"He's not as tough as he thinks." "Neither are we."
After his father fired him from 20th Century Fox and a short stint at Warner Bros., Richard D. Zanuck joined forces with his buddy David Brown from his Fox days and the two joined forces as the independent producing duo under the banner The Zanuck/Brown Company. For their first film? They found possibly one of the greatest scripts ever written—David S. Ward’s “The Sting”—attached George Roy Hill to direct with Paul Newman and Robert Redford heading up the stellar cast, and ended up producing the Best Picture winner of 1973, as well as one of the greatest films ever made.
Join us—Pete Wright and Andy Nelson—this week for the second in our Richard D. Zanuck series as we discuss (and maybe gush a little bit because of our overwhelming love for this film) everything that makes “The Sting” great. We chat about David S. Ward’s amazing script and why it works so well, as well as the world of con men and how this film does such a stellar job of welcoming us into this world. We talk about George Roy Hill and what he brings to the table, particularly with Newman and Redford, two amazing actors with whom he worked a few years earlier in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” We discuss the rest of the team and their invaluable contributions as well as the 7 Oscars the film took home for those contributions. And we revel in the amazing Scott Joplin ragtime tunes that fill the film from beginning to end, wonderfully arranged by the late, great Marvin Hamlisch.
It’s a fantastic film—one of our favorites—and one that really put Richard D. Zanuck on the map as an independent producer in his own right, helping him get out from under his father’s immense shadow. Listen in!
Assorted Links & Notes