Movies

Like Josh Trank, These Directors All Bashed Their Own Movies

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The reviews are in, and the news isn’t great for FOX’s latest attempt at striking pay dirt with a Fantastic Four filmThe movie has been panned by critics and fans alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, Fantastic Four currently has a staggeringly low 9% rating. Worse off for FOX is the prospect of a big thud at the box office due to the terrible word-of-mouth. Something that wasn’t helped by director Josh Trank, who distanced himself from the film on Twitter before deleting his tweet. While it’s surprising to see these kind of remarks on such a high profile project, Trank is far from the only director who has had a problem with the presentation of the final cut of their work. There are plenty of directors that would rather just slap the “Alan Smithee” name on panned films and call it a day. Here’s a look at the people Trask will be joining in infamy.

Jerry Lewis and “The Day the Clown Cried”

The Day the Clown Cried has never actually been officially released, so there’s no actual trailer to go with it. It’s a film that director and actor Jerry Lewis hopes to bury under the weight of time. Recently, Rolling Stone reported that Lewis has come to an agreement with the Library of Congress — the film may be shown to audiences, just not for another 10 years. In 2009, Lewis told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m guilt-ridden about…most of this is about me. The whole film is about me. I’m not defending, protecting, or diving, or anything about one anything. The best compliment you could get today is that I talked to you about this.”

David Lynch and “Dune”

Lynch has had a number of great hits but he isn’t a fan of this film. In 1984, he told Prevue, “We were in sync. But, they wanted to go in different directions – other aspects of the novel were more important to them. Of course, had they done the picture, my ideas would have clouded their vision.” He gave a similar statement in 2012, saying to Extrovert Magazine, “I started selling out on Dune. Looking back, it’s no one’s fault but my own. I probably shouldn’t have done that picture, but I saw tons and tons of possibilities for things I loved, and this was the structure to do them in.”

Tony Kaye and “American History X”

American History X (1998) stars Edward Norton as a skinhead in a violent look at Neo-Nazism and racism in the United States. If you ask director Tony Kaye about the criticism of his film, he’d likely agree with it. In 1998, Variety reported that Kaye “disowns this cut and lost his bid to take his name off the picture.” In 2002, Kaye, in an op-ed to The Guardian, said, “Four years ago, I made my first movie, American History X; that might have been cause for celebration had I not been preoccupied with destroying myself, my career, and my chances of ever working in Hollywood again.”

Martin Scorcese and “New York, New York”

Here’s the thing about New York, New York: it’s a musical. And while Liza Minelli and Robert DiNiro in a musical together may seem like a good idea on paper (maybe?), Scorcese’s style, as he learned, just isn’t suited for musical theater. “I tried to have no idea at all what I was going to do, as much as possible, on the day of shooting – as opposed to having a fairly strong idea of what I was going to do,” said Scorsese to interviewer Richard Schickel, “I was really testing the limits…I had a very chaotic style, on purpose, on ‘New York, New York.’ And I found it didn’t work for me.”

Steven Spielberg and “1941”

So here’s a crucial thing that happened in 1941, the year: The bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought the US into WWII. Here’s what 1941 (1979) is about: The bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought the US into WWII. It’s also a comedy. Now, that may seem a little gauche, but the film actually did pretty dec11111ently at the box office. It just didn’t do ‘Spielberg Well.’ Top that off with the fact that the movie was not a hit with the critics, and you’ve got something of a dud (despite three Academy Award nominations.) Spielberg told ‘Bombs Awaayyy!!! The Official 1941 Magazine’ in 1979 that making 1941 a musical “might have helped.” Spielberg said in a 1990 interview with Barry Norman that 1941 was an issue of his own “personal arrogance.”

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