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Heaven's Gate

  • Film
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Heaven's Gate
Heaven's Gate

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Any hope that three decades of distance might’ve allowed for a fresh take on Michael Cimino’s studio-bankrupting 1980 western were dashed when at least two UK broadsheets chose to celebrate this reissue by running stories on Hollywood’s most bloated disasters. That’s a shame, because ‘Heaven’s Gate’ is so much more than just a financial failure. It’s also a grippingly violent parable, a touching, tragic romance and – thanks to legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and an unprecedented attention to historical detail – quite simply one of the most beautiful, immersive films ever made. This is a timely re-release both thematically – the film follows Kris Kristofferson’s privileged Yale graduate as he learns how steeply the system is tilted against America’s working poor – and in terms of influence: in the heartbreaking closing moments it’s almost possible to hear Paul Thomas Anderson furiously scribbling notes. Perhaps the film’s greatest crime was being shot in the English language. If ‘Heaven’s Gate’ had been made in Russia or Italy – and the shadows of Tarkovsky and ‘The Leopard’ do loom large – it’d be a film school set text by now, rather than a cautionary tale.

Written by Tom Huddleston

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 2 August 2013
  • Duration:219 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Michael Cimino
  • Screenwriter:Michael Cimino
  • Cast:
    • Kris Kristofferson
    • Christopher Walken
    • John Hurt
    • Isabelle Huppert
    • Joseph Cotten
    • Jeff Bridges
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