The name is actually a pseudonym created by the Directors Guild of America to help real directors distance themselves from particularly terrible projects.
The name had become damaged goods after An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn blew up the secret.
Thus, subsequent cuts of Dune, including the three-hour TV version, are credited to Alan Smithee.
AdvertisementMeet Joe Black (Airline Cuts)This Smithee project is one of the rare few that isn’t really the studio’s fault.
(This wasn’t even real director Martin Brest’s worst project—the director of the acclaimed Scent of a Woman also gave us infamous turkey Gigli.)

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