Listen to (and share) episode 24 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Our awards columnist and host David Bloom discuss the Motion Picture Academy’s move to diversify its membership (dominated by white men according to stats) and what it might mean for future Oscar nominees and winners; this weekend’s big Academy all-members meeting; and TCM’s new film about influential Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck, the man behind films from The Sound Of Music and Hello Dolly to Driving Miss Daisy and Cocoon. Pete also discusses this weekend’s film debuts, led by the summer season’s first box-office juggernaut Ironman 3. Indie alternatives debuting this weekend include The Ice Man starring Michael Shannon and Ray Liotta, and the considerably gentler Love Is All You Need, starring Pierce Brosnan and directed by Susanne Bier, who last directed the Oscar-winning foreign-language film In A Better World.
After four days of pristine presentations of certified vintage (mostly) classic movies, the TCM Classic Film Festival saved its only new film for the last day Sunday with the official world premiere of the documentary Don’t Say No Until I Finish Talking: The Story Of Richard D. Zanuck. The 90-minute doc begins airing on TCM next month, and it’s not only a must for anyone interested in the extraordinary career of Zanuck, but as a primer on survival in the dog-eat-dog movie industry.
Even though the Egyptian Theatre screening was a “world premiere”, the film actually was first seen in early October at Zanuck’s memorial service at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Zanuck died July 13 of a sudden heart attack at age 77). As his widow and co-Oscar-winning producer Lili Fini Zanuck (Driving Miss Daisy, Cocoon) told me before Sunday’s screening, “When it was time to do the memorial I was so grateful to have this footage. There’s just nothing that could come close. There’s no montage I could have come up with or people speaking — you never would have wanted people speaking for some 90-odd minutes. And I felt so fortunate that night at the Academy to have this incredible documentary. It is not that it just follows Dick’s life, it’s that it is incredibly inspiring to people… After the memorial some people came up to me and said ‘Oh I wish I knew Dick this way’, and I said ‘You would never know Dick this way’. He wasn’t that kind of person. He didn’t see himself as a role model of any kind I think. He was just doing his best , and in his youth he was sort of rough and tumble. He would have gotten a big kick out of people finding him inspiring.”