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Heaven's Gate (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kris Kristofferson, Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Walken, John Hurt
  • Directors: Michael Cimino
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 216 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008Y5OWMK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,251 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Heaven's Gate (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New, restored transfer of director Michael Cimino’s cut of the film, supervised by Cimino
  • New restoration of the 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Cimino, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • New illustrated audio interview with Cimino and producer Joann Carelli
  • New interviews with actor Kris Kristofferson, soundtrack arranger and performer David Mansfield, and second assistant director Michael Stevenson
  • The Johnson County War, a video interview with historian Bill O’Neal about the real-life conflict that inspired the film, and its resonance in popular culture
  • Trailer and TV spots
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic and programmer Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan

  • Editorial Reviews

    A visionary critique of American expansionism, Heaven’s Gate, directed by Oscar winner Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), is among Hollywood’s most ambitious and unorthodox epics. Kris Kristofferson (Lone Star) brings his weathered sensuality to the role of a Harvard graduate who has relocated all the way to Wyoming as a federal marshal; there, he learns of a government-sanctioned plot by rich cattle barons to kill the area’s European settlers for their land. The resulting skirmish is based on the real-life bloody Johnson County War of 1892. Also starring Isabelle Huppert (White Material) and Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), Heaven’s Gate is a savage and ravishingly shot demystification of western movie lore. This is the full director’s cut, letting viewers today see Cimino’s potent original vision.

    Customer Reviews

    Full of astonishing moments, the film works on almost every level.
    Robert Wright
    The myth was that this is one of the worst films ever made, the reality is that it is a classic.
    James Scott(geothite@earthlink.net)
    Just watch, study, and learn and you will see how to make a bad 'Western' movie.
    Peter D. Page

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    184 of 203 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on May 14, 2005
    Format: DVD
    There is just no beating around the bush when people mention Michael Cimino's 1980 film, "Heaven's Gate." You either love it or hate it...there is only black and white when discussing this film. Having just seen the reconstructed director's cut, I will follow that trend and state: "Heaven's Gate" is a superior film.
    I first saw the butchered, approximately 2+ hours version in the theaters several years ago and had to agree that it was pretty bad: incoherent, of course... badly edited...in both sight and sound. At the time it reminded me of those badly made European productions in which every actor is speaking a different language and after the fact, the film is dubbed into Italian or French. The film was literally a mess.
    In its glorious 3-½-hours+ state, though, "HG" is a pleasure to behold. It is a grand saga dealing with greed, the loss of innocence and how money corrupts...to name a few issues it tackles. It's scope is on the grand scale of such films as Luchino Visconti's "The Leopard," Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" and Bernardo Bertolucci's "1900." What makes these films special, thoughtful and important though is that they all tell their stories from the personal perspective of individuals: and "Heaven's Gate" does this as well...in the person of Jim Averill (Kris Kristofferson).
    The film is gorgeous to behold (Vilmos Zsigmond was the photographer) but one big scene bears mentioning: the scene shot in the huge dance hall (actually called Heaven's Gate) in which the entire town is in attendance, everyone roller-skating to fiddle music, several cameras swirling around with the crowd...so involving, so dynamic as to take your breath away.
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    184 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Stephen H. Wood on August 30, 2005
    Format: DVD
    1980 marks the 25th anniversary of one of the strangest media events ever. There was an eagerly-awaited invitational preview on a Thursday for a four hour Michael Cimino western called HEAVEN'S GATE. The whole industry came out in force to see Cimino's first movie since his Oscar-winning THE DEER HUNTER (1978) and, at a budget of $40 million, a movie that had bankrupt United Artists. The result was apparently an unholy disaster-so awful that Friday opening day regular engagements were abruptly cancelled. Reviews were venomous, focusing much more on the hefty budget and how an arrogant auteur filmmaker had brought down a studio with his excesses. Roger Ebert was particularly hostile. The 219 minute movie was sent back to the editing room with Cimino and several original editors. In mid-1981, an all-new HEAVEN'S GATE was brought out at only 149 minutes. The same hostile reviewers, except for Kevin Thomas in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, still hated the movie for being too long and not having a coherent story. I saw that shortned print, adored the movie, and sent a rave review to Mr. Cimino. I got a very positive thank you letter from the filmmaker himself saying it was a hit in France. In America, I think the 149 minute print played for only two weeks in deserted theaters. Just for good luck, animal rights groups who had not seen the movie in any form were protesting the mistreatment of horses in the film.

    Thank God for home video! While heavily censored TV prints of HEAVEN'S GATE still run 149 minutes, the uncut 219 minute roadshow version (which importantly never got a theatrical run for the general public) is available on letterboxed videocassette and DVD.
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    27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
    Format: VHS Tape
    Kris Kristofferson, John Hurt (not William), Christopher Walken, and Isabelle Hubbert gave their best performances ever in "Heaven's Gate" -- the film that was turned into a punch line by film critics and their wanna-be successors.
    I just saw the unedited version at a special screening in New York City and it was amazing. The film is complex: Director/writer Michael Cimino presents shades of gray when examining the violent class and "ethnic" conflicts that take place between wealthy cattle barons and poor immigrant settlers that sought a better way of life in America.
    One moment I sided with the cattle barons. The other moment I sided with the immigrants. What Cimino did was present both sides of the issue, showing the fundamental reason why these class conflicts will always exist.
    The film forces you to deal with your own predjudices and explore the behaviors that arise when you are forced to survive.
    If "Heaven's Gate" had been released today it would have won Best Picture, Cimino would have won Best Director, Kristofferson would have won Best Actor, and Walken would have won Best Supporting Actor.
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    17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cyr on August 21, 2012
    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    There is so much to love in this movie. First the male leads: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken and John Hurst (all at their peak) and the conflicted admiration and respect they have for each other. Add to those, Sam Waterston, as the cattle baron who despises the immigrates because they are poor and butcher a steer or two to feed their starving families, and Jeff Bridges the inn keeper, another friend of Kristofferson's James Averill.

    Consider the grandeur of the film, which begins with Averill 's attendance of a graduation speech given my Joseph Cotton, Harvard Dean. It took me several viewings to notice that his speech presents the central theme of the movie (idealism and the taming of the lawless West, because Cimino purposely distracts the viewer with cuts to the antics of John Hurst who makes fun of the seriousness of the speech. This is followed by a scene of the graduation dance comprised of scores of extras in nineteenth-century suits and gowns waltzing in Harvard Yard (actually Oxford), which ends with a riotous free for all as the men beat each other as they scramble for the ladies bouquets atop a tree in the year. The theme of beauty vs. violence, which also underlies the movie.

    And there is much spectacle to come: poor immigrants perched atop empty train cars as the locomotive steam engulfs them as it trails backward.

    Then there is the greatest set piece in the movie, the roller skating rink where the immigrants circle while a Cajun band plays, ending with a solo waltz for James
    Averill and Ella Watson, the town Madam played by the young and gorgeous Isabelle Huppert.
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