He gave us some of the greatest films ever — The Sound of Music, Planet of the Apes, Jaws, M*A*S*H, The French Connection and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Now the late Hollywood megamogul Richard D. Zanuck is the subject of a new TCM documentary, Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking.
The 90-minute homage — written, produced and directed by Laurent Bouzereau — will air Wednesday (8/7c) and features interviews with many of those Zanuck helped make famous, including Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. It will be followed by three of Zanuck's top films, 1989's Driving Miss Daisy, 1985's Cocoon and 1959's Compulsion. Zanuck, who died of a heart attack last summer, is the star of the documentary, passing away just three days after he saw (and loved) the finished product.
Expect show biz lore galore: Zanuck, son of the great 20th Century Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck, was born with the proverbial silver spoon yet still had to earn his way up the Hollywood food chain. And often it was brutal. At one point he was fired by his own father from his job as Fox president after sending the studio into a financial hole with a string of notorious big-budget duds like Doctor Doolittle and Hello, Dolly!
In one of the doc's most poignant moments, Zanuck reveals why he was forced to replace Judy Garland in what would have been her last film, Valley of the Dolls. He also shares the crazy way Steven Spielberg came to direct his first big hit Jaws: Universal's first choice for director kept referring to the shark as a whale and it annoyed the crap out of the book's author, Peter Benchley. The job instead went to Spielberg.
Check out this exclusive TV Guide Magazine clip: