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HEAVEN’S GATE How many viewers who think they know the whole story behind Michael Cimino’s legendary western epic have ever actually seen the film in in its full, uncut, big-screen glory? Hastily pulled from American theaters one week into its release and subsequently reissued in a butchered version shorn of some 70 minutes, Heaven’s Gate has rarely been revived in the three decades since, even as it has been duly re-appraised by critics as an innovative masterpiece. (Just last year, Time Out London ranked it twelfth in its list of the greatest westerns ever made, ahead of The Wild Bunch and Unforgiven.) Now it returns in a stunning new restoration commissioned by The Criterion Collection and supervised by Cimino himself. Based on a despicable episode of rarely told American history, Heaven’s Gate recounts the 1892 land war between wealthy cattle barons and immigrant homesteaders in Johnson County, Wyoming—a textbook case of the 99 percent versus the one, and a stinging indictment of American capitalism run amok. Caught in the middle are the lawman James Averill (Kris Kristofferson), the hired gun Nate Champion (Christopher Walken) and the woman (Isabelle Huppert, in her first major Hollywood role) who loves them both, an intimate drama that plays out against the painterly canvases of Cimino and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. Featuring a stellar supporting cast that includes Joseph Cotten, Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston and the young Mickey Rourke. This digital restoration was undertaken by the Criterion Collection, under license from MGM, with the support of Park Circus and Colorworks.

HEAVEN’S GATE How many viewers who think they know the whole story behind Michael Cimino’s legendary western epic have ever actually seen the film in in its full, uncut, big-screen glory? Hastily pulled from American theaters one week into its release and subsequently reissued in a butchered version shorn of some 70 minutes, Heaven’s Gate has rarely been revived in the three decades since, even as it has been duly re-appraised by critics as an innovative masterpiece. (Just last year, Time Out London ranked it twelfth in its list of the greatest westerns ever made, ahead of The Wild Bunch and Unforgiven.) Now it returns in a stunning new restoration commissioned by The Criterion Collection and supervised by Cimino himself. Based on a despicable episode of rarely told American history, Heaven’s Gate recounts the 1892 land war between wealthy cattle barons and immigrant homesteaders in Johnson County, Wyoming—a textbook case of the 99 percent versus the one, and a stinging indictment of American capitalism run amok. Caught in the middle are the lawman James Averill (Kris Kristofferson), the hired gun Nate Champion (Christopher Walken) and the woman (Isabelle Huppert, in her first major Hollywood role) who loves them both, an intimate drama that plays out against the painterly canvases of Cimino and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. Featuring a stellar supporting cast that includes Joseph Cotten, Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston and the young Mickey Rourke. This digital restoration was undertaken by the Criterion Collection, under license from MGM, with the support of Park Circus and Colorworks.

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