Michael Cimino

Director, Screenwriter, Novelist
Regardless of anything else, director Michael Cimino would be forever associated with two films - the Oscar-winning epic "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and the financial disaster that was "Heaven's Gate" (1980). After a ... Read more »
Born: 02/03/1939 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Writer (8)

The Sicilian 1987 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Year of the Dragon 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Heaven's Gate 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Deer Hunter 1978 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Deer Hunter 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Thunderbolt And Lightfoot 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Magnum Force 1973 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Silent Running 1971 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (8)

Food Fighters 2015 (Tv Show)

Casting Producer

Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters 2012 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Post Producer

The Million Second Quiz 2012 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Casting Producer

Vanderpump Rules 2012 - 2013 (Tv Show)

Segment Producer

Sunchaser 1996 (Movie)

(Producer)

Desperate Hours 1990 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Sicilian 1987 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Deer Hunter 1978 (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (8)

Chacun son cinema 2007 (Movie)

("No Translation Needed") (Director)

Sunchaser 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Desperate Hours 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

The Sicilian 1987 (Movie)

(Director)

Year of the Dragon 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Heaven's Gate 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

The Deer Hunter 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Thunderbolt And Lightfoot 1974 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (4)

Kris Kristofferson 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Kris Kristofferson: Songwriter 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Clint Eastwood -- The Man From Malpaso 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

50 Years of Action! 1985 (Movie)

Himeslf (Actor)

Biography

Regardless of anything else, director Michael Cimino would be forever associated with two films - the Oscar-winning epic "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and the financial disaster that was "Heaven's Gate" (1980). After a career in advertising, Cimino came to Hollywood as a screenwriter on "Silent Running" (1971) and "Magnum Force" (1971). The latter introduced him to star Clint Eastwood, whom Cimino directed in his auspicious debut, "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (1974). But Cimino staked his claim with the dark and disturbing Vietnam War epic, "The Deer Hunter" (1978), which controversially explored the negative effects of war on the soldiers who fight them. The film drew high praise from all corners while earning Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. With his newfound clout, Cimino went wild with excess on his next picture, "Heaven's Gate" (1980), an impenetrable - albeit beautifully shot - Western that went over budget by a long shot and brought down United Artists after a meager showing at the box office. Though he was given the chance to direct again, Cimino produced more box office flops with "Year of the Dragon" (1985), "The Sicilian" (1987), "Desperate Hours" (1990) and "Sunchaser" (1996). Adding insult to injury, Cimino was long accused of having undergone a sex change operation due to his increasingly effeminate appearance, an accusation he laughingly denied but was unable to shake. While no one could refute his directing talents, Cimino remained the poster child of Hollywood excess and was seemingly incapable of having mainstream Hollywood take him seriously again.

Relationships

T. Cimino

Nephew

EDUCATION

Yale University

New Haven , Connecticut 1963

Michigan State University

East Lansing , Michigan 1959
(reportedly completed degree in less than three years)

Yale University

New Haven , Connecticut 1961

Westbury High School

Westbury , New York
attended

Milestones

2001

Published first novel, "Big Jane", in France

1996

"Sunchaser", starring Woody Harrelson, shown in competition at the Cannes Film Festival; given limited release before heading to video

1990

Directed and produced the remake of the crime suspense drama "Desperate Hours"

1987

Bombed with "The Sicilian"; director's cut, though thirty minutes longer, was considered somewhat more coherent but was also a box-office failure

1985

Directed "Year of the Dragon" which drew wildly different critical reviews; also co-wrote screenplay with Oliver Stone

1980

"Heaven's Gate", budgeted at $12 million and made for $38 million, was a colossal failure leading to the collapse of United Artists

1978

Scored biggest success with "The Deer Hunter"; wrote, produced and directed; won Oscars as Best Picture and Best Director

1974

Feature directing debut (also screenwriter), "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot", starring Eastwood and Jeff Bridges

1970

Feature screenwriting debut, "Silent Running", shared screen credit with Deric Washburn and Steven Bochco

1970

Relocated from NYC to L.A. to pursue film career

1970

Shared screen credit with John Milius on "Magnum Force", starring Clint Eastwood

1963

Worked as director of documentaries, commercials and industrial films

1962

Enlisted in US Army Reserve and served six months

Raised in Old Westbury, Long Island, New York

Bonus Trivia

.

Mr. Cimino's birthyear has variously been reported as 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941 and 1943. No two sources agree on the year or the day which has also been variously reported as February 3 and November 16. According to a profile in the March 2002 issue of Vanity Fair, Mr. Cimino showed Steve Garbarino a photocopy of his passport which listed February 3, 1952 as his date of birth. Since Yale confirms that Mr. Cimino obtained a BFA in 1961 and an MFA in 1963, that date seems unlikely, Indeed, in the article, Garbarino writes: "Public records, however, put his birth year at 1939, making him 63."

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