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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 21, 2012.
well there's also a Pal 16x9 dvd which came out in Europe ,while I don't know if its still on Vudu,but they had a excellent version ,didn't compare it with Netflix ,Its on TCM HD Moday at 12pm not sure which version they will show
Heaven's Gate is airing on TCMHD Sunday at midnight. Looks like it'll be the long cut. I almost sprang for a blind buy of this during the Criterion flash sale this week. If I like, I'll pick it up in June at Barnes and Noble.
Gee how many versions of this film are there,There's the laser version with subtitles and a non 16x9 dvd which looks like a worst version of the Pal 16x9 version The Vudu(sony store ) streaming version is a better yet Then came the Criterion version which was even Better,but new color by Cimino Now there is yet another version,which is the Netflix streaming version ,which to me isn't as good as the one on Vudo,and looks like a better version than the first laser and has less red than even the first dvd Which of these many versions is right ,who knows I sure don't know anymore ,I prefer the Criterion first then the Vudu(sony) and don't forget there's even a dvd of the Short Version (non 16x9)
One small correction, Peter- the LaserDisc versions of HEAVEN'S GATE DO NOT have the subtitles. Only the original MGM/UA VHS version had them (which is a variant in itself, as the final image freeze-frames on Averill inside his yacht instead of having him walk back up onto the deck). Vincent
There is a the short version DVD? It was never released in the US according to WIKI- please elaborate.
Thank you so much for the time gathering all those missing subtitles. When I saw it that first week in 1980. I remember the audience snickering upon hearing the bordello reference as the buggies passed each other. As to the numbered editors I must have read so many years ago in the time between that November to that April that UA had another editor added to the trimming debacle and I assumed they received a credit or was more attuned to that credit listing at that second viewing. Here is the article: http://books.google.com/books?id=_eQCAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA16&ots=HmdtFpeFD3&dq=michael%20cimino%20%22open%20letter%22&pg=PA16#v=onepage&q&f=false
The short cut was released on PAL DVD in Europe. It's letterboxed and looks very nice but is NOT 16:9 enhanced. I bought my copy from amazon.fr. Interestingly, the disc itself has "D2" printed on it, which suggests to me it was perhaps originally intended to be bundled with the long version as the second disc. Re: the short version- According to Steven Bach's FINAL CUT book, William Reynolds was in the editor in charge of the recut, and he had already been credited on the long version, both as a co-editor and "Executive in Charge of Post-Production", so no alteration to the credits was necessary since he was already credited. Also mentioned in that book is that after HEAVEN'S GATE failed a second time, UA toyed with the idea of hiring "two young editors from New York" to cut the film down to 90-minutes and release it under the title THE JONHSON COUNTY WAR, but presumably that never actually came to pass. Vincent
Where in the world did you buy MICHAEL CIMINO'S HEAVEN'S GATE on Blu-ray for over £15.00? Where in the world can you buy MICHAEL CIMINO'S HEAVEN'S GATE on Blu-ray for over £15.00? I'm looking around on the internet for it all the time, and i'm getting quite sick-to-death of clicking on search results for MICHAEL CIMINO'S HEAVEN'S GATE, because i know (immediately), that i'd only previously clicked on that web-site the day before, and they're only there to tell me the blind, bleedin' obvious anyway, (that any blu-ray copy of MICHAEL CIMINO'S HEAVEN'S GATE would have to be exported), that they are U. S. R. Region 1 encoded 1 NTSC, (which means having spent £150 on a Blu-ray player, i wouldn't necessarily be able to play it from the off; i pray this isn't the case???!!! I say this because this is the region on my dvd i had imported from US DIRECT, (played it from the off, but i want the upgrade to Blu-ray most desperately???!!! Gregory
The D2 has nothing to do with it being intended as part of a 2-disc set, it is just a code for which territory in Europe this particular disc is intended for distribution (and no, it doesn't have anything to do with region coding). Discs either had D1 (seen on UK discs), D2, D3 or D4 on them.
Personally, I've never found Heaven's Gate the unmitigated disaster that Rona Barrett claimed had "absolutely nothing" to recommend it. Ditto for Gene Shalit's absurd carpet hauling of Cimino on the basis that the film cost more than the gross national product of some third world nations. Critical response to Heaven's Gate ranged from the downright harsh to the absolute absurd. Clearly, someone was looking for a scapegoat and/or punching bag and Michael Cimino just happened to on the wrong end of a very eviscerating game of tag.
I also could never quite understand David Field's apprehensions about the casting of Isabelle Huppert because she was French. True enough, after having seen Heaven's Gate ten times in my lifetime there are still a few lines of Huppert's dialogue which, at least for me, are inaudible. But Huppert is superb in the role. And after all, if we can find Slavic settlers in Wyoming what the heck is so gosh darn astounding about finding a French madam running a brothel from her cabin?!?
Personal opinion of course, but I do think Cimino was, frankly, foolish to show a 5 hr. rough cut to UA exec's - claiming he could lose maybe 15 minutes - especially since they had previously told him the movie MUST NOT be any longer than 3 hrs.. Cimino's expectation that they would all just love seeing the movie so much, as much as he had clearly obsessed in making it, was a mistake - one that cost him his reputation in Hollywood.
But having seen Criterion's re-issue on Blu-ray I was once again astounded by the simplicity in Cimino's narrative, the absolute absorbing ritualism of his visuals, the devastatingly accurate recreation of those rural landscapes, and quite frankly - utterly impressed once more by the acting throughout. In totem, the film is a class act par excellence with but one bone of contention I will bring forth herein and now - namely the epilogue.
