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'Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking,' TCM's Doc on Top Hollywood Producer Richard D. Zanuck, Heads to DVD

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood August 20, 2014 at 1:49PM

A must-see for students of Hollywood and would-be producers, Laurent Bouzereau’s inside-the-movie-biz documentary “Don’t Say No Until I Finish Talking: The Story of Richard D. Zanuck,” will be released on DVD this September, via Turner Classic Movies.
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Richard Zanuck
Richard Zanuck

A must-see for students of Hollywood and would-be producers, Laurent Bouzereau’s inside-the-movie-biz documentary “Don’t Say No Until I Finish Talking: The Story of Richard D. Zanuck,” will be released on DVD this September, via Turner Classic Movies.

Zanuck, the son of legendary 20th Century Fox co-founder and executive Darryl F. Zanuck, produced his first film, “Compulsion,” before he turned 25. He became president of a struggling Fox a few years later, only to be fired by his father, which led the younger Zanuck to jump to rival Warner Bros. as Executive Vice President. Richard Zanuck was the subject early in his career of one of the best Hollywood books ever written, John Gregory Dunne's "The Studio." (Read Anne Thompson's New York Times interview with Zanuck here.

Richard Zanuck later joined with the late David Brown to produce many of Steven Spielberg’s early movies, such as “The Sugarland Express” and “Jaws,” as well as “Driving Miss Daisy,” for which they won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Zanuck later parted ways with Brown, and for the last decade worked with director Tim Burton, producing six of his films, including "Planet of the Apes" and 2012’s “Dark Shadows.”  Zanuck died later that year at age 77 (TOH! obit here).

Bouzereau’s film features many conversations with the producer, as well as his wife and sons and a raft of Hollywood A-listers, among them Spielberg, Burton, Clint Eastwood, William Friedkin, Alfred Uhry and Tom Rothman.  (Spielberg executive produced the film, along with DreamWorks execs Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.)

“Don’t Say No Until I Finish Talking” comes out on home video September 8, and TCM is making the film available only through its online store.  Check out a promo for the documentary below.

This article is related to: TCM, Twentieth Century Fox, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, DVDs, Documentaries


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.