• Heaven's Gate (1981)

Heaven's Gate

Release Date: November 19th, 1981

DVD Release Date: February 29th, 2000

R |3 hr 38 min

Plot Summary

Harvard graduate James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) is the sheriff of prosperous Jackson County, Wyo., when a battle erupts between the area's poverty-stricken immigrants and its wealthy cattle farmers. The politically connected ranch owners fight the immigrants with the help of Nathan Champion (Christopher Walken), a mercenary competing with Averill for the love of local madam Ella Watson (Isabelle Huppert). As the struggle escalates, Averill and Champion begin to question their decisions.

Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, John Hurt, Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston

Director: Michael Cimino

Genres: Western , Historical drama

Production Co: United Artists, Partisan Productions

Distributors: United Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Keywords: Transformation, Gritty, Love, Rivalry

Ratings & Reviews

  • 38
    Jay ScottThe Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    The relationships between the characters are designed to climax in the slaughter, but by then the static images, the lack of rhythm and the paucity of intelligence (Heaven's Gate is simultaneously without subtlety or clarity) have taken their toll and the movie is unsalvageable. [21 Nov 1980]

  • 75
    Joseph Jon LanthierSlant Magazine

    To his credit, Cimino renders us helpless not before carnage or greed, but before his epic’s breadth of motivation and circumstance. It’s not the past’s ugliness that terrifies us in Heaven’s Gate, but its far more intimidating immensity. show more

  • 38
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    This movie is a study in wretched excess. It is so smoky, so dusty, so foggy, so unfocused and so brownish yellow that you want to try Windex on the screen. A director is in deep trouble when we do not even enjoy the primary act of looking at his picture. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Art Direction