A famous director who received not only acclaim but also more than his share of criticism has died. Michael Cimino, who directed the classic 1978 Vietnam War movie “The Deer Hunter,” reportedly died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 77.
Cimino’s death was confirmed by the L.A. County Coroner, who did not release his cause of death.
“The Deer Hunter,” widely considered Cimino’s masterpiece, was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1979 and won five, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cimino. But Cimino’s 1980 follow-up, “Heaven’s Gate,” became known as one of Hollywood’s greatest flops.
Cimino never again achieved the commercial or critical success of “The Deer Hunter.”
Earlier in his career, Cimino was a screenwriter, including writing the screenplays for the early 1970s movies “Silent Running” and “Magnum Force.” He wrote and directed “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” in 1974.
Here’s a clip posted by the Oscars showing some of “The Deer Hunter’s” highlights from the 1979 ceremony …