Independent British distributors Second Sight Films have revealed that they are planning to bring to Blu-ray Michael Cimino's controversial film Heaven's Gate (1980), starring Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, and Isabelle Huppert.
The distributors are yet to make a formal announcement detailing this upcoming release.
Large-scale Western from Michael Cimino, following on from the success of The Deer Hunter. In Wyoming in the 1890s, American cattlemen clash with European immigrants. Harvard graduate James Averill (Kristofferson) is appointed marshal to keep the peace, but clashes with gunfighter Nathan D. Champion (Walken). The film, originally budgeted at $7.5 million, actually cost over $44 million, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Art Direction.
They've got the most interesting blu-ray releases. I'm glad I didn't get Criterion's release. Want to see how this one stacks up against it. Second Sight have proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with and may even give us more special features than Criterion recieved.
Their release of the Marcel Pagnol/Yves Robert double-bill is bare bones, and the transfer of Les enfants du paradis they used is wretched, so there's little grounds for optimism that they'll do this properly and include BOTH versions of Heaven's Gate.
Second Sight used to be one of the worst UK labels when they started out on VHS with what seemed like an 'any old master will do' policy, so it's interesting how much they've improved since then.
It'll be interesting to see what their UK version is like since the film was never released in the UK on DVD because of censor cuts (horsefalls and the cockfight) meaning they'd have had to created a new master just for the UK, and which of the three versions that have made it to home video they use - Criterion's director's cut (which changes a couple of the best shots in the picture), the itself slightly re-edited 219-minute version MGM/UA released in the US (which doesn't have the original freezeframe ending from the 70mm version which isn't on any of the home video releases) or, least likely of all, the cut two-and-a-half hour version with the reshot but very similar ending that MGM/UA released on DVD in the rest of Europe.