HEAVEN’S GATES (1980)
A film by Michael Cimino
Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt
A dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming which a Sheriff who is wealthy is trying to protect the immigrants because the Americans didn’t want them there.
The critics trashed the film to death. I saw Deer hunter by Cimino great film by the way but this on I missed it and saw it a month ago at the movies theater in Paris they have 4 Cult Films a month that I usually go to. it is a 3 hours long film but it is a great film some years later it did great business especially on tape then later on DVD. I bought it on DVD an watched it again. Camino had to shorten the film even more to cut it to 3 hours. Back then it cost 40 million dollars. I have the long version on DVD got lucky I guess. It starts with Joseph Cotton John hurt who gives a speech at a schoolwork they graduate a speech about how to improve his county. The film makes you 20 years to Johnson County in Wyoming. A cattle company has hired poor people to shoot 125 poor immigrants claiming they are cattle thieves. James Averill (Chris Kristofferson) who just came back into town after a 20 years absence decided to help them out. The immigrant then decided to defense themselves.
The film has a star cast even with Isabelle Huppert the French actress who Cimino fought for the studio wanted to use an American actress I am glad that Cimino has stuck to his guns. The film is well filmed and the cinematography is awesome, just the wide long shot you can see the beauty of the land. Unfortunately there is the middle of the film that is slow and should been shorted out. It is all good, almost at the end the battle and the shooting that went on, the dust all flying all over was hard to shoot as Huppert told it in an interview, Cimino Had a lot of cameras all over the place just to shoot that scene. Cimino turn this film into an epic western style. But you might not agree with me on that some of you might hate it. There is a romance going on with Walken’s character and this Hooker/Madame of the brothel she also loved James Averill Chris kristopherson’s character. The film turns a drastic turn that you will not except that will bring you a great ending. In this film you have a little bit of everything roller stating, waltz dancing (Great photography there) , big battle fight, Romance.