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While an instantly touchy subject for the Reagan ’80s, the audacious film showed great guts on the part of Beatty and gained him instant respect from Hollywood, which handed him the Oscar for Best Director and the top prize from the Directors Guild of America. It all started off innocent enough, with an acclaimed director bringing Hollywood’s biggest stars to the Philippines, where a young Sofia Coppola (future director of Lost in Translation) quipped, “It looks like the Disneyland jungle cruise.” (A) Then all hell broke loose.
A massive typhoon named Olga wiped out the sets and shut down production for two months to rebuild.
The Philippine government offered helicopters to use on set, but suddenly recalled them to fend off rebel forces.
Hollywood’s Golden Age of the ’30s and ’40s had long since given way to the sword-and-sandal epics of the ’50s and ’60s. Like the Pacino-De Niro showdown in Heat (1995), the diner scene is an iconic duel between two of the era’s biggest stars. But for a close relationship that can last us through all the years of our life, no doll can take the place of aces back to back.” This is the advice given by wiseguy Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) to his crap-game colleague Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) in an early restaurant scene from Guys and Dolls, a tale of crooks, cons and courtship, all emanating from the bustling streets of Times Square.(A) More importantly, it sets up the film’s central thematic debate — whether it’s best to be a player or to settle down with true love.
Masterson and Detroit represent two opposite viewpoints.So in 1978, it was no surprise he decided to try out his directing chops, co-directing with Buck Henry (screenwriter of The Graduate) to direct the fantasy comedy Heaven Can Wait, which made Beatty the first person since Orson Welles on Citizen Kane (1941) to earn Oscar nominations as producer, director, writer and lead actor. We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment and little by little we went insane.” (A) No film is more linked to its “making of” story than Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.