Difference between revisions of "Heaven's Gate (lost workprint cut of Western film; 1980)"

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Cimino made more than 220 hours (1.3 million feet) of film, costing United Artists $220,000 per day in location, salary and acting fees.<ref>[https://books.google.com/books?id=_M3nR4wI99AC&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35#v=onepage&q=michael%20cimino%20shot%20more%20than%201.3%20million%20feet&f=false An excerpt of the book "A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under The Electric Rainbow", mentioning the costs of the project.] Retrieved 09 Feb '19</ref>
 
Cimino made more than 220 hours (1.3 million feet) of film, costing United Artists $220,000 per day in location, salary and acting fees.<ref>[https://books.google.com/books?id=_M3nR4wI99AC&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35#v=onepage&q=michael%20cimino%20shot%20more%20than%201.3%20million%20feet&f=false An excerpt of the book "A New Pot of Gold: Hollywood Under The Electric Rainbow", mentioning the costs of the project.] Retrieved 09 Feb '19</ref>
  
By March 1980, ''Heaven's Gate'' had finished filming. Allegedly, during post-production, Michael Cimino locked the doors to the studio's editing room and changed the lock, preventing United Artists executives from seeing the cut until he was finished making changes to the film, though Cimino denied doing this.<ref>[https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/deer-hunter-directors-first-interview-773132 Hollywood Reporter article with an interview with Michael Cimino.] Retrieved 09 Feb '19</ref>
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By March 1980, ''Heaven's Gate'' had finished filming. Allegedly, during post-production, Michael Cimino locked the doors to the studio's editing room and changed the lock, preventing United Artists executives from seeing the cut until he was finished making changes to the film, though Cimino denied doing this.<ref>[https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/deer-hunter-directors-first-interview-773132 A Hollywood Reporter article that includes an interview with Michael Cimino.] Retrieved 09 Feb '19</ref>
  
 
==Availability==
 
==Availability==

Revision as of 14:36, 7 March 2019

Perfectionist.jpg

The film's hyper-perfectionist director, Michael Cimino.

Status: Lost

Heaven's Gate is an American Western film directed by the late Michael Cimino. The movie is infamous for being an extreme critical and box office bomb, grossing only $3.5 million dollars against its $44 million dollar budget.[1] It's also notorious for being considered one of the worst films of all time at one point (however, modern critics have lightened up to the film), and also for the film's hyper-perfectionist director, Michael Cimino.[2]

Production

In April 1979, recording of the film began.[3] By the sixth day of filming, the film was already five days behind schedule. This is due to Cimino's infamously extreme attention-to-detail way of directing. An example is that Cimino had a street built exactly to his precise specifications torn down because it didn't look right to him. He wanted it to be six feet wider. The lead construction worker said it would be a lot cheaper to tear down one side of the street and move it back six feet, but Cimino forced the construction workers to tear down both sides of the street and move them three feet.[4] Another example of his crazy perfectionism is when he demanded up to 50 takes of individual scenes, and delaying filming of one scene until a cloud he liked went across the sky.[5]

Cimino made more than 220 hours (1.3 million feet) of film, costing United Artists $220,000 per day in location, salary and acting fees.[6]

By March 1980, Heaven's Gate had finished filming. Allegedly, during post-production, Michael Cimino locked the doors to the studio's editing room and changed the lock, preventing United Artists executives from seeing the cut until he was finished making changes to the film, though Cimino denied doing this.[7]

Availability

The film came in at around 325 minutes (five hours and twenty-five minutes). The United Artists executives refused to release the film at this excessive length, and contemplated firing Cimino. However, Cimino promised the executives that he would re-edit the film, and he did so over the summer of 1980, with the film coming in at 3 hours and 39 minutes. The film's December 1979 release date was already long past, so UA and Cimino eventually set a November 1980 release date for the film.[8]

The film flopped spectacularly, grossing way below its budget,[9] and receiving extremely negative reviews from critics (though as mentioned above, modern critics have given the film better reviews).[10] It ended up making United Artists go out of business, and from that point on, Michael Cimino's career was officially ruined due to public perception of his films being tainted by Heaven's Gate. Every film Cimino made after Heaven's Gate was a critical or commercial failure, or both.[11] Cimino died on July 2nd, 2016.[12]

The workprint cut of the film has not surfaced since. It may no longer exist due to being directly edited on for a 149-minute version of the film.[13] The chances are extremely slim that another copy of the workprint exists. Due to this, many missing scenes from the film may be lost forever.

References