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“Musts, Maybes, And Nevers”: Former Paramount President Writes Book On Truth Of Movie Industry

I usually don’t have much time to read books. My literature is mostly composed from films, documentaries, newspapers, radio, podcasts, web journals, but not hundred paged books. In the case of “Musts, Maybes, and Nevers: A Book About the Movies” by David V. Picker, I conceded victory to him for engaging me from the preface.

The book is an insightful look into the purview of the movie industry during the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s from the eyes of a real movie studio President (and now author), which Picker was over several decades at United Artists, Paramount and Columbia. The book is broken into mini-chapters for quick reads, wonderfully weaving his anecdotes from one surreal story to the next, the way a friend at a bar would do when you’d be catching up with them. The stories Picker describes belong to a yesterday where the scripts where king and a director was allowed his full vision to be realized. Like I said, yesterday.

In the following Skype interview, I sat down with Mr. Picker himself to discuss some of the great highlights from the book such as his several lunches with Mrs. Jackie Kennedy whose interests lied in producing, the public friction he had with director Robert Altman, plus who his favorite film critic was, his thoughts on the influence of movie websites and most importantly for me – what his opinion was on the absence of the Hispanic movie star.

David’s book is available via and Barnes and

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