Clint Eastwood directed and starred in two films overseen by Richard Zanuck; the 1975 spy thriller “The Eiger Sanction” and 1999’s “True Crime.” The two have been friends for several years and often ski together in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Director’s best friend: “When I first worked with Dick and David (Brown) on ‘Eiger Sanction’, they were extremely helpful. Anything you needed to get, they were there. You could get a lot of cooperation and help from the studio through them. Dick is very attentive and stays with the program. He has a lot of experience having been raised in the business. He knows studios from production to distribution. He has good taste, that’s why he succeeds as a producer. He’s the guy where the picture starts. Dick is very encouraging with talent, but he’s also very supportive of the director…that where’s Dick has been successful: he picks the right people.”
The go-between: “Dick stays very coordinated with the production team and the studio. He can cut through the studio B.S. They know he’s a reliable guy; he’s out there to protect their interest and money. If something is drastically wrong on the set, he doesn’t go back to the studio and say I can’t get this guy to work…by and large, Dick has been with the George Roy Hills of the world; he sticks with the pros.”