One of the most egregious examples of Cimino's abuse of the film's budget was the construction of an irrigation system under the battlefield to assure the grass would be vividly green before it was turned red by the blood of the ensuing carnage.
Tom Noonan called this film one of the worst experiences of his life. He claims Michael Cimino abused the actors and the crew, and at one point, held a loaded gun to Noonan's head during a dispute.
Director Michael Cimino kept an armed security guard posted outside the editing room during post-production to keep United Artists executives from interrupting him.
After the film received scathing reviews after its New York premiere in November 1980, Michael Cimino sent a signed memo to the head of United Artists that asked them to pull the film from theaters so he go back and re-cut the film to a version that everyone would be satisfied with. It had been a misconception for years that it was United Artists that had pulled the film despite its negative press and reviews.
Many of the actors in the movie had to undergo training in various areas to achieve director Michael Cimino's auteuristic authenticity. Actors attended classes in such disciplines as dancing, bull-whipping, horseback riding, wagon driving and roller-skating. |