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Heaven's Gate (1980)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 8,269 users  
Reviews: 175 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 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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An inside look at the hectic production of Heaven's Gate, the media circus that turned it into a synonym for movie flop and how it added to the tectonic change that occurred in Hollywood film studios after it infamously flopped.

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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
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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:

What one loves about life are the things that fade. 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:

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

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Williams was the original composer attached to the film, but left the project when the film was half a year behind schedule and he had to start composing the music for both Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) immediately after that. One studio executive claimed that Ennio Morricone was also considered. See more »

Goofs

The pool table over which James and Nathan had their defining discussion in the landowners' club, is a Brunswick Regina model, which was produced between 1922 and 1925 - over 30 years after when the scene was set. 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

Referenced in St. Elsewhere: Heaven's Skate (1988) 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 mediocre two hour film that goes three and a half.
15 September 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Thanks go to the great Vilmos Zsigmond for making this film look beautiful, but tear that away and you have a ridiculously long (3 hours 39 minutes) weak story with mostly one-dimensional characters. The long gaps between lines and each overwrought scene- be it a noisy town meeting or a gang rape- gives you plenty of time to think about how this could have been a two hour film, and you can spend the rest of the time finding other things wrong with it. While the actors are all pros, sometimes adding dimension to their roles, they are usually bored beyond even scene-chewing. Aesthetic pacing is one thing, but then when it occasionally gives you canned lines like the bad guy saying, 'I am the law' into the sepia mix, well, it's just fodder for MST3000. Even they'd get bored. If you see it, you'll be bored, too.

It's a typical Hollywoodization of an actual historical event- in other words, here, have another love triangle with a sweet prostitute, the sheriff, and a sorta bad guy. In an ultimately failed attempt to reinterpret the western, Camino instead grabs at all the standard 70's clichés: graphic violence that quickly becomes cartoonish, butt-naked ladies, jumpy volume shifts, and anti-heroes. Whee. Face it- when you think Old West, do you think... roller rink?

Not really surprising that it's such a legendary flop; it has such high aspirations to fall from. On its long, long, long way down, it looks great, indulgent, and expensive the whole way, and goes flop. You will thank the invention of the Fast Forward button.


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