“Forgotten Hollywood”- At Heaven’s Gate…

Posted on July 3, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

cimino_article   Michael Cimino was the Oscar-winning director whose film The Deer Hunter was one of the great triumphs of Hollywood’s 1970s heyday. His disastrous Heaven’s Gate helped bring that era to a close. His brief body of work influenced actor Mickey Rourke, and directors Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino.  MICHAEL CIMINO –>

   After graduating from Yale University, Cimino moved to Manhattan to work in Madison Avenue-advertising, and became a star director of television commercials. He shot ads for L’eggs, Eastman KodakKool cigarettes, United Airlines, and Pepsi Cola.

La_Boca_Deer_Hunter_550_900  Michael moved to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. His career credits include The Rose, The ScicilianSilent Running, Magnum Force, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Year of the Dragon, and the remake of Desperate Hours.

   Cimino’s masterpiece was a personal story of how the Vietnam War affected a small steel-town in Pennsylvania. It was praised as the best motion picture since The Godfather in 1972. Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, it starred Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken, who also won a statuette for Best Supporting Actor.

   Cimino’s emerging career took a u-turn just two years later. Heaven’s Gate became synonymous with over-budget and out-of-control productions, and a cautionary tale for giving artistic-minded directors too much power in the new Hollywood that had been defined by directors such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Its initial budget of $11.5 million would balloon to $44 million after marketing. The cost hastened the demise of United Artists, and Cimino’s career. It helped bring down the director-driven renaissance that had fueled much of the great work of the 1970s, giving way to a blockbuster mentality that would dominate the decades that followed.

   Cimino frequently credits filmakers Clint Eastwood, John Ford, Luchino Visconti, and Akira Kurosawa as his cinematic influences. Cimino has stated, if it wasn’t for Eastwood, he would not be in the motion picture industry. In 2001, the French Minister of Culture decorated him Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and the Prix Littéraire Deauville, the latter award was previously given to his idols, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal.

   Unfortunately, the financial failure of Heaven’s Gate jettisoned his promising career. Fifty productions were either shelved or given to other directors due to this famous flop, including Godfather III, FootlooseBorn on the Forth of July, and The Pope of Greenwich Village. In a recent Vanity Fair article, Cimino claimed he never regretted the making of Heaven’s Gate.

   Once described by a critic as an enfant terrible, Michael Cimino was 77.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 at 2:49 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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