Fans of "White Palace," the novel, may be surprised by "White Palace," the movie.

Directed by Luis Mandoki for Universal Pictures, it stars James Spader as an upscale advertising executive who falls for slatternly waitress - and older woman - Susan Sarandon.What was a fairly gritty, realistic story about two people from different worlds and classes falling in love appears to have been largely homogenized into a Hollywood fairy tale that omits or softens many of the book's potentially offensive details.

Amy Robinson, who co-produced the film with Griffin Dunne and Mark Robinson, disagrees with that assessment.

"We set out to tell a story - not to make a slavish translation of a book," she says. "I believe the movie captures the feeling, sentiment, milieu and the story of the book." Among the notable changes: Spader's character is now less snobbish, Sarandon's considerably less coarse - gone are her racist and anti-Semitic attitudes, for instance. Her heavy alcohol use - a subject of his concern in the book - now seems almost romantic. And so on.

Robinson acknowledges that the film went through extensive re-editing - including a decision to re-shoot the ending.

"Many people were involved" regarding the changes, she adds, including motion picture group chairman Tom Pollock and other Universal executives.

Some alterations were made so recently that publicity materials distributed for the film - now being reprinted - list cast members who did not make the final cut, and even an actress who was recast.

"White Palace" author Glenn Savan says that he had nothing to do with the screenplay, which was written by Ted Tally and Alvin Sargent.

"I had no real input," Savan says. "I feel what's on the screen reflects someone else's artistic endeavor. I don't feel comfortable in commenting on it." - PAT H. BROESKE

- `Boys' is not another `Pretty in Pink': HOLLYWOOD - Rap artist Ice Cube, a member of the group N.W.A before making his controversial solo debut album, "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted," is in the movies.

He is currently co-starring in Columbia's "Boys in the `Hood," which began shooting Oct. 1, playing a drug-dealing gang member in the coming-of-age drama that explores the dilemmas inner-city teenagers face as they try to remain unscathed in a gang- and drug-ridden environment.

Larry Fishburne stars as an angry father with a strong political consciousness in the first feature from writer-director John Singleton, 23, a University of Southern California film school graduate and award-winning student screenwriter.

Pat Charbonette, who manages Ice Cube (real name: Oshea Jackson), says that her client stopped touring recently to prepare for his role, including taking acting lessons.

"It's something he's been looking forward to for a long time," she says. "It could be a whole new wrinkle in his career." - DENNIS HUNT

- Dealing the Dice:

HOLLYWOOD - Andrew Dice Clay's big-screen career continues - with ups and downs.

- Watch for an announcement, reportedly from Warner Bros., that the controversial comic will star in a buddy picture, "The Cop and the Comedian," playing . . . the cop.

- 20th Century Fox, which earlier dropped Clay's concert film from its release schedule, has now quietly dropped the foul-mouthed funnyman from its feature "The Gossip Columnist," according to sources. The Largo Entertainment project remains at the studio - but not the star.

- The untitled concert film now appears headed for distribution by smallish Seven Arts. "The ink is just about dry," confirms Brenda Mutchnick, executive in charge of Seven Arts marketing, who declines to give details. A source says that the Diceman's famous leather jacket will figure prominently in advertising.

Another familiar Clay image - his sneering face - turns up on unauthorized T-shirts and bumper stickers, covered with a red circle and slash, plus the words "No Dice." The merchandise is being used as a fund-raising "giveaway" by the Bayview chapter of the National Organization for Women in Newport Beach, Calif. - PAT H. BROESKE and JOHN M. WILSON

- Quibbles & Bits:

- Credit check: Last week we erred on the script for Steven Spielberg's "Hook." Turns out Jim Hart's doing the writing - based on his idea, and a story he wrote with Nick Castle.

- More young guns: With a flurry of gangster films about to hit the screen, producer Steve Roth is prepping "Mobsters," about young Salvatore "Lucky" Luciano and his crime climb with young cronies Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel.

- David Cassidy, idol of teeny-boppers in the early '70s, turns up as the star of "Spirit of '76," an indie feature about a group of humans from the 21st century who attempt to time travel back to 1776 - but instead "boogie down" to the disco beat of 1976. The film has wrapped and is awaiting release.

- Super Dave, the Movie:

HOLLYWOOD - Super Dave Osborne, the daredevil stunt man who always fails so dramatically - and comically - has vaulted from NBC's "Van Dyke and Company" (1974) to Showtime's "Bizarre" (1979-1984) to his current variety show, "Super Dave," on the cable network. Just last week, he turned up in new Nike network spots aired during the World Series.

And to prove that you can't keep an inept daredevil down, the deadpan Super Dave - actually, Emmy Award-winning writer-performer Bob Einstein - will now attempt a leap to the big screen.

"We have a deal with Columbia to do a Super Dave movie," says Einstein, brother of actor-director Albert Brooks.

Likely premise: a movie-within-a-movie that has serious-minded Super Dave turning down a fictitious studio's offer for him to make a wild, action-aventure - but then stumbling into a real-life one anyway.

In his Showtime series, with new episodes due in January, Einstein spends half the program meticulously setting up a daredevil stunt that inevitably backfires, crushing or mangling the "Super One." The feature film will exploit the same running gag.

"Negotiations are finished," says Alan Blye, Einstein's writing partner and executive producer. "It's now a matter of sitting down and doing it, finding the time between the television show and other responsibilities." - DANIEL CERONE

- Cinefile:

HOLLYWOOD - Danny Huston will direct "Becoming Colette," about the early years of the celebrated French novelist who wrote perceptively of the relationships between men and women. Mathilda May stars as the young and precocious Colette, and Klaus Maria Brandauer will play her first husband, Henri Gauthier-Villars, a Paris editor-publisher known as Willy. Huston's wife, Virginia Madsen, will play Polaire, an entertainer who was both mistress and protege to Willy, and Jean-Pierre Aumont plays Colette's father. The Peer Oppenheimer production gets underway Nov. 5 in Berlin and Bordeaux, France. Ruth Graham wrote the script.

