The delightful bio-doc A Classy Broad chronicles the amazingly resilient life of Marcia Nasatir, the first woman production vice-president at a major Hollywood studio. Nasatir is now 91 years old and still pitching movies.
Nasatir has lived a singular life. I won’t spoil her hometown, but it’s not a place that is known for producing Jewish Hollywood execs. As a young single mom in New York, she started at the bottom of the publishing trade, and climbed to a position selling the movie rights of literary properties. She moved to representing authors as an agent, which resulted in the motion pictures Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Chinatown.
Nasatir burst through the glass ceiling as a studio exec at UA, where she greenlit One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Carrie and Apocalypse Now! Dumped by the other suits, she became an independent producer and brought The Big Chill to the screen after it had been rejected by seventeen other companies.
Nasatir’s legacy is a huge chunk of Hollywood’s auteur era of the late 1960s through the early 1980s. The “classy” in the movie title references an episode where she got fired when the moguls thought her movie taste was too elevated to make money for the studio.
Nasatir demonstrated enormous confidence for a woman of her era, and is the very paragon of resilience. She met every challenge with her two-word slogan (and epitaph-to-be): “Done. Next!”
A Classy Broad screens three times at the SFJFF:
- Cinearts (Palo Alto), Saturday, July 22 3:50 PM
- Castro (San Francisco), Sunday, July 23 1:35 PM
- Albany Twin (Albany), Sunday, August 6 12:15 PM
The SFJFF runs from July 20 through August 6 at theaters in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Albany, San Rafael and Oakland. You can peruse the entire program and buy tickets and passes at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.