10 Box Office Bombs That Are Definitely Worth Watching

Alien3 Perception is pretty much everything when it comes to films, and our verdict on the quality of a movie is usually just an intellectual alignment often dictated by its box office success, or failure. However, some of the biggest box office hits in history are also some of the most awful movies ever made. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, anyone? And let's face it, whilst Skyfall's box office peformance has earned it the title "Best Bond movie ever," it isn't a patch on From Russia With Love, or Live And Let Die. I find the stories surrounding Hollywood turkeys far more compelling than those of financial triumph. The making of notorious flops such as Cutthroat Island, Glitter and The Adventures Of Pluto Nash are ripping yarns that describe hubris and out of control ego and are usually more entertaining than the film itself. Sometimes, though, a box office bomb is a great film that just wasn't able to find its audience. Thanks to Blu-Ray and DVD these films have another chance to rise from the mortician's slab to be embraced by those who never got to see them when they first came out. Here are 10 movie bombs that I think are well worth checking out...

10. Heaven's Gate (1978)

Heavens-Gate Michael Cimino followed his Oscar winning 1978 movie The Deer Hunter with this movie starring Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges and Isabelle Huppert. Cimino ignored all of the studio's financial constraints in his single-minded drive to create the definitive epic western. Production would be halted for hours at a time whilst he waited for the perfect cloud formation to roll into view. There's a point in the movie where a group of townsfolk tentatively creep into a hungover Kristofferson's room and attempt to wake him. Startled and disoriented he cracks a bullwhip at the timorous huddle. The whole scene doesn't last as long as it took me to type those two sentences and yet Cimino spent a whole day capturing it on film. Utter genius! Unsurprisingly the initial budget of $7.5 million spiralled to an eye-watering $44 million by the time of release. The critics were lying in wait and pounced mercilessly. Vincent Canby in the New York Times described Heaven's Gate as, "a forced, four-hour walking tour of one€™s own living room.€ Others were far more savage in their denunciation and, after withdrawing it to put together a shorter cut, the movie ended its short run having only earned $3.5 million. The intervening years have been pretty good to Heaven's Gate and it can now be judged on its own terms rather than as an affront to the rules of film-making. I recently picked up a copy of Criterion's digitally remastered director's cut and it's a bit of masterpiece. Cimino's insistence on perfection means that it's beautifully photographed, every frame looking like an oil painting and the story - dispossessed immigrants standing up to unprincipled landowners - in light of the Occupy movement, is very timely. At 3-hours-and- 36-minutes it's a bit long, but it's such an immersive experience the time whizzes by.
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