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Donald Cammell was introduced to Nu Image by producer Elie Cohn, with whom he had worked on the unmade Marlon Brando film "Jericho". Nu Image was also familiar with Cammell's work and appeared to like the "Wild Side" script. However, the relationship between Nu Image and Cammell quickly turned sour. First, the company tried to prevent the casting of the then completely unknown Anne Heche as Joan Chen's lover. Then they questioned Cammell's working methods, sparking a battle of wills between him and Cohn. When Cammell delivered his rough cut, the producers were horrified. They fired off a memo ordering the film's editor Frank Mazzola to remove all flashbacks, flash forwards and jump cuts. Unsatisfied, the producers sacked him and re-cut the movie themselves. See more »
Never have a Director's cut and a released studio version been sodifferent . . .
I watched the Director's Cut of this movie premiered August '99, together with clips of the trash that the studio released. The studio movie is trash
completely and utterly and doesn't even aspire to be anything better.
The editing is flat and the performances look like rehearsals. The Director's Cut (pieced together by the Editor after the Director's suicide) is an outstanding piece of cinema. Not a frame wasted. The opening sequence shocks you into an awareness that this movie will be very different to anything you've seen before. Chris Walken gives one of the best performances of his career. This is exciting, original cinema that riveted my attention in every moment of its two hour authorised version. The script sparkles with wit and dry, unpretentious humour and you never quite know what is going to happen next. A sexy, stylish thriller that makes you laugh and also appreciate the beauty inside every villain. The tenacity and integrity of the Editor and Scriptwriter that saw it through to completion is a monument to the industry.
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