Earlier this evening I attended a party for the legendary producer and senior studio exec David Picker and his just released tell-all, “Musts, Maybes and Nevers.” We’re scheduled to chat tomorrow around noon. The stories in Picker’s book are flavorful and well-shaped, and the prose is smooth as silk. Picker began at United Artists when Eisenhower was president. He brought the James Bond franchise into the fold with Dr. No in ’62; later A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Midnight Cowboy and Last Tango in Paris. In the early ’70s he produced Juggernaut, Lenny and Smile. As Paramount Pictures honcho from ’76 to ’70 he presided over Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Ordinary People. He then produced three Steve Martin films — The Jerk (’79) Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (’82) and The Man With Two Brains i(’83). As Lorimar Prods. chief in the early ’80s he oversaw S.O.B., Being There and Escape to Victory. And then at Columbia Pictures Picker greenlit Hope and Glory, School Daze, Vice Versa, Punchline and True Believer. He produced The Crucible for Twentieth Century Fox in 1996. Picker stands tall, looks great, seems undiminished.
(l.) producer Larry Mark; (r.) “Musts, Maybes and Nevers” author David Picker.