I took the time to offer all this background because Levinson told Kornheiser that the studio that released the film (MGM) thought the project was worthless. The executives in charge were so disappointed that they didn’t even offer changes. They just wanted it to go away and thought releasing it would send the film into oblivion.
“The studio absolutely hated the film,” Levinson said. “They thought it was so bad they didn’t even want to give notes. It was literally unreleasable in their minds.” One executive told Levinson he didn’t know how to edit, and then tried to tell Levinson how to edit a scene. Barry Levinson, an Academy Award winner.
Think of that for a minute. One of the most critically acclaimed films of the era was dismissed as junk by the executives overseeing its creation.
That kind of mentality, that kind of arrogance, and that kind of detachment from your audience is just the kind of personalities we have in so many high places today, making decisions from Wilshire to Wall Street to Washington. It does explain why these messes are created and continue to be created, and how decisions are made by our current Congress, Hollywood and The Big Short. All of it makes sense now that I’ve heard Levinson explain the mindset of the people overseeing him.