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Michael Cimino Trivia

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List of facts about Michael Cimino.

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His last name is pronounced "Cha-Mee-Noe." (imdb.com)

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 214-219. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988. (imdb.com)

The story behind his notorious debacle Heaven's Gate (1980) was captured in a blow-by-blow account by former United Artists executive Steven Bach and published as :Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate" in 1985 (subsequently produced as Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate (2004)). Cimino has dismissed the book as "pure fiction.". (imdb.com)

In 1981, he wrote "Proud Dreamer," a screenplay about the life of gangster Frank Costello. CBS turned the script down because he asked for too much money to shoot it; the film was never produced. Rumor has it that Cimino sold this screenplay elsewhere, and that it ultimately became the movie Mobsters (1991), but that remains unsubstantiated. (imdb.com)

Had Heaven's Gate (1980) been a hit instead of a flop, he intended to follow it up with another epic which he had already scripted: "Conquering Horse." This screenplay was a generational saga, tracing the history of the Sioux Indians in America. Cimino planned for the entire movie to be told in authentic Sioux dialogue, with English subtitles. To date, this picture has never been filmed. (imdb.com)

In 1979, he was slated to direct The King of Comedy (1982), which would have reteamed him with his The Deer Hunter (1978) star Robert De Niro. Because of missed deadlines and Cimino's preoccupation with Heaven's Gate (1980), he was fired and replaced by Martin Scorsese. (imdb.com)

Producer Dino De Laurentiis offered him the chance to direct "Hand Carved Coffins" based on a Truman Capote work but Cimino turned it down; to date the project has not been produced. (imdb.com)

Received a B.F.A. degree from Yale University in 1961, and an M.F.A. in 1963. (imdb.com)

Author of the 2001 novel "Big Jane." (imdb.com)

Among the projects he has reportedly been involved with over the years; some work on The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984); writing contributions to The Dogs of War (1980). The extent of his contributions are unknown, as he remains unbilled for any of these films. (imdb.com)

In December 1981, he was signed to direct Footloose (1984). Producer Daniel Melnick warned him that if the film went ONE CENT over its budget of $7.5 million, Cimino would have to cover the expenses himself. The following month, just as the movie was about to begin shooting, he asked Melnick to let him rewrite the script for an additional $250 thousand...AND to delay the start date until Cimino had done this. Melnick fired him and Herbert Ross directed Footloose (1984) instead. (imdb.com)

There has been much confusion over Cimino's birthdate throughout the years. In December 1978 interviews for The Deer Hunter (1978), he claimed to be 35 (he was apparently two months shy of his fortieth birthday), and his birth month was believed to be November. He has made similar claims in subsequent years, always purporting to be in his mid-to-late thirties. His birthdate is believed to be February 1939, a date consistent with the years he earned both his Bachelor's (1961) and Master's (1963) Degrees. (imdb.com)

Among the Cimino dream projects that have stalled in development: An adaptation of The Fountainhead; a bipoic on Dostoevsky; an adaptation of the novel The Yellow Jersey (a bicycle marathon-themed novel that at one time reportedly caught the interest of Dustin Hoffman); an adaptation of the Andre Malraux novel Man's Fate; a film about the Tour de France; an adaptation of Crime and Punhisment. (imdb.com)

In 1981, he was hired by CBS to direct "Live on Tape," a film about camera crews. but after Heaven's Gate (1980) crashed and burned at the box office, CBS changed their minds; the movie remains unmade to this day. (imdb.com)

Due to his movie Year of the Dragon (1985), he was made an honorary Colonel in the Thailand Air Force. (imdb.com)


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