Let’s take Woody Allen as another example. When Allen completed Manhattan in 1979, he was extremely dissatisfied. He recounts his thoughts at the time in Robert B. Weide’s fascinating 2011 documentary:
“When I was finished with it [Manhattan], I didn’t like the film at all. I saw it, and I spoke to United Artists at the time and offered to make a film for nothing if they would not put it out. I just thought to myself, ‘At this point in my life, if this is the best I can do, they shouldn’t give me money to make movies.’”
Fortunately for the rest of us, Allen did not succeed in suppressing the film. Manhattan was released to significant critical acclaim, earned two Oscar nominations, and became his second biggest box office hit of all time. More than 40 films later, Manhattan is still regarded by many as Allen’s best film, and has become one of the most iconic pictures ever made about New York City.
+ Bruce Springsteen, Woody Allen, and the Long Tradition of Hating Your Own Work