In addition to Christopher Walken also co-starring in it, two other elements that ;Gates' shares with Cimino's The Deer Hunter (1978) are a love triangle and a focus on Ukraininan/Russian immigrants in the U.S.
The number of emigrants on the "death list" was 125. The amount of money the mercenaries were paid to kill them was $50 per head.
In former United Artists' Executive Steven Bach's book on the making of the film, "Final Cut", Bach kept saying of the initial rushes that it looked "like David Lean went and made a Western". When production spiraled out of control, Bach apparently visited a director (against DGA rules) with the intent of seeing if he would replace Michael Cimino. As he did not want to create problems for that director, in the book Bach only refers to him as "The Famous Director". When "The Famous Director" asks what the rushes look like, Bach told him that it looked "like you went and made a Western", the implication being that he asked Lean. In any event, "The Famous Director" saw some of Cimino's footage and turned Bach down.
Kris Kristofferson and director Michael Cimino were planning to do a remake of The Fountainhead (1949) with Kristofferson in the starring role after this movie was done with. Since it was, as Kristofferson puts it, "universally trashed", they had to give up on the idea.
Historical special thanks went to "all the early reporters who contributed to the Cheyenne Daily Leader, The Casper Weekly Mail, The Buffalo Bulletin, The Great Falls Tribunte, The Omaha World Herald as well as all those pioneers whose words and deeds are recorded in the Northwestern Livestock Journal, the Western Brand Book and the Annals of Wyoming".
The movie utilized over 2500 extras and background artists.
Second of two films that actor Jeff Bridges has made with director Michael Cimino. The first had been Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) about six years earlier. |