Judith Rutherford Marechal James
Judy began by producing the scripts of new American playwrights for off-broadway theatrical production.
Developing skills and success, she took the fork in the road towards film production, partnering with Richard Dreyfuss on big films (complicated and higher budgets) and little films (“independents”). She gathered more producing skills as the industry morphed and overlapped with cable movies, TV special events, Limited mini-series etc. On occasion, she returned to theater in a partnership with Camille Cosby. Overtime therefore, as she functioned as producer in various situations, she grew her skills and became known for her special focus on the script and writer.
She and producing partner Richard Dreyfuss created “FUNNY YOU DON’T LOOK 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville”, directed by Jim Yucich and written by numerous funny and serious people starring numerous funny and serious other people for ABC. She was an Executive Producer of QUIZ SHOW,(Academy Award Nominee Best Picture) written by Paul Attanasio (Academy Award Nominee Best Writing Based on Material Previously Published) and directed by Robert Redford (Academy Award Best Director Nominee), on which she was responsible for rights acquisition and development alongside Gail Mutrix then of Baltimore Pictures. She was the on-set Producer and then responsible for marketing on MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS, starring Richard Dreyfuss (Academy Award Best Actor Nominee), written by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Golden Globe Best Writer nominee) and directed by Stephen Herek. She did everything as Producer of TRIGGER HAPPY written and directed by Larry Bishop starring Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum, Gabriel Byrne, Diane Lane and Ellen Barkin. Switching ‘back’ to theater, she worked with partner Camille Cosby and writer/director Emily Mann on the play heading for Broadway, “HAVING OUR SAY, The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years” (Tony Nominee for Best Play). Dreyfuss/James Productions joined KRIPPENDORF’S TRIBE as a presenting company on that film. In a moment of glorious insanity, she produced THE FOREST in the foothills of The Himalayas, pre and post in Dehli and Mumbai. In between and over time she was completely responsible for, or not, movies for HBO, TNT, ABC and CBS. i.e. She has extensive experience with Studios and Independents, Network and Cable, Broadway (and off). In addition she has served as consulting producer on many of Richard Dreyfuss’ films and enjoyed every minute of it.
In the 1960’s, she was a New York theatrical producer of 11 award winning plays and received at that time the Margot Jones Award from Mrs. L.B. Johnson in the White House for her work with new American Playwrights. Amongst the plays were “Call Me by My Rightful Name” by Michael Shurtleff and directed by Milton Katselas, starring Bobby Duvall, Joan Hackett, Alvin Ailey; “The Days and Nights of Beebee Fenstermaker” by Bill Snyder and directed by Ulu Grossbard, starring Rose Gregorio, and “In White America” by Martin Duberman, directed by Harold Stone and starring Gloria Foster, Claudette Nevins, Moses Gunn, Michael O’Sullivan, Jim Miller, and “Father” Fred Pinkard; and “Cages” by Lewis John Carlino starring Shelley Winters and Jack Warden. Her first television production was the Emmy winning IN HER OWN WORDS for KCET, American Playhouse and the Mark Taper Forum Film and Television Department of which she was co-director. It starred Lee Remick and was directed by Mark Cullingham . She produced for the Mark Taper Forum film and television department, with Margot Winchester for ABC, the 1986 television movie THE BROTHERHOOD OF JUSTICE starring amongst others Keanu Reeves and Kiefer Sutherland.
In the theatrical partnership with Camille Cosby, in 1996 Judith produced the multi awarded Broadway play, at the Booth Theatre, of “HAVING OUR SAY; The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years” written and directed by Emily Mann based on the best-seller by Sadie and Bessie Delany with Amy Hill Hearth, and starring Gloria Foster and Mary Alice. It subsequently toured the country, colleges and historically Black Colleges. For CBS in 1999, she and Mrs. Cosby produced the movie version, written by Emily Mann and directed by Lynne Littman, starring Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll and Amy Madigan. The movie received the coveted Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.
In 2006/2007, she produced the thriller, THE FOREST, in India in the foothills of the Himalayas, written and directed by Ashvin Kumar in Hindi intended for international distribution. Due to artistic differences, it was not released in the USA.
In 2010 she was an executive producer/post and marketing producer of THE LIGHTKEEPERS written and directed by Daniel Adams and starring Richard, Blythe Danner, Mamie Gummer and Tom Wisdom.
Ms. James was instrumental in securing and constructing for WOMEN IN FILM an alliance with General Motors under which GM supported a myriad of WIF national events and programs in the 21 chapters for 3 years ending 2007.
She is presently developing a Broadway musical with Camille Cosby based on the books of Pearl Bailey, RAW PEARL, and working with Mr. Dreyfuss on his APPOMATTOX: IF ONLY for a mini-series and Broadway play
and with producer Andrea Asimow and Director Lynne Littman, she is presently developing a cable movie, based on the play Terre Haute by playwright Edmund White, about the pen-pal relationship between domestic terrorist, Timothy McVeigh, and essayist, political writer and novelist Gore Vidal.