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Any idea what the toughest movie to make is/was?

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Any idea what the toughest movie to make is/was?

Old 09-22-05, 09:02 PM
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Any idea what the toughest movie to make is/was?

Here's a question I've been wanting to ask after re-watching Lost in La Mancha. Just what movie-production goes down in the record books as the one that, despite incredible odds, managed to reach the finish line?

Whether or not the film was successful, it has to be the one that had:
-Development hell
-The most cast/crewmembers being fired,injured,quitting or even dying
-The most delays
-The most on-set disasters/accidents
-The biggest Post-production problems

Or any other possible incident that couldn't occur but did.

I'm gonna take a guess at some possible contenders:

Apocalypse Now
Waterworld

(The first) Star Wars
Jaws
Operation Condor
(Yes, this was hell to make)
The Exorcist
Cleopatra
The Abyss


Any of you guys know what the winner is?

Last edited by Mondo Kane; 09-22-05 at 09:05 PM.
Old 09-22-05, 09:30 PM
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Old 09-22-05, 10:12 PM
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I don't know who the winner is, but I know The Abyss and Titanic would have to be contenders. And then there's that whole Paul Schrader/Renny Harlin Exorcist: The Beginning fiasco.

L8r
Old 09-22-05, 10:15 PM
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I think it would be impossible to declare a final "winner," since every single movie has its production troubles in one form or another.

In terms of amount of stress levels, budget problems, cast problems, etc, my vote would probably go to Apocalypse Now though, but I think only because Hearts of Darkness did such a great job of highlighting all the difficulties. I'm sure people were having their own personal breakdowns on all those other movies, but we'll probably never hear about it so candidly.
Old 09-22-05, 10:35 PM
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Yeah, I'm with FinkPish . . . I think Apocalypse Now is generally acknowledged as the most difficult production (or at least the most well known one).
Old 09-22-05, 10:42 PM
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I would also agree with Apocalypse Now:

- Martin Sheen replaces Harvey Keitel well within the shooting
- typhoon destroys the set
- Martin Sheens suffers a heart attack
- actual shoot took almost 2 years
- overbudget of which Coppola ends up using his own money
- Coppola writing & re-writing the script everyday
- 3 different endings
Old 09-22-05, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FinkPish
I think it would be impossible to declare a final "winner," since every single movie has its production troubles in one form or another.
Yeah, true. And I guess the answer could go different ways.
Meaning that Apocalypse Now had the unfortunate fate of having everything go wrong.
Where as Jim Cameron and company knew of the difficulties they were getting into for The Abyss. Providing them with a major challenge for a REAL "tough" shoot.
Old 09-23-05, 12:04 AM
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Didn't 2046 take like three years to make?
Old 09-23-05, 01:11 AM
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Hoop Dreams, in different ways than the movies listed above.
Old 09-23-05, 01:16 AM
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Didn't 2046 take like three years to make?
I remember reading somewhere that it took 5 years. One of the cinematographers said that because of the length of the shoot, he wouldn't work with the director again.

My vote would for Apocalypse Now as well. I would love to see Heart of Darkness.
Old 09-23-05, 01:16 AM
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any hand animation film, not cgi.
Old 09-23-05, 01:27 AM
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Torque
Old 09-23-05, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by muggins
Torque
OK, any insight or was this just a smartass reply?
Old 09-23-05, 06:17 AM
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I'd have to go with Waterworld. Your main set sinks so you spend millions trying to get it back only to fail. Then pour more millions of dollars into a new set only to have the director quit. You release the movie and the only buzz it can generate is how much money it cost to make.
Old 09-23-05, 07:59 AM
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Aguirre: The Wrath Of God
Old 09-23-05, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by muggins
Torque
No, that was the toughest to sit through.
Old 09-23-05, 08:29 AM
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The Twilight Zone
Old 09-23-05, 08:31 AM
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Abyss and Waterworld. There's a great documentatry on Abyss that comes with the 2 discer, if you haven't watched it, you should "the abuse"
Old 09-23-05, 08:38 AM
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Apocalypse Now is probably the biggest one.

Wasn't Heaven's Gate also a huge mess, besides the fact that it flopped?

Any movie where the main star dies during shooting get honorable mentions, like Brainstorm with Natalie Wood or the really bad one with Bela Lugosi and they brought in a double who was half a foot taller.
Old 09-23-05, 08:46 AM
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Old 09-23-05, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Fitzcarraldo
We have a winner.

Others not mentioned:

Ran was a monumental effort requiring all of the resources of several Japanese studios and American help from a variety of producers and directors.

Aardman's Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run claymation stuff is mind-bogglingly difficult to do, every smudge has to be cleaned up.

Cleopatra is still the benchmark (IMO) when it comes to shear spectical. Huge, complex sets were built for throwaway scenes. It's amazing that so much money was spent on what's basically an awful movie.

Last edited by Hiro11; 09-24-05 at 12:35 PM.
Old 09-23-05, 09:57 AM
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My vote goes to any claymation feature (ie. Corpse Bride was made with a camera, not camcorder of any sort), a handful of oldschool efforts, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Old 09-23-05, 09:57 AM
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Hell's Angels (1930) - Howard Hughes' big budget film that was years in the making as it was first a silent film and then later re-done for sound, also troubled by plane crashes and deaths of stunt pilots.

On a more notorious note, maybe Bruce Lee's Game of Death which used Bruce Lee look-alike's to finish and release the film years after his death.

Another tragic one, the Shaw Bros. Eight Diagram Pole Figher must have been a tough one with star Alexander Fu Shen dying in a car accident around mid-filming. They then re-wrote the remainder of the script to shift the focus to another character. It is considered a classic of martial arts cinema.

For post-production problems, maybe Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons or Touch of Evil which are infamous examples of post-production studio interference. Actually though, I suppose "The Magnificent Ambersons" never reached the finish line, while "Touch of Evil" in a way did.

I don't know how troubled it was but India's renowned Mughal-E-Azam was 10 years on and off in the making and it became a mega-blockbuster.
Old 09-23-05, 09:59 AM
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From Twilight Zone the Movie trivia on imdb

On 23 July 1982, actor Vic Morrow, and juvenile Asian actors Renee Chen and My-ca Le were killed during an accident on set. SFX caused a helicopter to crash, killing all three instantly. Chen and Le were not officially part of the cast, and their parents had been paid in cash, because it is illegal for children to work at that hour (the crash was at about 2:30 am). A decade later, director 'John Landis' and four others were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

I'd have to imagine it's tough to film after killing 2 kids.
Old 09-23-05, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cleaver
From Twilight Zone the Movie trivia on imdb

On 23 July 1982, actor Vic Morrow, and juvenile Asian actors Renee Chen and My-ca Le were killed during an accident on set. SFX caused a helicopter to crash, killing all three instantly. Chen and Le were not officially part of the cast, and their parents had been paid in cash, because it is illegal for children to work at that hour (the crash was at about 2:30 am). A decade later, director 'John Landis' and four others were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

I'd have to imagine it's tough to film after killing 2 kids.
I've seen this footage: a helicopter cuts some wires and falls. The whirling blade literally cuts the actors in half...gruesome stuff

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