Cool Videos: Watch Steven Soderbergh's unofficial re-edit of Heaven's Gate
Michael Cimino's HEAVEN'S GATE remains one of the biggest box office bombs of all time but has become more and more recognized as an achievement by many film fans and critics over the 34 years since it was released. The movie even garnered a Criterion edition which is not typically granted to bad movies. Featuring a sprawling cast that includes Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Brad Dourif, Joseph Cotten, Geoffrey Lewis, David Mansfield, Richard Masur, Terry O'Quinn, Mickey Rourke, and Willem Dafoe, HEAVEN'S GATE didn't help itself by clocking in at an unwieldy 149 minute running time which was eventually restored to a three and a half hour restored cut.
Cimino's follow-up to THE DEER HUNTER is an epic western that is "a dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming, in which a sheriff born into wealth attempts to protect immigrant farmers from rich cattle interests".
Maybe because he was bored or maybe because it is just the kind of movie maniac he is, director Steven Soderbergh decided to enter the realm of internet movie fanboys and make his own fan edit of HEAVEN'S GATE. Calling it "The Butcher's Cut", Soderbergh has made his version of the film available for streaming in it's entirety over on his website with the following disclaimer.
As a dedicated cinema fan, I was obsessed with HEAVEN'S GATE from the moment it was announced in early 1979, and unfortunately history has show that on occasion a fan can become so obsessed they turn violent toward the object of their obsession, which is what happened to me during the holiday break of 2006. This is the result.
For those familiar with HEAVEN'S GATE, this is an intriguing experiment to see if his 108 minute cut is better or worse than Michael Cimino's original effort. For those who have never seen the movie, now is your chance to check it out and voice your opinion.
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