One of Hollywood’s towering figures for almost half a century, Darryl F. Zanuck presided over Twentieth Century-Fox during its most glorious era, from 1935 to 1956. These were the golden days when stars like Marilyn Monroe, Henry Fonda, Betty Grable, Shirley Temple, Don Ameche, Gregory Peck, Tyrone Power, Carmen Miranda, and even Bette Davis roamed the lot; when such giants as John Ford, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Elia Kazan, Nunnally Johnson, and Otto Preminger ruled the sets; and when such blockbusters as The Grapes of Wrath, All About Eve, The King and I, Miracle on 34th Street, The Day the Earth Stood Still, How Green Was My Valley, Laura, Twelve O’Clock High, and Viva Zapata! filled the screen.Rudy Behlmer, whose now-classic Memo from David O. Selznick was called “the most revealing, penetrating book on filmmaking I know” by director King Vidor, performs the same service for Zanuck in this first-time-ever collection of his personal correspondence to the directors, writers, actors, technicians, and studio executives who made the period magical. Here is a from-the-top, at-the-moment, insider’s look at the myriad elements that went into the production of a feature film during the colorful days of the old studio system, from the man who pulled it all together. And, like all important histories, Memo from Darryl F. Zanuck is equally revealing about the way things work today.A treasure trove of legend and lore, insights and nostalgia, Memo From Darryl F. Zanuck is as entertaining as it is informative, and full of secrets and surprises. Illustrated with photographs as intimate and candid as the correspondence itself, it offers a chronicle of Hollywood’s most glamorous age and rich testimony to the taste, showmanship, and vision of its most resilient, efficient, and entertaining producer.
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