Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film that Sank United Artists

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Aug 16, 1999 - Performing Arts - 432 pages
1 Review
"What altered Hollywood irrevocably was the notorious 1980 film Heaven's Gate." —Irwin Winkler, The New York Times (January 14, 1999)

Heaven's Gate is probably the most discussed, least seen film in modern movie history. Its notoriety is so great that it has become a generic term for disaster, for ego run rampant, for epic mismanagement, for wanton extravagance. It was also the watershed film of the '80s—not for its cinematic qualities, but for its effect on Hollywood and the way movies were and were not made for years afterward. For Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate did not merely fail; the film did the unthinkable: it sank a studio. Less than a month after the picture's second release, United Artists—the company founded in 1919 by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith, and Charlie Chaplin—for all practical purposes ceased to exist. What happened? Why? How? In answering these questions, combining wit, extraordinary anecdotes, and historical perspective, Steven Bach has produced a landmark book on Hollywood and its people, and in so doing, tells a story of human absurdity that would have made Chaplin proud.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devatipan - LibraryThing

This is basically the story of how Michael Cimino was able to charm, bluff, and bully his way to making the film "Heaven's Gate" his way, and the disaster that resulted not just for him, but for ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1999)

Steven Bach was the senior vice-president and head of worldwide production for United Artists at the time of the filming of Heaven's Gate. He has been associated with such productions as Sleuth, The Parallax View, The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three, and The French Lieutenant's Woman. Apart from the director and the producer, Bach was the only person to witness the evolution of Heaven's Gate from beginning to end. He now teaches film at Columbia University.