Books: Watching the Deal Go Down: FINAL CUT

FINAL CUT by Steven Bach; Morrow; 432 pages; $19.95

"Dreams and Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gate" is the subtitle of this funny, bright and twice-shy book, but that, as the citizens of Hollywood like to say, is just "powerful marquee." Steven Bach was head of worldwide production at United Artists, and Final Cut is really a frontline memoir of studio stewardship, a bemused but unbowed recollection of skirmishes on film sets, hand-to-hand combat in the screening room and trench warfare throughout the executive corridors. The book has a huge cast of characters, but no clear winners or losers, and no heroes, including the author himself. Film students take...

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