Only One Movie in History has Been Both an Unmitigated Disaster and a Runaway Smash
It’s one of the oldest stories in Hollywood. A grand, ambitious movie production descends into chaos. The budget balloons. The script is hastily rewritten. The stars or directors or producers start acting like petty tyrants. Maybe a storm destroys a set. Maybe an entire new ending has to be written on the fly. Maybe a key scene turns out to be completely incoherent. All the while, the press gleefully chronicles every single problem, every on-set tantrum or halt in production. And at the end of it, someone has to turn the whole thing into a movie.
It usually goes one of two ways. Sometimes, the resulting movie is an unmitigated disaster, a Heaven’s Gate or Waterworld. Sometimes, the movie becomes a runaway smash that shocks everyone, an Apocalypse Now or Titanic. But there’s only one movie in history that’s managed to be both an unmitigated disaster and a runaway smash, and that’s Cleopatra.
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