Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops
A Hollywood insider answers, once and for all, the eternal question: “How in the world did that picture ever get made?”
One thing we movie lovers enjoy almost as much as fireworks on the silver screen is watching a movie go up in flames. And while each season brings its fresh batch of stinkers, it takes years and a rare confluence of forces to give birth to an “Iconic Flop” like Showgirls. While movies such as Gigli are just plain dumb, a bunker-buster like Battlefield Earth can be absolutely dumbfounding in its big-budget awfulness.
In Fiasco, longtime industry insider and acclaimed Hollywood historian James Robert Parish goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of fifteen of the most spectacular megaflops of the past fifty years. No mere financial disappointments these, each of the artistic and financial failures covered was of a magnitude to bankrupt studios, demolish reputations, and, in some cases, totally reconfigure the Hollywood power structure.
With verve and no small measure of edgy wit, Parish dishes up the gossip, the grosses, and the egregious battles connected with these disasters. He recounts, in every gory detail, how enormous hubris, unbridled ambition, artistic hauteur, and bad business sense on the parts of Tinsel Town wheeler-dealers and superstars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Sam Spiegel, Robert Altman, Clint Eastwood, Robert Evans, Francis Ford Coppola, Madonna, Kevin Costner, and Warren Beatty conspired to engender some of the worst films ever. And he vividly recreates the behind-the-scenes melodramas connected with the making of Cleopatra, Paint Your Wagon, Popeye, The Cotton Club, Shanghai Surprise, Ishtar, Waterworld, Town & Country, and other unforgettable Hollywood megaflops of the past fifty years.
“Fiasco is a know-it-all backstory of infamous film flops, wittily reminding us how often, and in so many ways, Hollywood can screw up the best laid plans.” —Patrick McGilligan, author of Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light