Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate

Synopsis: An inside look at the hectic production of Heaven's Gate, the media circus that turned it into a synonym for movie flop and how it added to the tectonic change that occurred in Hollywood film studios after it infamously flopped.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Michael Epstein
Production: Viewfinder Productions
78 min

Can I play?

Do you have any marbles?




You're welcome.

So, what's your name?

Louis. Yours?


You're not from around here,

are you?

No. I'm here with my parents

for the day.


What's over there?

Don't do that. We're not

even allowed to be here.

Come on.

Wait for me.

Let's go back down.



Alan, don't!

See? That wasn't so bad.

Just don't look down.


Come on.

See? It's steady.

- Louis!

- I can't move!

Come on!

Alan, help!


Here it comes. Just relax.

You're doing great now.

All right.

Now, just a couple more seconds.

Here it comes, sweetie.

Just keep breathing.

All right, the head's crowning.

Very good.

Excellent. Here we go.

One more big push, sweetie.

That's it. Now breathe.

It's coming.

Push, push, push!

Oh, here we go.

We have a boy.

Oh, is he OK?

- He's perfect.

- He's fine. He's fine.

A beautiful son.

Beautiful. He's beautiful.

- Are we OK?

- He's fine, honey.

- He's beautiful.

- Oh, he's perfect.

Congratulations, Dad.

Here he comes.

You did really well.

Oh, hi. Oh, it's OK.

Beautiful baby boy.

You did really well.

He's got his eyes open.

He's looking at you.

- What's his name?

- Danny.


Danny, come here, sweetie.

Get away from the ants.

See, we have the best-fed ants

in the neighborhood.

Come on.

Have to do that later.

Jason, my guys took

your guy's gun.


It's attached to his leg. See?

Oh, my God.

That's me, man.

That's me.

Danny, play nice

with your brother.

What's that music you're using?

I really dig it.

Whatever it is,

it's terrific, man.

It really...

I don't know...

suits his life somehow.

So, Danny, you still drawing?


No? Didn't you want to grow up

to be an artist?

That's some

of the opening sequence.

The rest needs

some fixes and tweaks.

But right now, he's clocking in

at one hour and 40 minutes.

Yeah, that's cool.

I just wanted to have a look...

before the Rememory tomorrow.

You know.

You've done a hell of a job

with him, Mr. Hakman.

You've done

the son of a b*tch right.

You're welcome.

I don't suppose...

There was a fishing trip

when we were 13.

Just Danny and I and Dad...

- At the cape.

- Yes, that one.

My God,

that day is still with me.

You requested it specifically.

It's there.

Well, I'll be off, then.

Closing Zoe project

D. Monroe, rough cut 6.

Opening D. Monroe, scene 127-Q.

Jesus Christ!

I told you to shut up!

Danny! Danny, stop!


You deserve this, b*tch!


No! God! Please... please...

No! Stop! No! You're killing me!


Scene 127-Q deleted.

EYE Tech introduces...

the ninth generation

of the Zoe implant...

from our family to yours.

Do you think

we'll be able to afford one?


I hope so.

Well, we can save.

It's worth it, I think.

Excuse me.

This girl was a complete wreck.

Drinking, drugs,

in and out of schools.

Then she turns 21...

and she finds out

about her Zoe implant.

Complete 180. She's born again.

Her knowing that

someone would one day watch...

transforms her into this kind,

gentle, loving person.

So, what happened?

She committed suicide.

Took a dive off her balcony...

twenty-seven floors

straight onto her head.

The implant

was instantly vaporized.

Charming story, Hasan.

Please do go on.


This is a rare treat.


Michael, this is Alan Hakman.

- Hi.

- Hi.

It's an honor to meet you.

Mike is my new assistant.

What happened to Eddie?

Eddie freaked out on me.

Strung too tight.

Hey, Alan, have you seen these?

They are all over town.

These anti-Zoe hippies always

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Steven Bach

Steven Bach (April 29, 1938 – March 25, 2009) was a writer and lecturer on film and a former senior vice-president and head of worldwide productions for United Artists studios. While at United Artists, he was closely involved in the troublesome production and release of Heaven's Gate (1980). He wrote a book about the ordeal, called Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists. In 1990, he was a member of the jury at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.Bach is the author of The Life and Legend of Marlene Dietrich and Dazzler: The Life and Times of Moss Hart. His biography of the Nazi-associated filmmaker Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl (2007) overturns many of the claims Riefenstahl put forward in her self-defence regarding her contact with Hitler's regime, and was named by The New York Times as one of the best books of 2007. He taught film studies at Columbia University and Bennington College. Bach died of cancer in March 2009. He is survived by his companion, Werner Röhr. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Oct. 2022. <'s_gate_8173>.

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