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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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They remind me, “When you're boasting about all the books you steered us to, remember you didn't want to do Dr. Zhivago.” I alibi that this was the kind of book people bought but didn't always read, and I didn't think it would be a successful picture at all. I was terribly wrong. It made a fortune. But, on the other hand, I was one of those who tried mightily to keep them from remaking Mutiny on the Bounty, which lost millions of dollars.


Would you like to discuss Howard Dietz at all?


Well, Dietz was a friend whom I grew up with and he's one of the funniest men I know. One day at MGM Louis Mayer complained that Dietz was leaving too early in the afternoons. Dietz countered, “But you have to remember, Mr. Mayer, I get in very late in the mornings.” Only Dietz would have had the nerve to say that to the great Mr. Mayer.

Then when Joan Crawford became a star, the first time they brought her to the New York office, she was taken around the office and introduced to all the executives. She gave them all the icy star treatment, very uppety and condescending. When they came around to Dietz, she tried the same tactics with him. Dietz stopped her cold with, “Don't give me any of that crap, Miss Crawford. I named you.” Which was true. He was the one who picked Joan Crawford for her name.


He's still living, isn't he?

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