Heaven’s Gate, restored


Just saw Heaven’s Gate, the super-panned 1980 Michael Cimino film, now newly restored.

Thought it was great – kind of an American epic. Deserves present anointing as masterpiece, 180-degree change from longtime condemnation as superflop.

Wide vistas; superb 1870 Harvard graduation festivities (Oxbridge takeoff comes to mind); wondrous Wyoming frontier-town melee, near-chaos even; final extended shootout between cattlemen/hired guns and immigrant European homesteaders – truly a feast for the eyes.

Uploaded by criterioncollection

Delicious Isabelle Huppert, very capable Kris Kirstofferson and Christopher Walken (and early Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe).

A little drawn-out and perhaps too self-indulgent here and there on Cimino’s part, but really glorious and heart-gladdening in my view. Life-and-death struggle vs the 1% (Occupy movement goes way back!).


Too long, too expensive and then too mangled, did it in before. Now can finally be seen as was meant to be seen. Note: it’s about three and a half hours, but “long” not an epithet this time.

– Michael D.


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