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Volume 24 No. 158
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          The number of feature films on baseball is examined by
     VARIETY's Michael Fleming in his "Buzz" column.  Woody
     Harrelson will play former Red Sox P Bill Lee in "Almost
     Perfect Game," which Paramount "is now fast-tracking ... for
     a spring start, hopefully at Fenway Park."  Among other
     "promising hardball pics" is a Warner Bros. biopic of ex-
     White Sox Owner Bill Veeck that Bill Murray "hopes to star
     in."  Kevin Costner "wants to topline" a Mirage film called
     "For the Love of the Game," and Dwight Gooden's life story
     is being developed by Warner Bros (VARIETY, 10/13 issue).
          CUP O' JOE: VARIETY's Fleming also writes on Showtime's
     "Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way," which premieres
     tonight at 9:00pm ET.  Producer Norman Twain said Yankees
     Owner George Steinbrenner "shut us down and would not let us
     shoot in Yankee Stadium at all because he thought it would
     be a distraction.  Now, he didn't owe Showtime or us
     anything, but the organization certainly did not make it
     easy.  They had to look over the script and then cut every
     piece of profanity out of the picture.  Do you believe that
     in 1996, Paul O'Neill never says anything worse than the
     word 'hell' in the locker room?" (VARIETY, 10/13 issue).  In
     N.Y., TV critic Eric Mink calls the Showtime/Torre movie a
     "huge disappointment. ... sometimes cartoonish" (N.Y. DAILY
     NEWS, 10/16).  The TIMES' TV critic, Will Joyner, calls the
     movie "appealing," while being "slightly superficial" (Will
     Joyner, N.Y. TIMES, 10/17).