Facts about Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino Biography
Filmmaker Michael Cimino’s career was forever marked by the huge success of 1978’s The Deer Hunter and the huge failure of 1980’s Heaven’s Gate.
He studied art and architecture at Yale in the early 1960s and got his professional start in New York making television commercials. Cimino moved to Los Angeles to make movies in 1971, and his screenwriting work on Magnum Force (1973) led to a beneficial relationship with Clint Eastwood, who starred in Cimino’s directorial debut, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (1974).
The movie was a hit (and co-star Jeff Bridges was nominated for an Oscar), Cimino followed with The Deer Hunter, a box office success that received nine Oscar nominations and won five awards, including best picture and best director.
Cimino was given full control over his next movie, Heaven’s Gate, and famously went over budget to make an overlong financial flop. The disaster became Hollywood legend and Cimino became a symbol for ego and excess.
He made only seven feature films during his career, the last decently received one being The Year of the Dragon (1985, starring Mickey Rourke).