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Author Topic: Heaven's Gate (1980)  (Read 25057 times)
cigar joe
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« on: December 01, 2004, 05:04:06 PM »

I've only seen small bits and pieces of Cimmino's Heaven's Gate, and my local rental doesn't have it. I remember a roller skating sequence but that's about it. Any of you fellas seen this film?

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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2004, 01:11:47 AM »

I've only seen small bits and pieces of Cimmino's Heaven's Gate, and my local rental doesn't have it. I remember a roller skating sequence but that's about it. Any of you fellas seen this film?
certianly visually spectacular with beautiful sets and incredible scenery.

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Belkin
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2004, 01:38:11 AM »

A masterpiece.....especially on the big screen! Beautiful soundtrack! Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2005, 02:07:40 PM »

Next Saturday, ITV is giving a rare screening of CIMINO'S legendary HEAVEN'S GATE! This is truely a modern masterpiece. Saw it on first release on big screen (several days in a row). An experience I shall never foget. Beautiful soundtrack. CHRIS WALKEN and MICKEY ROURKE are terrific. Last scene is iconic. KRISTOFERSEN is a revelation. If you haven't seen it before, catch it!

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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2005, 02:44:37 PM »

Yes i love this movie. I sadly didn't see it at the cinema like you though.  It was a flop on release and bankrupted the studio...United Artists i believe.  The photography is stunning and has some great set pieces.

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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2005, 12:54:24 AM »

Great i've always wanted to see it, thank you very much for the info.

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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2005, 09:11:27 AM »

Taped the late night ITV effort. Just finished watching it. There suppose to be some different versions (running lenghts. etc) Morricone's music is mixed to low in recent DVD releases.

13/02/05 Sorry correction: thats Manfield's score not Morricone's.  Roll Eyes

« Last Edit: February 13, 2005, 10:54:17 AM by The Smoker » Logged

cigar joe
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2005, 07:10:03 AM »

Smoker, how was it?

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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2005, 01:09:29 PM »

I’ve always been one to stick up for the underdogs. I’ve read allot about its famous or maybe more infamous history. Bankrupting the studio for one, and Crimino’s Director reputation was damaged.

I viewed it with a sense of morbid curiosity …

Setting is 1890's Wyoming, Powerful cattle men wage war on immigrant settlers from Eastern Europe.
It’s a striking looking film. In the action scenes it’s quite visceral
Closest analogy I can think off (especially interiors) would be ‘if David Lean had he made a Western. Very opulent, fuzzy nostalgic look about it.
That Nostalgic thing is something I picked up in The Deer Hunter. Also Beer, Pool and Friends makes a return in one scene
And of course for all the bad blood you can see United Artists money on the screen, fantastic Sets and costumes. One wonderful shot shows Averill and Isabelle taking a wagon through one of the small immigrant towns, almost tipping the dame thing over at one point well putting it on 2 wheels at least. Was a nod to me of Jill’s journey to Sweetwater ranch from you know what.

Performance-wise, it almost manages to surpass its sumptuous visuals: Kristofferson (who I think was criminally casted or made bad choices in the 70s) and Jeff Bridges (saloon keeper, James H. Bridges) Nate Champion ‘A Mercenary’ (Walken) while John Hurt is unforgettable as the almost permanently blotto William Irvine, all deliver career-highlights. Also Isabelle Huppert (Ella Watson) as a French Hooker. Brad Douriff a favourite if some times hammy charactor actor makes a appearence and Joseph Cotten too.

David Mansfield's score is terrific, specially in the wagon scene i mentioned above.

At points I start to wonder about why a film like this bombed like it did. It’s a very complicated film screenplay wise. Which I think is helped by the home cinema culture we have today for retrospective viewing.
Or maybe it was a sign of the times post Jaws/Star Wars 1980. People didn’t want to sit through 4 hour movies anymore. The ‘quick fix’ was the order of the day. He's a Director who likes to take his time; He spent 20mins on a Wedding ceremony in Deer Hunter if I remember correctly.
It’s a film that didn’t fit a pigeon hole at the time I think.

Crimino must have seen OUATITW at some point in his young career or even Giu La Testa (OUATR) (use of flashbacks & ending). 
Would be interesting to find out if Leone saw this Crimino’s film too, maybe both Directors were raising the bar a couple of inches in a challenge. Heaven’s Gate and OUATIA share something in there nature to me. If not just the suggestion of the ‘merely a dream’ ending.
Maybe I need to watch Leone’s last opus again too... both films were treated as outcast.

Really enjoyed this film. quite a discovery from all that bad business ive read & heard. Its definetly Curos for Leone fans...

« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 06:20:11 AM by The Smoker » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2005, 04:31:46 AM »

Vilmos Zsigmond did the cinematography so I suspect they might have used "flashing" again like he did with McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Sounds like it should be released on DVD as a curiosity. I've only seen the roller skating sequence. I was out there when they were filming in 1978 or 9 one of the towns used in the filming was the mining town of Wallace, Idaho, famous for the "Molly B Damn" mine and its three whorehouses that were still in operation at the time, one of which was called the "U&I". lol

« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 04:34:21 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2005, 06:17:14 AM »

Did you get to see much evidence of filming while you were out there in Idaho?
Same cinematographer as McCabe & Mrs. Miller, that make alot of sense looking at Heaven's Gate now.

Final Cut : Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists by Steven Bach available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1557043744/qid=1108389169/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/102-3290660-5122502
Enough story & drama to fill a book  Shocked
The DVD release.. I had a snoop around last night.
UK Region 2 FOX :207 running time :anamorphic (an amazing 75 cuts made to the cock fight sequence.. basicly what ITV showed i think, and that was in Pan Scan  Undecided )
US Region 1 MGM :219 running time :Letterbox

Havn't heard good things about the quality of the DVD releases. But you can pick these up dirt cheap. Region 1 being the best running time. Which I think i might grab a copy come end of the month.

The NFT are showing Heaven's Gate as apart of there Wild Bunch: Amercian Cinema 1967-1980 season. 2 showings, Oscar weekend, end of the month
http://www.bfi.org.uk/showing/nft/calendar/details.php?title=Heaven%27s%20Gate
Looks like something closer to the Region 1 Print looking at the Running time.  Also states its a restored print so maybe theres a new MGM SE DVD due.

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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2005, 03:57:59 PM »

Thanks for the info.

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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2006, 03:23:15 AM »

Restored full version in cinemas, at last, in Denmark.... Yes! I read somwhere that if Visconti or Bertolucci had made it, it would have been hailed as a masterpice... Now, I'm a big "Leopard"-fan, but "1900" sucks, especially the second part - so it'll be fun to see whether or not "Heaven's Gate" will repel me or draw me in. But it stars Kristofferson, who's biggest achievement is in that Sayles-movie (Lone Star?) - so it probably won't. We'll see.

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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2006, 05:16:51 AM »

Yea I'd like to see a version out od DVD to judge too.

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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2006, 02:19:13 PM »

Saw the restored version in 2005. Very much enjoyed it. About new DVD, I know for a fact that because of this new restoration done, MGM was approached with the idea of releasing an SE with new interviews etc. I believe they started on production and then it was cancelled for thought of lack of interest (maybe based on the people who went to the screenings in the different country). This situation of couse could change if Sony wish to release it to Fox for them to distrib, but thats it Sony want to (I think it would make a great Criterion release though, in a form like their wonderful Brazil or Arkadin boxset releases with a variety of cuts theatrical, international and director's cut).

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