I’ve read a lot about Michael Cimino over the years. I’ve heard many stories about him. Last August I read Anne Thompson‘s piece, “Six Reasons Why Michael Cimino Will Never Work in Hollywood Again,” which was fairly tough on the guy. I’ve read Stephen Bach‘s “Final Cut” twice. Everybody said he could be pugnacious and even rude at times. Not always but now and then. But to the best of my recollection nobody and I mean nobody ever mentioned a very basic fact, which is that Cimino was a little guy — only 5’5″.
Not every short guy is contentious or pushy or intractable, but omitting the fact that a guy was modestly proportioned is a curious thing. 5’5″ is Randy Newman short. Two or three inches taller than Mickey Rooney, okay, but one inch shorter than Alan Ladd, and I’ve read that Ladd always felt a little fucked up about his height. It seems to me that anyone assessing the character of a short guy would have to at least mention that he’s short. (And therefore may have felt motivated to compensate by being a bit tougher.) But no one mentioned this about Cimino. Because no one wants to me called a size-ist.