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Heaven's Gate (1980)

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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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4,399 ( 236)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 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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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)
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Small man
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Storyline

In 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. 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:

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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1981 re-cut) | (original cut) | (2012 director's recut) | (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The skating rink featured in the film is called "Heaven's Gate". That is the only connection this film appears to have to its title. See more »

Goofs

Despite music and a yard full of waltzing couples, several 360-degree panning shots at the Harvard commencement ball show that there is no orchestra. See more »

Quotes

Captain Minardi: Do you know what I really dislike about you, Jim? You're a rich man with a good name. You only pretend to be poor.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Heaven's Gate: Part 1 (2015) 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

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User Reviews

 
The Reviews Here Are The Best Part !
4 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was curious to see this one of the "Big Three" movie fiascos (the other two being "Ishtar," and "Waterworld," your list may vary) and so gamely gave the "director's cut" a try on TCM the other night.

I was not disappointed by the awfulness of this movie. I wish I could understand what those who think it's some kind of unappreciated masterpiece see in it. To me, Mr. Cimino is a director (and, let us not forget, also the writer) who cannot tell a story and does not respect his audience. This film is, after all, longer than "Gone With The Wind," but - unlike that fine film - scene after scene has nothing to do with anything before or after it, the dialogue is unintelligible in many places and anachronistically modern in tone, and the whole thing is unattractively photographed in sepia, as if to say, "look at me, I'm sure making a historical epic alright!" With all the unnecessary crowd scenes, it's easy to see why this thing turned into a money pit.

I appreciated many of the other comments on this movie here on IMDb, they hit the nail on the head. With regard to the various dancing scenes, I admit I did enjoy the one on roller skates, but can someone tell me where the orchestra was that was churning out all that high volume orchestral music on the lawn at Harvard in 1870? (Or did it just come down from Heaven?)

Whatever modest talents Mr. Cimino may have demonstrated early on in his career, apparently he deteriorated into a raging egomaniac somewhere along the way. Still, this movie probably could be edited down into some kind of small character-driven film. That would be a fun computer game. I would buy "Make Your Own Heaven's Gate" if it ever becomes available.


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What languages the immigrants? bookworm345
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