When a film comes out, we sometimes do not think of the process that goes into it. While some films can get to the editing floor with only a little bit of drama, some films have trouble just getting the cameras rolling. There are a lot more than you think. As a film history amateur, I found some of these movies interesting. Here are 9 Movies With Troubled Histories.
Lawrence of Arabia- The epic biopic was directed by Sir David Lean who had just come off his success of The Bridge on the River Kwai. He attempted to reunite much of the cast of the film for Lawrence of Arabia, the problem, no one wanted to work with him. Lean was reportedly a dictator during filming of the former film. This led to recasting, which led to more negotiations, and when they finally got a cast settled, the screenplay was not. To make matters worse, some of the actors that did get signed on where behaving badly including Peter O’Toole whose constant drinking caused set problems. Additionally, they intended to film in Arabia, but it was too expensive so they had to move to Spain and Morocco. I guess it was worth it because it is considered one of the best films of all time.
The Thief and the Cobbler- This animated feature took 31 years, yes 31 YEARS to produce. It currently holds the record for longest film production. What was the problem? The original filmmaker Richard Williams lost financial backing at one point, but Warner Bros. saw the potential until their impatience at the production caused them to remove backing. A rough cut of the film came out in 1992 thanks to the efforts of Fred Caulvert. Miramax bought the rights and re-edited it as Arabian Knights. A “Recobbled Cut” restored most of the original production and was released in 2006.
Heaven’s Gate- Based on the story of The Johnson County War, this story makes so many historical errors that many consider it “alternate history” film. It’s production was prolonged by such things as a tyrannical director, set construction, cast rebellion, budget problems, basically everything that could go wrong did. In the end, the film ran almost four hours. To make matters worse, it went over budget which it did not recoup at the box office. Many “cuts” have been released in an attempt to save the film’s “legacy.”
Alien 3- David Fincher was promised a sizable budget, but the studio cut it just before production, forcing Fincher to do an almost total rewrite. To make matters worse, when he sent the studio the rough cut, they butchered it so much, it was almost completely unrecognizable. Fincher gets most of the blame, but this was a clear case of studio meddling with a franchise.
Terminator Salvation- Poor Christian Bale gets so much flack and blame for what went wrong with the film. The truth is, tension had been brewing on set for awhile before his outburst. The film had so many executive and associate producers, their egos got in the way of filming. Director McG had to extend filming scenes sometimes for weeks. The cast and crew began to get to tense with each other which is what led to the infamous Bale meltdown on the set of the film. To make matters worse, the film that was suppose to restart the Terminator franchise failed in its mission.
License To Kill- Ever wonder why this James Bond film did not have a single scene in England? EON was facing tax issues, forcing them to move production to Mexico. That forced the plot to revolve around a Latin American drug lord despite lacking any detail from the Ian Fleming books and short stories. Meanwhile, the heat was almost unbearable for the cast. To make matters worse, there was a writer’s strike that delayed production. The finished product was considered inferior to other Bond films, but I guess they missed the original Casino Royal with David Niven.
The Notebook- Adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, it’s title is almost a cliché for romantic couples. However, the production was hampered by two things, actually, two people. Co-stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams hated each other. They constantly yelled at each other. Things got so heated, Gosling asked director Nick Cassavettes if they could shoot scenes (even their scenes where the characters were together) separately. However, the two managed to reach a truce so production would not suffer.
The Magnificent Seven- Despite being one of the best Western films of all time, the film was plagued with constant delays. It went through three screenwriters and barely got the cast signed on before a pending Actor’s Guild strike. Mexican censors had to be on set to be sure that the farmers were not shown in a negative light. The most outrageous thing was that the seven actors constantly let their egos get in the way of acting. Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner were constantly trying to one up each other while shooting. Director John Sturges was afraid the film would suffer because of their bickering.
47 Ronin- I personally enjoyed this film, but it did not fair well at the box office. Carl Erik Rinsch was a rookie director who had never done a feature film before. He clashed with Universal Studios constantly over the direction of the film. He wanted the film to be a straight up historical drama, but Universal wanted a fantasy film to compete with The Hobbit and Avatar. There are even rumors that Rinsch was fired at one point, but Universal denies this.
Those are nine films I know of with troubled histories. Do you know any? Comment below and you might see it in a future list. Don’t forget to subscribe for more articles like this one.