Big Screen Classics

HEAVEN’S GATE (New DCP Restoration)

Director Michael Cimino
Year 1980
Starring Kris Kristofferson, John Hurt, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif, and Jeff Bridges
Rating R
Run Time 216min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

For the past thirty years, Michael Cimino’s HEAVEN’S GATE has been haunted by the history of its initial release in New York City and the undue savaging it received from the influential critics of the time. Hot off the 5 Oscars that came with THE DEER HUNTER in 1978, audiences and critics alike expected great things from Cimino, but were apparently not ready for what he had in mind for his next project. A $44 million dollar prestige picture, the most highly anticipated film the year if not the decade, HEAVEN’S GATE opened to poor reviews and audiences unwilling to brave its nearly 4-hour running time. HEAVEN’S GATE failed to gross back even 10% of its investment. The uncut version of the film never opened anywhere else but the New York City circuit. It later played Los Angeles theaters in a reworked, truncated version (more than an hour shorter than the original) but still failed to garner the support necessary to recoup the money that went into making it. As a result, HEAVEN’S GATE infamously triggered the collapse of the studio that had so confidently backed it: United Artists. It sank a studio, to be sure, and has carried this spectre with it ever since. Now, in 2013, perhaps enough time has passed for HEAVEN’S GATE to step out from the shadow of its notorious history and be considered on its own merits. Thanks to a new DCP restoration supervised by Cimino himself, we have the luxury to reevaluate this historical epic about the Johnson County Wars of the 1890s, to revisit a narrative about the American Dream decades after it was spurned and dismissed by the few who saw it. We proudly present the 2012 director’s cut of HEAVEN’S GATE. (Sam Prime)

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