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Discussion:  Final Cut and Heaven's Gate

 

Main issues:

 

UA's status in the industry

Internal factors affecting UA management's handling of the HG      project

Production of the film

Reception by critics and audiences

HG as a western:  how does it represent a new stage in the evolution of the genre?  what are the functions of traditional icons and ideas in this film (specifically:  the frontier?  the law?  literacy?  heroism?  capitalism?)

 

1.  Why was it important to know that UA was founded as a distribution company?  What does the early history tell us about the studio's priorities and self-defined mission?

 

2.  Why did the sale of UA to TransAmerica set up the company frame of mind to make the HG project possible?

 

3.  What is Bach's perception of Andy Albeck?

 

4.  Why does Final Cut refer to Woody Allen and other deals UA was involved in?

 

5.  How (and why) did UA's relationship with Michael Cimino evolve?  What impact did a "blockbuster" mentality (the need for what Albeck called "locomotives") have on UA's handling of Cimino and the project?

 

6.  In what way(s) was the production excessive?  How did the system's built-in checks and balances still allow the excesses to occur?   Was it a good calculated risk?  Why or why not?

 

7.  Why did the film get the kind of reception it did from critics?

 

8. What does Bach feel is the moral here?