Heaven's Gate (1980)

R   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Western

Heaven's Gate (1980) Poster

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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  • Michael Cimino and Kris Kristofferson in Heaven's Gate (1980)
  • Michael Cimino in Heaven's Gate (1980)
  • John Hurt in Heaven's Gate (1980)
  • Isabelle Huppert in Heaven's Gate (1980)
  • John Hurt in Heaven's Gate (1980)
  • Isabelle Huppert and Kris Kristofferson in Heaven's Gate (1980)

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Michael Cimino


Michael Cimino

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11 February 2002 | rpniew
An underrated diamond in the rough
I have no intention of going "revisionist" here and heralding "Heaven's Gate" as some kind of murdered classic -- frankly, much of the film is too formless to rank it with the classics (and another reviewer on this site is thoroughly off the mark by comparing it to Griffith's "Intolerance.") However, this is a film that was just a little too brutally reviewed when it came out -- much of the film and its attention to detail, its awesome cinematography, its social commentary, and a surprisingly strong performance by Kris Kristofferson, make it a very watchable and powerful film. It seems that much of the prejudice against the film was based upon its price tag (small by today's standards, when one thinks of the overrated "Titanic" and the deservedly hated "Waterworld") and some sort of animosity toward Cimono, certainly an imperfect person. I would, however, recommend the film -- it is certainly better than its reputation and is, if not a classic, certainly an honorable achievement.

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