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Last Updated: 8 MARCH 2004


Despite all obstacles, we finally obtained a copy of the "forbidden film" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. An On-Line Review is ready to be posted, but, as stated on our main page, we have been having some serious problems with Tripod-Lycos over our server space and our domain name. We are working with them to straighten that out, and as soon as we have, up goes the review. In a nutshell: the movie's good. Leo and Tobey did a grave dis-service to their friends (and many EX-friends) when they sued to block distribution of Don's Plum.

We won't say how we finally got to see it (it's not as if stars Leo and Tobey invited us over!), but suffice it to say that it wasn't exactly a polished, perfect, slick flick that we saw. It's original Blake Sennett score wasn't even with it, although it had some good tunes. (See below for more on Blake Sennett.)

Years ago Amber Benson got on our case for failing to mention the female stars in our initial report of the film. We followed the lead of the main media story and were unable to put things in full perspective because of the legal obstacles which Tobey and Leo threw up against the film. We are now in a position to settle up with Amber and acknowledge that the women of Don's Plum fully deserve to be mentioned on a par with their much more famous male co-stars.

Amber herself, having been cast as Tara, Willow Rosenberg's lover on "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," grabbed for the brass ring and got a firm grip on it. Although she has a comparatively small part in the film, it is a powerful supporting role and she holds her own against her on-screen nemesis, Derek (Leonardo). Meadow Sisto (Juliet, Ian/Tobey's date) has done three feature films since DP. including this year's In Memory of My Father. Heather McComb (Constance), whom our On-Line Reviewer noted in "Rapt Pupil," his journal-cited review of Apt Pupil, has, not surprisingly, acted steadily despite the lawsuit. Marissa Ribisi (Tracy), has however done no film or television acting since 2001, when DP was "released" in the wake of the litigation.

Jennifer Lewis (Sara), also stopped acting after the suit, just as R. D. Robb gave up directing. In her decision we have suffered a loss, for, having appeared in Little Boy Blue and Pleasantville, both of which were both very favorably reviewed by Dr. Shea, she turned in a very powerful performance in Don's Plum. Completely ignored by the mainstream press, she was grievously slighted. "Sara" first appears merely as Brad's (Scott Bloom's) date for the night at Don's Plum, having some sense of self, but not a particularly strong person. As the movie progresses, however, Sara becomes more and more self-assertive. When Derek's formidable wall of abusive language and behavior is breached, and he is revealed as a deeply wounded person, Sara refuses to allow him to use her as a tool for instant gratification, and she becomes the dominant person in their relationship (and thus, theoretically, the dominant personality of the whole group). Given the opportunity of going on a power trip, Sara steps back, for she, as revealed in a bathroom/confessional aside, is also a deeply wounded soul, and she allows Derek to re-assert himself among his friends, as she, presumably, plans to take charge of her own life instead. Don't weep too deeply for Jennifer, though: she's pursuing an older dream of hers: music (see below).


According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the original music for Don's Plum was composed by "Blake Sennett," who has no other IMDb listing. We found it quite curious then, to see that actor Blake Soper (at least we think it was him!) had a Super8 short film shown at Los Angeles City College in May, entitled America the Beautiful. Leaving aside the fact that the little film, a pseudo-documentary on the "American Fruit Ninja," was hysterically funny, Blake Soper billed himself on-screen as . . . "Blake Sennett." "Blake Sennett" is the real name of actor "Blake Soper," who co-starred on "Boy Meets World" with Ethan Suplee, who co-stars in Don's Plum. As Blake Sennet, he is co-founder of the band Rilo Kiley, with ... Jennifer Lewis, who plays "Sara," the female lead of Don's Plum.

As an indicator of how counter-productive the lawsuit was to the careers of the actors other than Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, note that when our On-Line Reviewer, Christian Leopold Shea, finally got to see a tape of Don's Plum (minus Blake's music, remember), he remarked at one point, when Jennifer is singing softly, that she had a good voice and should be in a band. In reality, Don's Plum was her last acting gig and she has concentrated on music instead. Rilo Kiley has released five discs in several pressings, plus on-line music and concert performances.


Okay, we, poor North Americans that we are, still haven't seen this movie, but we have been receiving a lot of reports about why Tobey Maguire may have wanted to block the film's release in the U.S.A. and Canada. To find out what Tobey and/or his character, "Ian" were up to, please visit our Tobey Maguire page. Maybe if enough people ask, Tobey will finally relent and let us have a look at this thing so that we can report some real facts to you, our readers, instead of gossip (even if the gossip is coming from five different sources).

The film is finally available . . . sort of. . . .

Caution! Viewers in the United States and Canada should not view the pictures at the bottom of this page!


Don's Plum, the banned-in-North-America feature starring Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Amber Benson, etc. screened 10 February 2001 at the Berlin Film Festival.

The film now has a distributor, and was offered at the 2001 American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica, California, which ended today. No word yet on which distributors bought it for which "markets" (geographical areas).

