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Heaven's Gate (1980)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 8,147 users  
Reviews: 174 user | 96 critic

A dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming, in which a sheriff born into wealth attempts to protect immigrant farmers from rich cattle interests.

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Title: Heaven's Gate (1980)

Heaven's Gate (1980) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nathan D. Champion (as Chris Walken)
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John L. Bridges
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Major Wolcott
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Mayor Charlie Lezak
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Trapper Fred
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Cully
Rosie Vela ...
Beautiful girl (as Roseanne Vela)
Mary Catherine Wright ...
Nell (as Mary C. Wright)
...
Small man
Edit

Storyline

Michael Cimino's bleak anti-western based on events in 1890s Wyoming. Sheriff James Averill attempts to protect immigrant farmers from wealthy cattle interests, and also clashes with a hired gun, Nathan Champion, over the woman they both love, Ella Watson. Both men find themselves questioning their roles in the furious conflict between wealthy landowners and European immigrants attempting to build new lives on the American frontier, which culminates in a brutal pitched battle. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing greater than their passion for America...was their passion for each other. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

19 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate  »

Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(re-cut) | (original cut) | (2012 director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In former United Artists' Executive Steven Bach's book on the making of the film, "Final Cut", Bach kept saying of the initial rushes that it looked "like David Lean went and made a Western". When production spiraled out of control, Bach apparently visited a director (against DGA rules) with the intent of seeing if he would replace Michael Cimino. As he did not want to create problems for that director, in the book Bach only refers to him as "The Famous Director". When "The Famous Director" asks what the rushes look like, Bach told him that it looked "like you went and made a Western", the implication being that he asked Lean. In any event, "The Famous Director" saw some of Cimino's footage and turned Bach down. See more »

Goofs

In real life, James Averill attended Cornell, not Harvard. See more »

Quotes

Ella Watson: Do you think a woman can love two men?
James Averill: Sure you can. Why not three? But it sure as hell isn't convenient.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(as "The Blue Danube Waltz")
Music by Johann Strauß
Performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (as The New York Philharmonic Orchestra)
Waltz danced on the lawn and heard as a theme
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Masterpiece - I Thought There Were Only Three Of Us
15 March 2004 | by (San Antonio, TX) – See all my reviews

Until today, I thought there only three people, including me, who considered Heaven's Gate (1980)to be a masterpiece and perhaps the last great western, (since the 1970), after, Little Big Man (1970), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and The Long Riders (1980).

I was stunned and pleased to see that 22.5% of those voting at IMDB rate this movie a 10, as do I. A recent book, the Worst Movies of All Time, includes Heaven's Gate. Through it's production and release it was vilified, as no movie since Cleopatra, almost twenty years before. At one time it was considered the most expensive over-budget movie of all time, surpassing even Cleopatra. It was blamed for the downfall of its studio, United Artists, until everyone finally saw all the studios were falling. Michael Cimino, fresh from his glory with the Deer Hunter was hated and despised for his success and movie making excess, but clearly, that was petty jealousy at its worst.

Cimino ended up fashioning one of the great expositions of the American experience. This film is not to be missed but any serious student of American filmmaking.


87 of 148 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The feeling when you've finished this film PunchPynchon
What languages the immigrants? bookworm345
Criterion is currently working on releasing Heaven's Gate eskenazi
Waste of time laughing_solo
Blu-ray? caride
5 hr 20 min version??? jeek
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