As the story goes, the cast and crew went to bed late into the evening after a long day's work of preparation in the production office, on the mud-slicked streets of Presbyterian Church, and on the other buildings that helped make the town real, and woke up the next day to six feet of snow. The film's very signature, the powdered phantom present in every shot and amplified by Vilmos' pre-flashing of the raw stock, was an accident (an initial disaster).
A lovable, streetwise strumpet (Julie Christie), replete with her secret sin, thaws the faux hard heart of a jackass (Warren Beatty) who walks tall, talks big, but who can't wordsmith his way out of a manhunt. The simple bit of yarn that he (perhaps inadvertently) spins about himself becomes a long length of legend which ultimately reveals itself as a noose in the film's final reel (20m).
Easily one of the most somber, yet woefully matter-of-fact endings of the 1970s (maybe all of cinema): the two titular characters separately alone, he as low as he goes, she as high as a kite, and each resigned to their own death. - SBP