Here is Steven Soderbergh's 'Immoral & Illegal' Re-Cut of Michael Cimino's 'Heaven's Gate'

Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter follow-up, Heaven's Gate, faced all sorts of obstacles during its making, and is famous in filmmaking circles for plenty of other reasons besides the movie itself, including its low box office take and over 200 minute running time. Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has apparently been obsessed with the movie since it was announced, and he's actually re-edited the entire film and put it online. Called "Heaven's Gate: The Butcher's Cut," this new version comes in at under 2 hours, cutting out a significant amount of the film. Check it out below.

Here is what Soderbergh posted on his site (it's also signed with the alias he uses while editing, Mary Ann Bernard):

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 shown 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.

The film is embedded here as well if you have issues (and this is all for educational purposes, though I expect this to be taken down sooner rather than later):

What do you think of Heaven's Gate? How about the re-cut? Have you ever done this with a favorite film or with a film you felt could use some cutting?

Link: Steven Soderbergh -- Heaven's Gate: The Butcher's Cut

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Great to see this beautiful film after all these years. We loved Deer Hunter as well. We met Villis at the Seattle film festival. Cimino has a great way of moving huge amounts of people in each scene, love the choreography.
I don't know why Cimino dropped out of film. Took my Polish mother took see Deer Hunter at the Drive-In and she sang the Russian songs. Love this cut but it's been so long I can't remember the original.

April 22, 2014 at 10:37PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Harry Kemball

The most complete cut (I think) is now available on Criterion Collection Blu-Ray -

April 23, 2014 at 1:14AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Gotta love Soderbergh. Subscribers of his site also had the opportunity to see Psycho and Psycho remake intercut.

April 23, 2014 at 12:56AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Michael Cimino is the most overrated, pretentious director of all time.

April 23, 2014 at 2:03AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


DH bro, DH

April 23, 2014 at 5:29AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Micah Van Hove

I don't know why this will be deemed illegal. It's basically a "personal use" video. He's not making money off it. At worst, this is the "fair use doctrine" at work. Now, the United Artists might say that Steve is infringing on their commercial property by making this film available for free and online but there's probably sufficient difference between the original and the new version to make this fall under the "fair use". The film has been out for over thirty years anyway.
In reality, the UA should be promoting this cut. As they say, any publicity is good publicity ... well, aside of throwing wild parties with a bunch of naked underage boys.

April 23, 2014 at 4:52AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


I am a lawyer and I doubt this would be deemed fair use. This absolutely undercuts the economic value of the commercial film.

April 25, 2014 at 6:18AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

You voted '-1'.
Chris P

I don't remember the numbers but it strikes me that the original release did not have much economic value to undercut and has even less 30+ years later.

April 25, 2014 at 9:46AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Soderbergh has form for this. The UK DVD of Lodge Kerrigan's 'Keane' was accompanied by Soderbergh's own recut of the film (which he executive produced).

On one hand, it is good that he supports other filmmakers, like the criminally underrated Kerrigan, but he should have the decency to respect fellow filmmaker's work and leave it the hell alone. He seems to do this stuff because of his own ego and vanity.

April 23, 2014 at 4:57AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


Will definitely try and check it out.
I'm a huge fan of the original film, especially in its longest form.

April 23, 2014 at 8:43AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


"I’m a huge fan of the original film, especially in its longest form."

If all producers had Mark London good taste for classics! <3

April 23, 2014 at 10:49AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

guto novo

Same was done with 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY. Fan edit, edited down to 90 minutes. Unfortunately, not on YouTube anymore. Glad I scraped it when I did. The edit is smooth, doesn't feel like it's missing a thing. Hard to believe it cut out over 70 minutes.

April 23, 2014 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


2001 for the ADD crowd. It's a beautiful movie without cutting anything. In fact, they've found more footage, though I'd rather have it as an extra on a restored re-release of 2001... or via seamless branching.

April 25, 2014 at 1:42PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Dan H

Another great resource was a fan edit site: You can still access their IMdB-like database at

They were closed down by the MPAA in the past for sharing links to fan edits, so it's now only a database of fan edits - no links to fan edits on the site anymore. Too bad. Because it had the best edit of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial I ever saw.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (ADM Edit)
"A hybrid of the perfect original and the bastard Special Edition. The cleaned up optical effects and the two deleted scenes (minus any CG moments in the “bathtub” scene) from the SE were inserted into the original cut. No crappy CG-e.t., no hippies, no walkie talkies."

April 23, 2014 at 4:56PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


While this may not be fair use, the implication certainly is that Steven Soderbergh would welcome anyone to recut any of his films and post them publicly for educational purposes. I look forward to seeing what wonderful versions follow.

April 25, 2014 at 9:41AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM

Chris C

I was thinking about re-cutting a Soderbergh film, but then I realized it wouldn't have a running time.

April 26, 2014 at 7:34PM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM


darren aronofsky's "fountain" (remix)

May 1, 2014 at 1:02AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM