"Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (1974) Michael Cimino's feature directing debut starred Clint Eastwood (who also produced the film and hired Cimino for the gig) as a Korean War vet who took in a young drifter, played by Jeff Bridges. The film was a commercial success and earned Bridges a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.
"The Deer Hunter" (1978) Cimino's second film starred Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage as three friends and soldiers who fight in the Vietnam War and then struggle to rebuild their lives afterwards back on the homefront. The movie won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Cimino, who also co-wrote and co-produced it, and Best Supporting Actor for Walken.
"Heaven's Gate" (1980) Given carte blanche for time and budget after the success of "The Deer Hunter," Cimino made an epic Western that became an unmitigated disaster at the box office and was widely panned by critics -- until a full directors-cut restoration in recent years began to turn the tide in terms of its legacy.
"Year of the Dragon" (1985) Cimino followed the "Heaven's Gate" disaster with a pulpy gangster movie set in New York City's Chinatown, with a script he co-wrote with Oliver Stone. It was likewise panned, particularly for its stererotypical depictions of Asian characters.
"Desperate Hours" (1990) A remake of a 1955 film starring Humphrey Bogart, "Desperate Hours" starred Anthony Hopkins and Mickey Rourke, in a story of an escaped convict and the family whose home he wants to use as a hiding spot.