Darryl F. Zanuck: 20th Century Filmmaker (3 Sep. 1995)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography
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The life and career of film mogul Darryl F. Zanuck, founder of Twentieth Century Fox, is examined featuring film clips, archival footage, and interviews.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself (archive footage)
Himself / host
Mel Gussow ...
Himself - Biographer
Darrilyn Zanuck DePineda ...
Herself - Daughter (as Darrylin Zanuck dePineda)
Kenneth Anger ...
Himself - Author / Historian
Herself - Actress
Himself - Actor
Himself - Producer
Himself - Actor / Friend
William Reynolds ...
Himself - Film Editor
Himself - Producer / Son (as Richard Zanuck)
Himself - Producer / Director
Himself - Actor / Friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Actor 'Desiree'


The long and prolific career of Darryl F. Zanuck, film pioneer and founder of Twentieth CEntury Fox is chronicled from his troubled childhood in Wahoo, Nebraska, through his service in World War One and early career as writer and rise to become one of the most powerful men in Hollywood through home and archival movies, interviews with family and co-workers, and clips from his films. Richard Kiley narrates. Written by

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Release Date:

3 September 1995 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary is featured as a supplement on 20th Century Fox's 2004 DVD release of The Grapes of Wrath (1940). See more »


Peter Graves: [Opening lines] Darryl F. Zanuck arrived in Hollywood with a trunk full of short stories and a head full of dreams, and he became one of the most powerful, feared, and respected men in the history of motion pictures. Zanuck led Twentieth Century Fox, the studio he founded, with a fierce dedication to his own convictions.
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User Reviews

The more personal side of a great mogul
25 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ironically, "Biography: Darryl F. Zanuck: 20th Century Filmmaker" tells us more about the man than the mogul. Many details of his unusual career are left out due to time constraints, and more emphasis is put on his role as a husband, father, his work during World War II, and his love affairs. Most notable of the affairs was his liaison with Bella Darvi, a discovery of not only Zanuck's, but Mrs. Zanuck's. The couple took the young woman (who bears a strong resemblance to Tyrone Power's second wife, Linda Christian) under their wing, put her up in their home, and encouraged her to become an actress. She was like a sister to Mrs. Zanuck but to Mr. Zanuck, she was no daughter. When Virginia found out, she kicked both of them out of the house. Nineteen years later, when an old and sick Zanuck wanted to return home, Virginia was there waiting.

The documentary spends time on Zanuck's chaotic childhood and early escapades and his ending up in Hollywood writing for Rin Tin-Tin. While he was still in his twenties, he became a Hollywood mogul and went on to produce films such as "The Grapes of Wrath," "Gentlemens Agreement," "Pinky," and "The Robe" before resigning and going to Europe. He returned to take over the company again during the "Cleopatra" debacle to keep the studio from closing its doors. I could have used a little more of his work at 20th Century Fox - but you can only do so much in 40-odd minutes. Certainly this episode of "Biography" tells us more than we ever knew about Zanuck, the man.

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