R | | Drama
At Zabriskie Point, United States' lowest point, two perfect strangers meet; an undergraduate dreamer and a young hippie student who start off an unrestrained romance, making love on the dusty terrain.
Michelangelo Antonioni's original ending was a shot of an airplane sky-writing the phrase "Fuck You, America," which was cut by MGM president Louis F. Polk along with numerous other scenes. Louis F. Polk was eventually replaced by James T. Aubrey, who had most of the cut footage restored, but without this final shot.
Would you like to go with me?
Mark: Wherever I'm going.
Daria: Are you *really* asking?
Mark: Is that your *real* answer?
Zabriskie Point, in Death Valley National Park (California, USA) is not actually the lowest-elevation point in the United States. That would be Badwater Basin, at a depth of 282 feet below sea level, which is also located in Death Valley National Park about 20 miles away.
MGM president Louis F. Polk was so worried about the controversy surrounding the film, particularly the threat of an X rating, that he invoked the studio's right to the final cut and ordered Antonioni to eliminate anything that might be potentially controversial. Thus, the riots, the love-ins, and numerous other scenes and fragments of scenes were removed, leaving only seventy minutes. The film was deemed unreleasable and written off as a loss but was saved when Polk was replaced by James T. Aubrey, who thought highly of the film and restored (nearly) all of the cut scenes.