Heaven's Gate

Synopsis: In Michael Cimino's bleak anti-western based on events in 1890s Wyoming, Sheriff James Averill attempts to protect immigrant farmers from wealthy cattle interests, and also clashes with a hired gun, Nathan Champion, over the woman they both love. Both men find themselves questioning their roles in the furious conflict between wealthy landowners and European immigrants attempting to build new lives on the American frontier, which culminates in a brutal pitched battle.
Director(s): Michael Cimino
Production: MGM/UA
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
325 min



She let you go then?


Afraid of nobody.

I wish you could see into my heart, James,

and know that, this very night...

I am going to repent of all my sins.

- What's that?

- They're leaving Harvard.

You're hungover.

James! James!

Where are we supposed to be?


My friends...

if it be not a mere farce -

If it be not a mere farce

you are enacting...

in these sacred valedictory rites...

if you mean them, feel them -

as I know you do...

they have for you a mandate

of imperative duty.


It is not great wealth alone...

that builds the library...

founds the college...

that is to diffuse a high learning

and culture among a people.

It is the contact...

of the cultivated mind

with the uncultivated.

If it be true...

that the constitution

of American society...

is peculiarly hostile now...

to all habits of thought

and meditation...

it doubly behooves us -

It doubly behooves us...

to look well

to the influence we may exert.

A high ideal -

the education of a nation.

CIass of '70...

friends, parents...

relations of the class of '70...

I now introduce your class orator -

Mr. William C. Irvine.


James! Onward!


Give us a good one, Bill!

CIass of '70...

ladies and gentlemen...

friends of the class of '70...

That's your friend.

There is a story

told by an ancient author...

of a young man who being noticed

by his friend to look dejected...

was questioned by him...

concerning the cause

of his troubled appearance.

The youth used no concealment...

but told him that, for three days...

he had been vainly endeavoring

with his utmost efforts...

to find an exordium for a subject

on which he had to write.


his friend replied with a smile...

"Do you wish to write

better than you can?"

"And such," says the old author,

"is the whole truth of the matter.

We must endeavor to speak

to the best of our ability...

but we must speak

according to our ability."

Oh. He keeps looking at you.

And similar to the distress of this youth

was my own trouble...

when upon examining the old skeleton

upon which most college orations are hung -

I considered how I might incarnate

that familiar framework.

Of course, I at once decided

not to attempt any profound...

or difficult matter...

lest having given the dry bones

at best but a long tongue -

puny strength.

And after much careful

and calm meditation...

the class has refused to advise alteration...

on the usual law

that is called gravitation.

Though we had thought at one time

of having it stopped...

in order that some of us

might not be dropped.

But the mind of mankind

perhaps will be gratified to learn...

that, at last, the law has been ratified...

and the common result

can be counted on still.

All rivers, as usual, flowing downhill.

The seasons, in turn,

will continue to roll.

We shall ask for no change

in the north or south pole.

The sun will continue to set in the west.

The majority of us considered it best.

We disclaim all intention

of making a change...

in what...

we esteem...

on the whole...

I don't know where to look.

Well arranged.



Excuse me.

- God, you're beautiful.

- So are you.

Are you alone?

Oh, yes.

Come on. Where is it?

F*ck you, bastards!

Let him through!

Let him through!

F*ck you bastards!

Come on, James!

Come on! Get him up!

Come on. Let's go.

Come on, you bastards!

You fucker!

Give me a push!

James! James! James!

You did it, James!

You got it, James! You got it!

...be forever

Let our love perish never

When we're parted, stick together

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Michael Cimino

Michael Cimino ( chi-MEE-noh; February 3, 1939 – July 2, 2016) was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and author. Born in New York City, he graduated from Yale University in 1963 and began his career filming commercials. He moved to Los Angeles to take up screenwriting in 1971. After co-writing the script of Magnum Force and Silent Running he wrote the preliminary script Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Clint Eastwood read the script and sent it to his personal production company, which allowed Cimino to direct the film. After its success, Cimino co-wrote, directed, and produced the 1978 Academy Award-winning film The Deer Hunter. His next film, Heaven's Gate (1980), proved to be a financial failure. Cimino directed four movies after Heaven's Gate, but none were as successful as The Deer Hunter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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