Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck

1902 - 1979

The producer Darryl F. Zanuck belonged to the most influence filmworkers of Hollywood who realised many classics for the big screen. 
But his childhood did not lead one to suspect a huge career in the future which came up completely to the expression "rags-to-riches".
Darryl F. Zanuck was born into a miserable marriage, his father was a alcoholic. 
At the age of 13 his parents abandoned him and he had to slap through by himself. 
Two years later he joined the U.S. Army (he swindled with his age to get hired) and fought in Mexico and during World War I in France and Belgium. 
After his release from the army he took over numerous small jobs, an academic education fell by the wayside. 
Beside it he followed his goal to become established as a writer and finally he was able to publish his first story. When story was filmed he wrote the scenario for Williamm Russell.
The film business became his new home and he got an education by Mack Sennett, Syd Chapling and Carl Laemmle.
Despite his missing academic education he soon gave proof of a very good instinct for movie stuffs.
As a screenwriter he wrote the movies "Round Two" (22), "The Storm" (22), "The Knight in Gale" (23), "Gall of the Wild" (23), "Judy Punch" (23), "King Leary" (24), "William Tells" (24) and "Sherlock's Home" (24).
When he created the very successful movie serial with the dog Rin Tin Tin together with Malcolm St. Clair in 1924 he bestowed an enormous success upon Warner Brothers. Movies like "Find Your Man" (24) and "The Lighthouse By the Sea" (24) let the tills ring.
Finally he became the head of production for Warner Brothers in 1925 and he realised many well-known movies in the next years. At the same time he continued to write scripts. 
To Darryl F. Zanuck's first movies as a producer belong "Lady Windermere's Fan" (25), "Old San Francisco" (27), "Noah's Ark" (29) and "The Show of Shows" (29).
In the 30s he was able to set a course in the now dominating talkies, to these movies belong "Little Caesar" (31) - which provided the new arising genre of gangster movies for the breakthrough - "The Public Enemy" (31), "The Man Who Played God" (32), "The Dark Horse" (32), "Doctor X" (32), "The Cabin in the Cotton" (32), "20'000 Years in Sing Sing" (32) and "42nd Street" (33).
Zanuck left Warner Brothers in 1933 and founded together with William Goetz and Joseph M. Schenck the Twentieth Century Films. In the next years Zanuck produced "Gallant Lady" (33), "Moulin Rouge" (34), "Born to Be Bad" (34), "Clive of India" (35), "Les Misérables" (35) and "Cardinal Richelieu" (35).
Twentieth Century Films took over the bankrupft Fox in 1935 and from now on produced their movies under the name Twentieth Century Fox and Darryl F. Zanuck led the company for several decades.
Til the end of the 30s he realised "Under Two Flags" (36), "The Road to Glory" (36), "Poor Little Rich Girl" (36), "Reunion" (36), "In Old Chicago" (37), "Wee Willie Winkie" (37), "Lancer Spy" (37), "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (38), "Gateway" (38), "Jesse James" (39), "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (39), "The Story of Alexander Graham Bell" (39), "Young Mr. Lincoln" (39) and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (39).
Especially the movies with superstar Shirley Temple earned the studio a lot of money. Other stars at the starting time of the company were Alice Faye, Tyrone Power and Don Ameche.
Darryl F. Zanuck produced numerous other movies during the 40s like "The Grapes of Wrath" (40), "Star Dust" (40), "Lillian Russell" (40), "The Return of Frank James" (40), "The Mark of Zorro" (40), "Western Union" (41), "Blood and Sand" (41), "How Green Was My Valley" (41), "The Black Swan" (42), "Lifeboat" (44), "The Razor's Edge" (46), "Boomerang!" (47), "Forever Amber" (47) and "Twelve O'Clock High" (49).
From the middle of the 50s he dispensed some of his controll, left his wife and went to Europe where he also produced some movies.
To his productions of those years belong "Cheaper by the Dozen" (50), "No Way Out" (50), "All About Eve" (50), "Viva Zapata!" (52), "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (52), "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (56), "The King and I" (56) and "The Barbarian and the Geisha" (58).
With the movie "The Longest Day" (62) came his last big hit into being, especially in Europe. The movie was casted with many famous actors from Germany and France who were not familiar to most of the American audience - and numerous stars from England and the USA.
On the left hand side is a letter of Darryl F. Zanuck to Hedda Hopper published in which he reports about the planned movie "The Longest Day" (62) and that the actor Bourvil will take over a bigger part. He describes Bourvil as one of the most famous film comedians of Europe but that he will be not well known by the Americans. 
Afterwards followed sporadic productions with "The Chapman Report" (62), "The Visit" (64) and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (71).
When he was deposed by Twentieth Century Fox in 1971 he was the last producer who has survived from the golden era of Hollywood. 
Although Zanuck was married his casting couch was legendary and many aspiring actress went this way. There was a unwritten rule that Zanuck was in a "conference" between 4 and 4.30 pm to "inverview" one of his starlets. Also his later ambitions in Europe were often formed by affairs with upcoming actresses and filled the muckraking newspapers. 
His son Richard D. Zanuck became also a famous producer.

