one which signifies his bow as a director. Born in Sunnyside, Queens, New York 41 years ago, Caan was president of his class at Rhodes High School, graduating at 16 and wanting to become a professional football player. Big for his age, he talked himself into a summer job as an athletic director at a resort hotel in the Catskills. Before the season was over, he also was emceeing the floor show at the hotel. At Michigan State Univers- ity, he transferred to Hofstra College where he majored in pre-law, ultimately leaving college to embark on an acting career. Studying with Sanford Meisner at New York's Neighborhood Playhouse, at the age of 22 he landed his first professional job in a revival of Schnitzler's "La Ronde" and soon was guest- starring on most of the popular TV network shows making his debut on the big screen as the sadistic heavy in "Lady in a Cage." With "Glory Guys," "Red Line 7000," "Eldorado," "The Journey to Shiloh" and "Games," he established himself as one of the promising young actors in Hollywood. Next came "The Rain People," "Rabbi Run," "T. R. Baskin," "The Gambler" and "Cinderella Liberty." He scored as a comedian in "'Slither," "Silent Movie" and "Freebie and the Bean" and was Florence Ziegfeld opposite 13arbra Streisand in "Funny Lady." His dramatic roles included "Rollerball" and "'Killer Elite.'" He also was more recently in "Harry and Walter Go to New York," in the World War II epic, "A Bridge Too Far" and in LeLouche's "Another Man, Another Chance," in the latter putting to good use his skill as a horseman and rodeo performer. His Academy Award nomination earlier still came for his portrayal of the volatile Sonny in "The Godfather" and his Emmy nod for his performance as Brian Piccolo in the highly-acclaimed TV movie "Brian's Song," both of 1972 vintage. He now has added a new dimension to his talent, the one of a film director. Francis Lederer, the continental actor who is best remembered here from the screen in "Confessions of a Nazi Spy," has gifted to the Motion Picture and Television Fund for the Old Age Hospital of the film industry the sum of $2 million ina pooled income trust, also shared by his wife Marion. ELEB DELLY JAMES CAAN in the movie 'The A star on the stage of Berlin and in German movies, developing a Lederer came to the United his own. He States when Hitler rose to was it -- power and distinguished wanted to himself in Hollywood in a great himself. number of films both as a Production performer and director. February, 1979 Illlll IJl Madeline Kah. budget was, in Alan Arkin portrays the title words, "a few role of a lovable but rather or just enough l naive college professor New York named "Simon" who has took place at been experimenting with Development outrageous schemes when streets of picked up by four smarties Island and atthe from a governmental "think- Center in tank." brainwashed and location for the c forced to believe that he is an film when the alien of a species from outer decide to send maker from ouU space. to his port A miserable failure before something in his life's studies, and in his relations with people, At times especially with young women, funny, but Simon now uses his newly situations are found notoriety as a repetitious. springboard from which to Chaplinesque i make on television, radio and struggling with in person lofty pronounce- villains, ments on the quality, or rather perfect the lack of it, in modern-day he bowed on America and throughout the "The Russians world. The Russians Writer-director Marshall Kahn, this ti Brickman, says that "'Simon" to is a contemporary screen the middle comedy with bleak overtones though she about outer space, inner the scientists space, and why nothing works, the "Institute" And I don't mean just the had been used  toaster; it's about why nothing Kahn has one t' works from the toaster to the with Arkin government." great operatic of note. The "Simon" represents of "Simon" is Brickman's first directorial another young effort, following his screenplay Graubart, who collaboration with Woody the Nw Allen on UA's "Sleeper" and appears fully "Annie Hall," for which he and without muC Allen were honored with completely Oscars. He was also Allen's co- author on the successful Austin picture "Manhattan." The appeared with current work. an Orion Barbra production for Warner Bros. Up, Dec?" is an 0 release, is Brickman's first comedian. solo screenplay credit, based ing and smallin oh an original story he wrote to be the one with Thomas Baum. things at Advanced "Simon" was conceived colleagues more than two years ago, in mystify the the wake of "Annie Hall's" success Producer Martin Bregman. after seeing an early about. With a screening of that film, development approached Brickman and it could have