R.I.P. Saul Zaentz: A Look at the Oscar Winning Producer's Greatest Hits
“Passion is [the] immeasurable, indescribable factor that separates movie from movie,” three-time oscar winning producer Saul Zaentz said in his Thalberg acceptance speech. “Passion moves freely across borders, speaks every language and flourishes in every culture. The movement of passion is the most gratifying satisfaction in any moviemaker's life. This happens when you see and hear people all over the world share their laughter, their crying and their sudden gasps at identical screen moments." Zaentz, who passed away in his home in San Francisco at 92 from Alzheimer's complications, is the definition of a self made man. Running away from home at age 15, Zaentz earned some money gambling, joined the army, and was hired as a salesman for Fantasy Records, which he later owned. With the success of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and many feuds with frontman John Fogerty, Zaentz made enough money to independently finance his own films, most of which garnered enormous critical acclaim. Zaentz's producing talents won him the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement at the 1997 Oscars.
Paying tribute to Zaentz's life's work, we take a look at his most memorable films during his time as one of the greatest independent producers of all time.