Heaven's Gate (Cimino)

One of the most underreated western movies ever. Starring such greats as Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken. And when this movie was first at the cinema It was murdered by the critics, and everybody hated It.(mainly because a lot of the film was cut)Myself I found this to be a beatiful movie, and If you ever get a chance to watch this classic Do It.

a masterpiece. suffers from its background (which ruined United Artists)…

but a great epic

I saw the director’s cut when there was the release some years ago,exellent un-mythical western.Sure more close to the reality than many others

i last saw it when i was about 18 and found it boring, i’m now a little older (almost 33) so i think it’s about time i re-evaluated it.

I would say so. To me its a great part of old western cinema.

there’s some speculation whether that director’s cut actually exists… not even imdb.com lists it. where have you seen it? for all I know it has been recently remastered and people thought that was the director’s cut because they only knew the old theatrical version, which is shorter than all the DVD versions available

Before i get any U.K. releases i always check the BBFC website, so be aware.

check out the link


this was the last time it was submitted in the U.K. so maybee it might come out again uncut, but i doubt it because i heard there was a cock fight.

hope some of you find it useful :slight_smile:

Lets get real about this. Heavans Gate cost a fortune to make, and from what we hear half was spent on stuffing up the nose, none was spent on the audio soundtrack. This film is rubbish. I am told that a full directors cut is due to be released in the UK and I will buy it when it comes out because I am one of those sad fuckers who thought this was a great film destroyed by the studio’s. But time has taught me otherwise. This is a major fuck up film and deserves all the bad press. When you hear that he (CIMONO) closed a set down because the main street was a metre to narrow???, you must start to wonder.

Also I can accept a little distortion to make a film more enjoyable. But only 1 person was killed during the actual historical incident, and not the many (???) killed in the (Hour long) battle??? What was that?

I now regard this film as the silliest film ever made, because there is a story to be told about the rape of America and the capitalist control of resources, and this film sadly hints at all that but never points, never articulates, never hits out. It has so many opportunities to digest American history in a way that has never been attempted, and you get the feeling when you hear Cimino talk that he wanted to do this, but I find no evidence that anybody stopped him from doing what he wanted to do. So he fucked up, his intelligence was found wanting. (did he ever have any? Can you watch Deer Hunter and not wince).

Cimino once said that the Harvard scene (filmed in Oxford in the UK (is this another “Full English” film)) sets out the political motivation of the action. But I tell you the prologue is bollocks, and the epilogue is… ??? Well blow me down with a feather, is it about remorse??? But remorse about what?

Is this a spaghetti western?

I think it is sad that this film is debated on this database….

This is an add on to above comment. The one authenticated incident in the film is when the C Walken character is gunned down in his home and writes a letter as the house burns down around him. (this is the only faithful historical scene in the film). And the way he (Cimino) handles it makes it the most unlikely scene in the film. You sit there and don’t believe it, because there is so much cynical nonsense throughout the whole film that the authors have no empathy or humanity to comprehend how a man facing death could compose such humanity.

This scene alone in my opinion shows that Heavans Gate wanted to be so much but ended up so nothing.


Well everyone else seems to like it(including me) I find it to be a great epic and one the best dancing scenes that I have ever seen.

I have mixed feelings about this film. The film was an epic masterpiece, one that was overshadowed by it’s own advanced negative press.The first few hours of the film were fantastic, especially the scenes at Harvard and in Casper, Wyoming. I thought most of the characters were underdeveloped and cliched, but that sometimes works in westerns. The final 40 minutes were a let-down. The movie was building up to something more but doesn’t deliver, and the last scenes on the yacht were so pointless. Excellent attention to detail and brilliant direction by Michael Cimino, but definitely not enough attention to the basic elements of film-making such as character development. This was a major financial blow to the studio, at that time, and I feel, a contributing factor to the decline of western productions in it’s aftermath. Of course, what they spent on this film, is roughly, what they spend on doughnuts in modern productions.