Francis Coppola and Fred Fuchs will executive produce "Wind," a fictional account of an America's Cup race to shoot in January under the direction of Carroll Ballard. The script was written by Kim Livingston and Roger Vaught, two professional sailers and journalists. The film, produced by Mata Yamamoto and Tom Ruddy, will probably be filmed off Southern California and Australia.

David Price, the son of Columbia Pictures Chairman Frank Price, makes his feature directorial debut with Arrowhead Entertainment's "Son of Darkness: To Die For II," a sequel to last year's contemporary update of Bram Stoker's "Dracula." Leslie King's script concerns the offspring of the previous film's romantic liaison, a child who is half undead. Jay Underwood joins returning actors Steve Bond, Scott Jacoby, Remy O'Neill and Amanda Wyss in the film produced by Peter Foster and executive produced by Greg H. Sims and Lee Caplin. Rolling Nov. 5, the film is believed to be the first production to shoot entirely in the Lake Arrowhead area since Douglas Sirk's "Magnificent Obsession" (1954).

Diana Scarwid, an Oscar nominee in 1980 for "Inside Moves" who returned to Savannah, Ga., to raise a family, has agreed to star in River Road Productions' "Not Under My Roof," a romantic comedy that will shoot in six weeks in the resort community of Tybee Island, Ga. Produced by Harry Middleton and written and directed by Lance Smith, the story concerns two high schoolers whose passionate relationship cools when his divorced mom and her divorced dad start dating. Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeff Ballard also has a small part.

Also rolling in the south is IRS Media's untitled action-drama about a small-town sheriff who must confront his past when two Los Angeles cops arrive to track down dangerous criminals. Bill Paxton stars as the sheriff, Cynda Williams (the singer in Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues") is one of the criminals and Jim Meltzer plays one of the cops. Carl Franklin directs the Billy Bob Thornton-Tom Epperson script for producers Jessie Beaton and Ben Myron. Miles A. Copeland and Paul Colichman executive produce. Shooting is getting underway this week in Brinkley, Ark. - KIRK HONEYCUTT

- The Movie Chart:

Films going into production:

ANOTHER YOU (Tri-Star). Shooting in New York. Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder are hoping their chemistry will hold up in yet another comedic pairing, this time with direction from Peter Bogdanovich. This one concerns the high jinks of a chronic liar and a habitual con man. Executive producer Ted Zachary. Producers Bogdanovich and Ziggy Steinberg. Screenwriter Steinberg.

BINGO! (Barkoff Productions). Shooting in Vancouver. "Laverne & Shirley's" Cindy Williams stars in the tale of the world's smartest dog and his quest for the perfect family. Producer Thomas Baer. Director Matthew Robbins. Screenwriter Jim Strain. Also stars David Rasche and various canines.

THE DARK HALF (Dark Half Productions). Shooting in Pittsburgh. Horror maven George Romero exec produces, writes and directs this chiller starring Tim Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker and Julie Harris. Hutton plays an author whose life, along with his murderous subjects, is shown in detail. Producer Declan Baldwin. Distributor Orion.

THE LINGUINI INCIDENT (Linguini Productions). Shooting in New York and Los Angeles. Rosanna Arquette heads an eccentric cast (David Bowie, Marlee Matlin and Shelley Winters) in an equally quirky scenario. Arquette is a waitress, with aspirations as an escape artist, who deals with life, stress and unusual characters in the big city. Executive producer Richard Gagnon. Producers Arnold Orgolini and Sarah Jackson. Director Richard Shepard. Screenwriters Tamar Brott and Shepard. Also stars Andre Gregory.

OSCAR (Touchstone). Shooting in Los Angeles. Sylvester Stallone portrays a mobster who promises to go straight at his dying father's request. A series of weird characters and situations nearly break his resolve to get on the proper side of the law. John Landis directs. Executive producers Joe Vecchio and Carlo Ponti. Producer Leslie Belzberg. Screenwriters Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland. Distributor Buena Vista. Summer release.

REGARDING HENRY (Paramount). Shooting in New York and Los Angeles. The "Working Girl" team of Harrison Ford and director Mike Nichols reteam for the story of an attorney who must rediscover his life following a cataclysmic event. Executive producer Robert Greenhut. Producers Nichols and Scott Rudin. Screenwriter Jeffrey Abrams. Also stars Annette Bening. Summer release.

SOAPDISH (Paramount). Shooting in New York. Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Downey Jr. and Elisabeth Shue all star in this look at a soap star who finds herself being unceremoniously shoved out of the limelight by much younger competition. Producer Alan Greisman. Director Michael Hoffman. Screenwriter Robert Harling.

29th STREET (29th Street Productions). Shooting in Wilmington, N.C. Danny Aiello and hot newcomer Anthony LaPaglia combine their streetwise talents in this father-son relationship saga set in the meanest of boulevards. Executive producer Jerry Baerwitz. Producer David Permut. Director-screenwriter George Gallo Jr.

WHERE SLEEPING DOGS LIE (Sotela Pictures). Shooting in Los Angeles. "Hardware's" Dylan McDermott stars alongside actresses Joan Chen ("Twin Peaks") and Sharon Stone ("Total Recall") in this psychological thriller. When young writer McDermott collaborates with a strange man on a fictional murder mystery, what transpires has nothing to do with fiction. Executive producer Paul Mason. Producer Mario Sotela. Director Charles Finch. Screenwriters Finch and Yolanda Turner. Also stars Tom Sizemore. Distributor August Entertainment.