Other movies from Darryl F. Zanuck (Producer):
So This Is Paris (26) The First Auto (27) Tenderloin (28) On with the Show!" (29) Three Faces East (30) The Doorway to Hell (30) Illicit (31) The Rich Are Always with Us (32) Life Begins (32) Three on a Match (32) Parachute Jumper (33) The Worling Man (33) Ex-Lady (33) The Bowery (33) Blood Money (33) Advice to the Lovelorn (33) The House of Rothschild (34) Looking for Trouble (34) The Last Gentleman (34) Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (34) The Affairs of Cellini (34) The Mighty Barnum (34) Folies Bergère de Paris (35) The Call of the Wild (35) Metropolitan (35) Thanks a Million (35) The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo (35) Show Them No Mercy! (35) Professional Soldier (35) The Prisoner of Shark Island (36) It Had to Happen (36) A Message to Garcia (36) The Country Beyond (36) Half Angel (36) White Fang (36) To Mary with Love (36) Sing, Baby, Sing (36) Ramona (36) Pigskin Parade (36) White Hunter (36) Banjo on My Knee (36) On the Avenue (37) Nancy Steele Is Missing! (37) Seventh Heaven (37) Angel's Holiday (37) Slave Ship (37) Wake Up and Live (37) Thin Ice (37) Wife, Doctor and Nurse (37) Heidi (37) Love and Hisses (37) Happy Landing (38) International Settlement (38) Sally, Irene and Mary (38) Kentucky Moonshine (38) Josette (38) Three Blind Mice (38) Always Goodbye (38) Little Miss Broadway (38) I'll Give a Million (38) My Lucky Star (38) Just Around the Corner (38) Submarine Patrol (38) Kentucky (38) Tail Spin (39) Wife, Husband and Friend (39) Rose of Washington Square (39) Susannah of the Mounties (39) Second Fidle (39) Stanley and Livingstone (39) Hotel for Women (39) The Rains Came (39) Here I Am a Stranger (39) Hollywood Cavalcade (39) Drums Along the Mohawk (39) Too Busy to Work (39) Swanee River (39) The Blue Bird (40) Little Old New York (40) Four Sons (40) Maryland (40) The Man I Married (40) Brigham Young (40) The Great Profile (40) Public Deb No. 1 (40) Down Argentine Way (40) Chad Hanna (40) Know for Sure (41) Hudson's Bay (41) Tobacco Road (41) That Night in Rio (41) The Great American Broadcast (41) For Beauty's Sake (41) Moon Over Miami (41) Wild Geese Calling (41) Sun Valley Serenade (41) A Yank in the R.A.F. (41) Week-End in Havana (41) Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (42) Song of the Islands (42) Sex Hygiene (42) To the Shores of Tripoli (42) This Above All (42) China Girl (42) At the Front (43) The Purple Heart (44) Buffalo Bill (44) Wilson (44) Winged Victory (44) Leave Her to Heaven (45) Dragonwyck (46) Somewhere in the Night (46) The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (47) Gentleman's Agreement (47) The Snake Pit (48) Britannia Mews (49) It Happens Every Spring (49) Thieves' Highway (49) Pinky (49) Under My Skin (50) Night and the City (50) David and Bathsheba (51) People Will Talk (51) The Egyptian (54) De Luxe Tour (56) Island in the Sun (57) The Sun Also Rises (57) The Roots of Heaven (58) Crack in the Mirror (60) Sanctuary (61) The Big Gamble (61) D-Day Revistited (68) Mini-midi (69) Le grabuge (73)  
The Knight That Failed (23) Six Second Smith (23) Two Stones with One Bird (23) Some Punches and Judy (23) The End of a Perfect Fray (23) When Gale and Hurricane Meet (23) Julius Sees Her (24) When Knighthood Was in Tower (24) Money to Burns (24) For the Love of Mike (24) The Millionaire Cowboy (24) Fighting Blood (24) On Thin Ice (25) A Broadway Butterfly (25) Eve's Lover (25) The Limited Mail (25) Red Hot Tires (25) Seven Sinners (25) Hogan's Alley (25) Three Weeks in Paris (25) The Caveman (26) The Little Irish Girl (26) Oh What a Nurse! (26) The Social Highwayman (26) Footloose Widows (26) Across the Pacific (26) The Better 'Ole (26) Wolf's Clothing (27) Tracked by the Police (27) The Missing Link (27) Irish Hearts (27) Simple Sis (27) The Black Diamond Express (27) Old San Francisco (27) The First Auto (27) The Desired Woman (27) Slightly Used (27) Jaws of Steel (27) Good Time Charley (27) Ham and Eggs at the Front (27) Tenderloin (28) Pay as You Enter (28) State Street Sadie (28) The Midnight Taxi (28) Noah's Ark (28) My Man (28) Hardboiled Rose (29) Madonna of Avenue A (29) Say It with Songs (29) Maybe It's Love (30) The Life of the Party (30) Little Caesar (31) The Dark Horse (32) Baby Face (33) Lady Killer (33) Folies Bergère de Paris (35) "G" Men (35) Thanks a Million (35) This Is My Affair (37) Alexander's Ragtime Band (38) The Great Profile (40) A Yank in the R.A.F. (41) Ten Gentlemen from West Point (42) Thunder Birds (Soldiers of the Air) (42) China Girl (42) The Purple Heart (44) The Razor's Edge (46) Crack in the Mirror (60) D-Day Revisited (68) 

Noah's Ark (28) The Longest Day (62) Cleopatra (63) D-Day Revisited (68) 

Find Your Man (24) The Enemy Below (57)