Does Anybody Know…?

creepster 

Here’s an odd one. I’ve been reading a film book, Hollywood: The Haunted Houseby Paul Mayersberg (later screenwriter of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, CROUPIER, and director of 1986 film maudit CAPTIVE, with Ollie Reed), which is smartly written and a fascinating snapshot of a moment during the slow decline and fall of Hollywood.

Mayersburg writes approvingly of creepy troilist Darryl F Zanuck’s return to 20th Century Fox, where he scored a hit with THE LONGEST DAY and attempted to help the ailing studio over the crisis caused by the failure of mega-budget flop-a-roo CLEOPATRA. Of course, this being Hollywood in the early ’70s, disaster lurked around the corner and Zanuck’s second reign would prove short, painful and financially unprofitable.

But what intrigued me is the statement that Zanuck put his son, shark-eyed go-getter Richard Zanuck, in charge of production since he himself was unable to enter the state of California for legal reasons.

...like a doll's eyes...

I figure there has to be an interesting story behind THAT.

Unless it’s a tax thing, but then why wouldn’t Mayersberg say so?

Anybody know?

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5 Responses to “Does Anybody Know…?”

  1. The Casting Couch Strikes Back?

    Maybe trying to turn Genevieve Gilles into a star violates state law.

  2. Yeah, I wondered if there was some kind of sex scandal thing too, it being Zanuck and all. But if he were actually wanted for something, they could extradite him from some other state, right? It’s all very odd.

  3. Yes they could. Zanuck was quite notorious.

  4. Of course he wasn’t THIS notorious, cause he was a lot better at watching his back.

  5. I bet there was a law against threesomes in California at some point, which Zanuck would have been in regular violation of in his extra-wide screening room seat, but yes, he was a bit more careful and was in a much more unassailable position. And a different era.

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