1 January 2001, e.v. After a full year we had HOPED to have some news of David Stutman's plans for releasing Don's Plum overseas, but we have nothing new to report except a few updates on some of the stars. Tobey Maguire has been picked to play "Spider-Man" in the live action film of the comic, Amber Benson (who nearly killed Leo with a Birkenstock during the course of making Don's Plum) may currently be seen playing "Tara," Willow Rosenberg's girlfriend on "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" in almost every episode. Leo will probably not be interviewing any more U.S. Presidents in the immediate future!

1 December 1999, e.v.: Since we posted this page in October, people have been howling for more information, and overseas film distributors who really, really want to handle Don's Plum have been contacting us for help. We have contacted David Stutman about the overseas demand for the film, but he has not responded to us. To all of you overseas film distributors who are trying to buy any of the rights to Don's Plum, we can only say: "We're trying to help!" If Mr. Stutman or his people refuse to contact us to help arrange the distribution which they claim that they have been trying to get for two years, there is nothing we can do to force him to respond.

Also, since October we have truly gone international, with visitors to our site from Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Russia, Ireland, the UK, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and even Cuba(!) among the many countries to which Don's Plum may, to the best of our knowledge, be legally distributed. To all of our vistors from outside the United States and Canada, we can only ask again for you to be patient -- this was an inactive page for about a year, and now it is one of our busiest. Trust us -- we want to see this film as much as you do!

Jeremy Sisto news: as readers of our On-Line Review of Random Acts of Violence know, Don's Plum co-star Jeremy Sisto was at the premiere, and his friend and former White Squall co-star Ethan Embry was sitting next to our Reviewer. In between raving about his about-to-be-born-this-month baby, Ethan was constantly razzing Jeremy about playing Jesus of Nazareth in an upcoming TV movie. Jeremy, however, will apparently be getting the last laugh: His Holiness, John Paul II, has reportedly requested a private screening of the movie, and Jeremy and his co-stars from that film will be presented to him in a private audience. We have no idea where Jeremy stood during the lawsuit over Don's Plum, but he is probably the only one of the cast members who will be getting a private audience with the Pope! . . .

(Ya know, our counter tells us that we had a visitor from Italy. . . . Maybe it was from the Vatican City State, instead. . . . You may owe us one, Mr. Sisto!)

21 October 1999 News

Don's Plum is an independent black and white film made in 1996 by actor-turned director R. D. Robb and co-produced by Dave Stutman, and starring Leonardo di Caprio and Tobey Maguire, plus their friend Kevin ("Unhappily Ever After") Connelly (who, as all "Great Scott!" fans know played Scott Melrod's best friend), with Jeremy Sisto (whom we praise in our reviews of White Squall and Suicide Kings), Scott Bloom, Ethan ("Boy Meets World") Suplee, Marissa Ribisi, and Amber Benson -- among other rising young stars. For a complete cast and crew list, click HERE for the film's Internet Movie Database listing.


Release of the film was completely stopped, however, by a lawsuit filed against DiCaprio and Maguire by Stutman. (Click HERE for The Smoking Gun's actual photocopy of the lawsuit itself.) Mr. Stutman alleged that Leonardo and Tobey were using their new-found clout to block distribution of the film, which he claims he made at Leonaro and Tobey's request because they wanted to do a movie together, while Leo's people insisted that Stutman was exploiting a favor which Leo (and Tobey) did for him. After two years of negotiations, Stutman hit Leo and Tobey with a multi-million dollar law suit. We have tried REPEATEDLY to get information from the principals in the lawsuit about this matter, but they will not comment, and frankly, we are fed up with the lot of them: there were other performers in that film whose careers have been harmed by this lawsuit, so, Stutman-, DiCaprio-, and Maguire-be-damned, for the sake of the other stars, and because we have an international audience which has a right to know about this picture before they spend good money to see it, we SHALL cover it.

After more than a year of wrangling, David Stutman versus Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, et al. was just settled. Under the terms of the settlement, Don's Plum cannot be distributed in North America, but will be available in most of the rest of the world. Riiiight. . . . We haven't checked, but we guess that there are already video distributors around the world gearing up to take orders over the Internet from American and Canadian purchasers. If not, we figure that it will take about two hours from the time the video hits the stores in foreign markets to the time that whole scenes from it will be available on the World Wide Web. Tobey, Leonardo -- meet Technology. Technology, this is Leonardo and this is Tobey. . . .

So far, of all the stars and production personnel, only a righteously indignant Amber Benson has contacted us, as our regular visitors know. Well, we couldn't oblige Amber with any coverage of her role while the suit was pending, but now that it is settled, we have had our On-Line Reviewer put in a call to her agent, and we hope to FINALLY be able to give some coverage to all of the other cast members because we have an international audience, which is interested in Amber, and her co-star Kevin Connelly, and Jeremy Sisto, and the other stars, no matter how fed up they may be with the parties to the lawsuit and their constant bickering.

(As a special "thank you" to Amber Benson for waiting so patiently all this time, we would like to point out to all of you fans of Jesse Bradford, star of the new film Speedway Junky, that you may well remember her for her screen debut as "Ella" in King of the Hill, which was Jesse's first big film, too. She is currently working on a new screenplay.)