I'm sorry to disagree, but recalling Michael Cimino's absolute testimonials that he was making a movie of "the way it was" and aiming for a level of authenticity rarely achieved on the screen, I have to protest the epilogue which show's Kristofferson's Jim Averill stoic aboard a lavish yacht off of New Port. History tells us the real Jim Averill found his way into the hangman's noose shortly after the Johnson County conflict.
Okay, movies are never history incarnate. But Cimino's claim of authenticity instantly made Heaven's Gate beholding to a higher standard. The epilogue doesn't work for me. It never has. I also fail to see the point of the prologue - though lavish and expertly conceived, the film really doesn't need it to tell its story. But at least the prologue is in keeping with Cimino's quest for authenticity.
Is Heaven's Gate a masterpiece? Let's just say it is a visually resplendent movie and decidedly more the winner than an implosion of artistry. While many could poo-poo Cimino's methodical pacing or narrative structure (and many did) the fact remains that on its own merits, removed from all the epic media hype to tear it down, Heaven's Gate is a movie of rare qualities and exceptional professionalism.
I would press Criterion to be a tad more consistent with their transfers. 2K is old hat. The standard bearer is 4K or even 6K. I thought Heaven's Gate on Blu looked spectacular overall, but occasionally looked just a tad softer than I expected - the rape scene in the bordello in particular. Otherwise, I'll concur with everyone else and say this is a must have/must own hi-def presentation. I would have liked for Criterion to have included the documentary "Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate" too. While I don't agree with everything in it, it remains a fascinating behind the scenes account of the movie's creation and disastrous premiere. Enough said.
The softness I think is likely more an issue with the source material than the resolution of the scan.
There was never any chance of the Final Cut documentary being included with the Blu-ray. Cimino was heavily involved with the content on the disc, and still, even all these years later, will brook no unkind words to be said about his movie or any suggestion that he may have done anything imperfectly in its creation.
Actually I think it's more that the documentary was based on Steven Bach's book and Bach is in it. After all, the horrific initial reaction to the film is discussed in the liner notes as well as some of the interviews. And not for nothing, David Field has said that Bach had a lot of inaccuracies in that book. Look at Field's version of the ultimate decision to cast Huppert in the documentary vs. Bach's version in the book, for example- two entirely different stories. Hell, Bach makes a big deal about the "8-minutes of closing credits" when the final credit crawl is only about 3-minutes long.
My impression of Cimino showing them the 5:25 rough cut and claiming "he could probably lose 15-minutes" is more that he knew he'd come in at least 30-minutes longer than his contracted 3-hour length, so he figured if he showed them that bloated cut, they'd let him release a final version that went pretty far over the contracted length because he could argue that he cut nearly 2-hours out of it. It find it interesting that the Criterion version of HEAVEN'S GATE is almost exactly 3 hours 30 minutes if you subtract opening and closing credits.
Only in the most superficial and dismissive manner. The only interview that mentions a negative reaction to the film is Kris Kristofferson's, which goes something like: "I didn't understand some of the bad reviews. I always thought it was a great movie." And that's all he says about that. The booklet essay is much the same. Nether at all details exactly what the bad reviews complained about. The only references to the film's box office failure obliquely describe is as a "disappointment," but fail to mention that it was blamed for bankrupting United Artists and killing the New Hollywood movement.
In short, nothing on the disc acknowledges what the movie is actually famous for. The booklet is a huge cheerleading piece for the "misunderstood masterpiece."
Some quick quotes (some compressed) from the essay- "...catastrophic American opening... vitriolic reviews greeted the U.S. release... 'New York Times' Vincent Canby described as an 'unqualified disaster'... Some [critics] accused Cimino of foggy marxism, but [critics concentrated] their attacks on the its cost and dramatic structure, or lack thereof..."
The Cimino/Carelli piece also ends with Carelli saying how hurt Cimino was by the reaction to the movie, even if they understandably don't dwell on it. In short, "what HEAVEN'S GATE is actually famous for" is already well-known and has been spoken of ad nauseum for decades, this release is supposed to be about letting the film speak for itself. All that negative material is readily available, as is Bach's book.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for the late Stephen Bach, not only for FINAL CUT but for his biographies of Marlene Dietrich, Moss Hart and Leni Riefenstahl. I am distressed to have seen some vague imputations of unreliability on HTF without detailing and proving the assertions.My reaction to his books is to believe in his painstaking research and knowledgable, objective reasoning. Anyone is at liberty to beieve, if they wish to, that Michael Cimino is a towering, misunderstoood genius but I would like to see the facts behind this derogatary reappraisal of Stephen Bach - preferably from someone whose knowledge and experience of the film industry in general and the production history of Heaven's Gate in particular is equal to his.
Bizzarre thinking that anyone here would think CImino would agree to overseeing the restoration of Heaven's gate and also including Final Cut. I saw the October screening at Lincoln Center and the man was obviously visibly emotional and had been seriously damaged over the years by this film's reputation. He literally broke down 2 or 3 times by the multiple ovations. And Kris Kristofferson was there so sing it's praises as well with Cimino constantly praising his performance in the film which was never ever acknowledged. All of the acting is superb. Also the film is revered throughout Europe especially France so we need to think outside the USA media box of build up and tear down. We are very lucky to have this film brought back to life by it's director and not after he's passed.
(I have no idea how to edit my prior post).
In the future I'm sure a dramatization will be made on its making (like Hitchcock) and that should include Final Cut as a supplement. Not this.