Former studio boss irks industry by insisting on producer credit


HOLLYWOOD -- Years ago in Hollywood, it wasn't uncommon to find studio heads like 20th Century Fox's Darryl F. Zanuck or MGM's Dore Schary putting their names on the opening credits of a film. In recent years, though, the practice disappeared as studio presidents and chairman opted for anonymity, giving the credit to the actual producer of the moview.

Not so for Frank Price. The former Columbia Pictures chairman

has added his name as producer alongside Steve Roth's on Columbia's "Gladiators," which arrives in theaters March 6.

The film, billed as a Price Entertainment-Steve Roth production, is a drama set in the world of underground amateur boxing, directed by Rowdy Harrington and starring James Marshall, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert Loggia.

Sources say that Mr. Price's move has irked current Columbia Chairman Mark Canton, who replaced Mr. Price, and Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Peter Guber, in addition to Mr. Roth himself.

"This is a man who was running the studio while the film was in production, never visited the set and didn't produce the movie," one source said. "So why should he get a producing credit? Most everybody thinks it's embarrassing and laughable that Frank stuck his name on the movie."

Mr. Price, who resigned as chairman of Columbia in October 1991, says that he has been developing the project since it was brought to him by Mr. Roth in 1982.

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