In any event, as far as we are concerned, this is ENTERTAINMENT NEWS, and we intend to cover it for our international visitors (so all of you people in North America and US territories overseas, DON'T LOOK!), but we continue to caution our visitors that we do not know the exact copyright status of the photos we have from Don's Plum, but we are presenting them as part of our fair commentary on the case and its settlement and our (pending) review of the film. If you copy or download or print any pictures from Don's Plum and there is no valid, compelling public interest in your doing so . . . somebody may very well sue you. The screenplay and/or film itself seems to be (c) 1997 or 1998 by Polo Pictures Enterprises, but we have been completely unable to contact them, and our most recent Internet search (28 September 1998) showed no listing for them in any database which we checked. We do not know if Polo Pictures Enterprises even exists as a legal entity any more. We repeat: you copy, download or print pictures from Don's Plum at your own risk unless you have a good legal reason to do so.

SPECIAL INSIDE GOSSIP FOR OUR READERS: Amber gave us some behind-the-scenes information about the making of Don's Plum, and the cast, most of which we aren't printing out of consideration for the privacy of everyrone involved -- something which we have tried to do since this whole mess started. We can, however, tell you this much: when you see the scene in which Amber's character throws her Birkenstock shoe at Leonardo's character, she really gave it her all -- she threw it so hard that the shoe broke! Far from trying to clobber Leo himself, however, Amber says that she enjoyed working with the cast and that, despite the lawsuit, many of them have remained very good friends to this day.

Also, despite tabloid stories, some of the stars of the film who have acquired reputations for very bad behavior, are -- in reality -- quite nice to work with, according to Amber, and one of the most "notorious" stars is actually quite kind, thoughtful, and a loyal friend truly beloved by those to whom he is close. We've been fans of his for many, many years, but this is frankly only the second time that we have ever heard any verifiable source say anything good about him personally; we were relieved to hear from a second source that he is not the obnoxious monster which the media have branded him. Notice, though, that both people who had good things to say about him have worked with him, and our first source even downplayed his own excellent work to talk about this fellow's work intead of his own. We suspect that if he were to truly clean up his badly tarnished public image, he might even be an Oscar(r) contender after a few years of more good performances. (Note: please do not e-mail us to ask us who this person is, because we won't say; if he wants to be a bad boy in public and a good boy in private, that's his own very private decision, and no one else's busines.)


Here is a link to Mr. ShowBiz's article from 1997, which has MANY details.

Text of Press Release Announcing the Lawsuit


  Of Motion Picture, 'Don's Plum' 

  A Statement from Kevin James, Attorney At Law, 

  With Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger: 

  HOLLYWOOD, Calif., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Independent producer David Stutman and his production company, Polo Pictures  Entertainment, have brought a lawsuit against Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, in connection with the film "Don's Plum,"   alleging Five Causes of Action, which are: 

      1)  Declaratory Relief
      2)  Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
      3)  Breach of Contract
      4)  Slander of Title
      5)  Injunctive Relief

      Caption of the case:  David Stutman, doing business as (DBA) Polo  Pictures Entertainment, plaintiff v. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, defendants; Los Angeles Superior Court, Central  District. Case #: BC 189400 

   SOURCE  Greenburg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger

-0- 04/15/98 /CONTACT: Dan Harary or Mike Garfinkel, both of Asbury Communications, Inc., {DELETED BY JAUNDICED EYE}; or Kevin James, Attorney at Law, of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman & Machtinger, {DELETED BY JAUNDICED EYE}/ CO: Greenburg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger ST: California IN: ENT SU: 

(15 Apr 1998 09:14 EDT) 

The pictures below are from Don's Plum and ARE covered by U. S. Copyright, but we have been completely unable to find out who actually owns the copyright (probably Polo Pictures Entertainment). We present these jpeg's for their news-worthiness and as fair comment on the content of Don's Plum for the benefit of our non-North American visitors who may be interested in seeing, renting, buying, or distributing the film, but we STRONGLY caution our readers not to download or copy them, i.e., there ARE people involved in this who WILL sue you if you don't have a valid legal reason for doing so! We present entertainment news and film, video and television reviews to an international audience, so we present these images for the benefit of our non-North American visitors. Our readers in North America are cautioned not to look at these pictures:

Tobey Maguire in Don's Plum.

Kevin Connelly and Tobey Maguire in Don's Plum.

Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire in Don's Plum.

Tobey Maguire, Leonardo Di Caprio and Kevin Connelly in Don's Plum.

For those of you who are not video-savvy, those numbers along the bottom of each picture identify the exact frame of the film's "window burn dub," and they make it damned easy to trace unauthorized copies. Feel free to bookmark this page, but, we repeat: DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR COPY THESE PICTURES!

29 April 1998: We offered Mr. Stutman's attorney and the managers of both R. D. Robb and Tobey Maguire up to four hours of television studio time which we had available. They elected not to avail themselves of the opportunity to record lots of "sound bites" (or even a major presentation) regarding their various positions. We taped some of our own material, instead. WE TRIED, PEOPLE -- WE TRIED!

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