Michael Reynolds is a rich oncologist who has a $175,000 sports car, a multi-million dollar home, and a new boost in his career. Brandon 'Blue' Monroe is a dying patient who kidnaps ... See full summary »
An inside look at the hectic production of Heaven's Gate, the media circus that turned it into a synonym for movie flop and how it added to the tectonic change that occurred in Hollywood film studios after it infamously flopped.
Michael Cimino's bleak anti-western based on events in 1890s Wyoming. Sheriff James Averill attempts to protect immigrant farmers from wealthy cattle interests, and also clashes with a hired gun, Nathan Champion, over the woman they both love, Ella Watson. Both men find themselves questioning their roles in the furious conflict between wealthy landowners and European immigrants attempting to build new lives on the American frontier, which culminates in a brutal pitched battle. Written by
Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>
Considered one of the most notorious screen disasters in the history of film. After struggling with personal films that went nowhere, Michael Cimino finally got to make The Deer Hunter (1978), a very personal project that brought him critical and commercial success and earned five Academy Awards. Afterwards, United Artists was willing to allow him anything he wanted. Cimino got $11.6 million to make his next project, which was initially budget at $7.5 million (according to Steven Bach's "Final Cut"). The film was to be a simple lower-budget western about a land war in Johnson County, Wyoming, featuring a first-rate cast. The film went over budget almost immediately, mostly due to Cimino's insistence on absolute perfectionism. Stories abounded that Cimino was tearing down sets for no reason and hiring and firing crew members almost weekly. Many of the stories were exaggerated, but the film ballooned to a then-astronomical sum of $40 million. When Cimino presented the film to United Artists, it ran well over 5 hours. After some squabbling, Cimino agreed to trim it down to less than 3 hours. The film was a commercial and critical disaster that destroyed Cimino's career as a director and nearly caused United Artists to file bankruptcy. When UA was sold to MGM, MGM acquired UA's pictures. That year MGM had a hit in For Your Eyes Only (1981). Cimino didn't get work for another five years. To date, his career has never recovered. When Waterworld (1995) was being made in the mid-90s, its production encountered so much difficulty and Kevin Costner received so much negative press concerning the shooting, it was called "Kevin's Gate", a sly reference to this film. See more »
The period steam engine is a coal fired engine, with black smoke. In the West, steam engines had wide, open smokestacks for burning cheap, plentiful wood, producing white smoke and live cinders. In fact, piles of logs are stacked on the accompanying tender. See more »
Mr. Champion, my grandfather was the Secretary of War to Harrison. His brother was the governor of the state of New York. My brother-in-law is Secretary of State. And to you, I represent the full authority of the government of the United States and the President.
Nathan D. Champion:
Fuck him too.
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A Masterpiece - I Thought There Were Only Three Of Us
Until today, I thought there only three people, including me, who considered Heaven's Gate (1980)to be a masterpiece and perhaps the last great western, (since the 1970), after, Little Big Man (1970), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and The Long Riders (1980).
I was stunned and pleased to see that 22.5% of those voting at IMDB rate this movie a 10, as do I. A recent book, the Worst Movies of All Time, includes Heaven's Gate. Through it's production and release it was vilified, as no movie since Cleopatra, almost twenty years before. At one time it was considered the most expensive over-budget movie of all time, surpassing even Cleopatra. It was blamed for the downfall of its studio, United Artists, until everyone finally saw all the studios were falling. Michael Cimino, fresh from his glory with the Deer Hunter was hated and despised for his success and movie making excess, but clearly, that was petty jealousy at its worst.
Cimino ended up fashioning one of the great expositions of the American experience. This film is not to be missed but any serious student of American filmmaking.
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