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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 »
Curiously, I continued to watch this...as unlike many flicks around these days, it was quite unpredictable. Okay. It has a few flaws, like Mister Walken's sometimes way out overacting, but this may have been down to the director's untimely death after the project was taken out of his control. Anne Heche, who everyone condemned a few years ago for riding on the coat-tails of her former love Ellen Degeneres, turns out to be quite an accomplished actress (check her out in One Kill), and is believable as a woman torn in many directions. It's also very easy to see why Walken's character would fall for her. Ryuchi Sakamoto's haunting music recorded nearly five years after the movie was shot, adds to the surreal atmosphere of some scenes, even though they can seem a little far fetched.
Film Four has done a fine job restoring the movie, it's a shame though that the BBC's excellent documentary, Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance, isn't included on the DVD.
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