- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 13, 2006

If Hollywood decided to make a film about Washington power couples, it could have had a casting call Monday night at Cafe Milano, where friends of George Stevens Jr. and his wife, Liz, turned out to celebrate the publication of his very thick, very heavy new book, “Conversations With the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood’s Golden Age.”

There were Vernon and Ann Jordan, Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell, Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt, Lloyd and Ann Hand, Rep. Ed Markey and Susan Blumenthal, Jack and Mary Margaret Valenti, Jim and Elaine Wolfensohn and Jim Hoagland and Jane Stanton Hitchcock.

Also spotted were a few fabulous singles sans spouses in the A-list-y throng: Mark Shields, Rima Al-Sabah, Marc Leland, Maureen Orth and Mandy Ourisman, plus Cafe Milano’s Franco Nuschese, who certainly would get the role of Rick in a District remake of “Casablanca.” Guests sipped champagne and chardonnay and sampled shrimp and smoked salmon while waiting in a lengthy line to have Mr. Stevens inscribe copies of the book.

Seldom-seen Ethel Kennedy, chic in black, arrived with her own dog-eared copy of the Stevens oeuvre, announcing that she already was halfway through it.

Asked if he were stranded on a desert island (with a DVD player) and could bring just three movies, which he would choose, Mr. Stevens hesitated. “That’s a hard one,” he said. “I would probably say ‘Shane,’” referring to the 1953 Oscar-winning film about a weary gunslinger directed by Mr. Stevens’ father, the legendary George Stevens. “And let’s see … ‘A Man for All Seasons’ and ‘Casablanca.’”

“I would say ‘Godfather’ one and two,” said Mr. Leland, noting, “You’d want a long picture.”

The women, of course, mostly chose romantic titles.

“I would take ‘Casablanca’ over ‘Shane’ and an old movie called ‘My Foolish Heart,’” Mrs. Jordan said. Mrs. Al-Sabah, wife of the Kuwaiti ambassador, selected “Dr. Zhivago,” “Casablanca” and “Lawrence of Arabia.” Mr. Greenspan frowned. Three choices? “Certainly ‘Shane,’” he said. “And I’d watch it three times.”

Stephanie Mansfield

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