6.8/10
12,931
227 user 132 critic

Heaven's Gate (1980)

Trailer
1:23 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Michael Cimino

Writer:

Michael Cimino
Reviews
Popularity
4,304 ( 1,420)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kris Kristofferson ... James Averill
Christopher Walken ... Nathan D. Champion (as Chris Walken)
John Hurt ... William C. Irvine
Sam Waterston ... Frank Canton
Brad Dourif ... Mr. Eggleston
Isabelle Huppert ... Ella Watson
Joseph Cotten ... The Reverend Doctor
Jeff Bridges ... John H. Bridges
Ronnie Hawkins ... Maj. Wolcott
Paul Koslo ... Mayor Charlie Lezak
Geoffrey Lewis ... Trapper Fred
Richard Masur ... Cully
Rosie Vela Rosie Vela ... Beautiful Girl (as Roseanne Vela)
Mary Catherine Wright Mary Catherine Wright ... Nell (as Mary C. Wright)
Nicholas Woodeson ... Small Man
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane
The Sicilian (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Egocentric bandit Salvatore Giuliano fights the Church, the Mafia, and the landed gentry while leading a populist movement for Sicilian independence.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Christopher Lambert, Terence Stamp, Joss Ackland
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An escaped con, on the run from the law, moves into a married couple's house and takes over their lives.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Anthony Hopkins, Mimi Rogers
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis
The Sunchaser (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Michael Reynolds is a rich oncologist who has a one hundred seventy-five thousand dollar sports car, a multi-million dollar house, and a new boost in his career. Brandon "Blue" Monroe is a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jon Seda, Anne Bancroft
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An up-and-coming gangster is tested by the insurgence of an unknown, very powerful threat.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An inside look at the hectic production of Heaven's Gate (1980), the media circus that turned it into a synonym for movie flop and how it added to the tectonic change that occurred in Hollywood film studios after it infamously flopped.

Director: Michael Epstein
Stars: Steven Bach, Hal Ashby, Sandy Berke Jordan
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American bar room pianist and his prostitute girlfriend go on a trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber
El Dorado (1967)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A reformed outlaw becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers and is forced to rejoin his old outlaw band.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Julie London, Lee J. Cobb

Photos

Edit

Storyline

Wyoming, 1890. James Averill is the Sherriff of Johnson County, a county largely inhabited by foreign immigrants. The wealthy cattle owners view the immigrant farmers as a nuisance and hindrance to them enlarging their own land. The cattlemen's association, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, effectively declares war on the immigrant farmers, and gets the state government's blessing. They assemble an army of guns-for-hire, and, backed by the U.S. Cavalry, set out to rid the state of the immigrants. James Averill's heart is with the immigrants, but he is not sure they have a chance of winning the inevitable war. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing greater than their passion for America...was their passion for each other. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese has said that this movie has many overlooked virtues. See more »

Goofs

The opening scenes and epilogue are supposed to take place at Harvard, but were shot in Oxford, England. Oxford's buildings are built in a variety of architectural styles, while Harvard buildings are solely Georgian. See more »

Quotes

Nick Ray: Now, you know that I am not gonna believe that a man can fight a wolf bare-handed. It ain't possible
Trapper Fred: Is.
Ella Watson: How?
Trapper Fred: First, ya let the critter attack ya.
Nick Ray: Attack?
Trapper Fred: Yessir. You don't do a thing. You just have to stay real calm.
Nick Ray: Then what?
Trapper Fred: As soon as that sonofabitch opens his jaws to take your fool head off - you reach right into his mouth, fast as lightning, and grab his tongue.
Nick Ray: Grab his tongue! What in the hell good does that do?
Trapper Fred: He can't bite ya if ya got hold of his tongue.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

After its disastrous premiere engagement, the film was heavily edited to 149 minutes for wide release in 1981. Full-length version (228 minutes) later restored for home video and syndicated television. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gex: Enter the Gecko (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

"Mamou Two-Step'
Written by Doug Kershaw
See more »

User Reviews

No one should be subjected to this
1 September 2001 | by kalel1See all my reviews

The Trailer describes this as one of the most controversial films of its decade; I would have to say it is one of the dullest films of its or any other decade.

The epic-like story centres on one man, Jim Avril (Kris Kristofferson) his fight for the rights of immigrant farmers against a wealthy elite and his love for a beautiful woman, Ella (Isabelle Huppert). Set in the late 1800's in Montana, the films main themes are racism, intolerance and fear, which could have made for a good semi-historical telling of the goings on in that era, instead we are dragged through a mire of over indulgent cinematography, poor dialogue, bad direction and the performances that could have been great by people like Christopher Walken, Sam Waterston and Brad Dourif are lost amidst all of the above. It is difficult to feel any kind of emotional attachment to the characters at any time throughout the piece, as there is no real opportunity for them to fully develop.

The film runs for close to 3 ½ hours and after 45 mins I still had no clear idea what the story was about, I also nearly cut my wrists when I saw the words INTERMISSION on the screen after 2 hours.

One of the most annoying things about this film is the fact that it was shot using some kind of filter process (apparently named the Doris Day machine) that creates a hazy quality which makes you feel like you are constantly squinting, I remember when the film was first released in the United States in 1980, touted as the most expensive flop of all time, (it was pulled from the theatres after only 3 days) there was much bewilderment over this choice of filming technique.

No one deserves to be subjected to a film like this.

It certainly didn't help director Michael Cimino's (The Deer Hunter) career, although subsequent films, Year of the Dragon and The Pope of Greenwich village were quite good. The performances by Walken, Dourif, Hurt and Jeff Bridges are fine and deserve a better setting than this film. Watch out for a cameo by Willem DaFoe and a bit part by Mickey Rourke also.

If you are a film student or budding director and you want to see what NOT to do this is a must see, for the rest of us this is a film that should be viewed only if you get tired of watching the grass grow.


16 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 227 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | French | Polish | German

Release Date:

19 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate See more »

Filming Locations:

Butte, Montana, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,484,331

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,484,523
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1981 re-cut) | (2012 director's recut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed