Heaven's Gate: The Butcher's Cut

Heaven's Gate: The Butcher's Cut

 
6.8 (1)
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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Steven Soderbergh chops Cimino's epic in half!
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1980
Original Running Time:
217
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
108
Time Cut:
110
Time Added:
1
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Steven Soderbergh made a fanedit of Michael Cimino's much maligned 1980 epic 'Heaven's Gate' back in 2006 (For his own amusement). This year he decided to release it onto the internet via his blog, but the visual quality was very poor, as it was cut from the un-restored DVD (Also compressed for streaming).

I really wanted to enjoy Soderbergh's dramatic slashing-in-half of this overlong but beautiful film but the poor quality stopped me. So now I've recreated 'The Butcher's Cut' frame-by-frame based on the restored 2012 'Heaven's Gate' Blu-Ray. It's Steven Soderbergh's fanedit with me just presenting it in the best possible light.

'Heaven's Gate' has many strengths, including some the most beautiful cinematography you're likely to see, a wonderfully poetic script and one of the greatest scores ever recorded. But pacing, strict editing, character motivation and narrative clarity weren't among them. I think Soderbergh has addressed many of these flaws and also reduced the inflated running time down to almost exactly a half.
Intention:
To match Soderbergh's visual cuts frame-by-frame using the newer 2012 HD source (Which was not available when Soderbergh made his fanedit). While every care has been taken to reproduce the 180 or so visual cuts exactly, some shots differ by a frame or two. This is due to tiny differences in the source movie from the DVD to the Blu-Ray. I have also tried to reproduce the "spirit" of Soderbergh's soundmix. However, I've made my own adjustments to the mix, to further smooth transitions and improve small areas, when I thought it necessary.
Other Sources:
Heaven's Gate (Criterion Blu-Ray)
La Porte Du Paradis (French MGM DVD) - For one 20-frame shot of Billy
Special Thanks:
Thanks to Steven Soderbergh for being brave enough to take on a fanedit of this epic-length movie. Thanks also go to those that have given me feedback in the ITW thread, including: Vultural, Aztek463, theslime, ThrowgnCpr, Brumous, hillbilly74, jswert123456, plurmonger, Ken Poirier, GregAlex, Dwight Fry, Neglify, Wraith and Gatos.
Release Information
  • NTSC DVD-5
  • MP4/M4V/MOV
Special Features
1280x544 MP4
NTSC DVD-5 (With animated menus and chapter points)
Editing Details:
- Unless impossible, every visual trim has been replicated exactly to the frame. Due to this cut being based on the 3rd DC and Soderbergh's original was based on the 1st DC a few small differences remain (A frame here or there)
- The soundmix is very close to the spirit of Soderbergh's mix but I have made many small tweaks to make the audio cuts less noticeable where needed
Cuts and Additions:
00.00.00 - Added FE.org title
00.00.12 - Added TM2YC title
00.00.24 - Added 3 paragraphs of text from Soderbergh's website
00.01.00 - Removed Criterion and MGM titles
00.01.02 - Recut and rearranged UA logo to match ammount of time it is on screen in the BC
00.01.12 - Removed entire 20 minute Harvard prologue and credits and pushed them back 'til the end of the film
00.01.14 - Removed all of Jim train ride sequence and remixed audio on the cabin shot opening
00.02.17 - Removed 2 shots of Nate appraoching Kovac
00.02.46 - Removed last 2 shots of Kovac scene and added one shortened shot of the train
00.03.20 - Removed all of the immigrant march sequence and the shot of the train pulling into Casper
00.03.57 - Removed 3 shots of Jim and the trains arrival
00.04.21 - Removed 3 shots of Jim and the trains arrival
00.05.18 - Removed 12 shots of Jim and Cully talking
00.07.57 - Removed 8 shots of Jim walk through Casper and shortened his arrival at Zindel's
00.08.07 - Shortened shot of Jim walking through Zindel's
00.08.11 - Pushed back shot of Jim passing sewing woman
00.08.18 - Removed shot of Harmonica man watching Jim
00.08.37 - Shortened shot of Harmonica man
00.10.55 - Removed 3 shots of woman arguing with the ruffians
00.12.14 - Shortened shot of Cully and removed 3 more
00.12.38 - Shortened shot of woman pulling cart away and removed last shot of Cully
00.12.53 - Shortened shot of Butler
00.13.02 - Removed shot of Butler
00.13.30 - Added shot of Associating knodding from later in the scene
00.13.32 - Removed 5 shots of Canton taking and Billy listening
00.13.54 - Removed 4 shots of Billy interrupting
00.14.03 - Shortened shot of ladies waling outside the window
00.14.06 - Pushed back Billy standing up and shortened shot of Billy listening
00.14.09 - Added shot of Billy muttering and standing up over Canton talking
00.14.13 - Removed shot of Billy standing looking at Canton
00.14.37 - Removed 5 shots of the voting and of Billy watching
00.14.44 - Remixed audio of voting over footage of Billy walking out
00.15.13 - Shortened shot of Billy staring through the bannisters
00.17.57 - Removed 2 shots Billy playing Billiards
00.18.54 - Removed last 1.5 minutes of Billiards scene and shortened shot of Associating walking
00.18.59 - Removed shot of Canton getting up, all of Jim's cart ride to Johnson County and the midnight recruiting scene
00.19.59 - Pushed back Nate and the Married Man scene 'til later and removed the 1st Cock-Fight scene
00.20.17 - Removed 1st minute of 2nd Cock-Fighting scene
00.23.33 - Shortened shot of Jim talking to JB
00.23.56 - Removed last 3.5 minutes of 2nd Cock-Fighting scene
00.24.27 - Shortened shot of Jim walking up to Ella's door
00.25.09 - Removed 1.5 minutes of Jim and Ella in bed and going to sit at the table
00.26.27 - Removed 3 shots of Ella stripping and getting into bed
00.27.40 - Removed 7 shots of Ella rushing off to see the carriage
00.29.35 - Remixed audio of audience clapping over shot of Ella
00.29.44 - Removed 8.5 minute sequence of Jim and Ella's 'day out' together
00.30.10 - Removed fiddle player's extened rollerskating solo
00.33.00 - Removed final 5 minutes of rollerskating scene including all of Jim and Ella's waltz
00.34.11 - Removed 2.5 minutes of Nate's arrival at Ella's place
00.35.13 - Removed the last minute of Nate and Ella's talk and remixed the audio
00.35.33 - Removed Ella's arrival in Jim's bedroom
00.35.40 - Removed Ella leaving Jim bedroom
00.36.12 - Brought part of Nate and Ella's bedroom scene forward
00.37.11 - Removed 4.5 minutes of Nate and Ella talking an Nate wondering around
00.37.51 - Shortened shot of Nate carrying Jim and removed a reaction shot of the immigrants
00.38.11 - Shortened a shot of Nate looking at the Harvard photo and removed 2 more
00.39.10 - Removed a minute of of Jim's talk before Nate arrives to breakfast
00.41.37 - Removed the 2 minute argument Nate has with his friend
00.43.47 - Removed 2 shots of Jim reading the death-list
00.44.19 - Removed last 30 seconds of Jim scene with the Army Captain
00.44.19 - Added Nate's confrontation with the Married Man from earlier in the film
00.49.28 - Removed last 1.5 minutes of Nate and Ella's arrival at the cabin
00.50.38 - Removed last 2 minutes of Nate and Ella talk at the cabin
00.51.21 - Removed 30 seconds of Cully listening to the sound of the train
00.52.00 - Removed 2 shots of the train stopping and Canton getting out
00.52.54 - Removed 3 shots of talk outside the train
00.53.06 - Removed 4 shots of the train disembarkation
00.53.54 - Brought forward part of the first cabin scene
00.56.36 - Removed the last 1.5 minutes of the cabin scene
00.59.13 - Shortened shot of riders galloping after killing Cully
00.59.13 - Brought forward the attack on the whorehouse scene and shortened the first shot
01.03.00 - Shortened the rape of Ella by 20 seconds
01.03.29 - Shortened the rape of Ella by another 4 seconds
01.04.53 - Removed the final 3 shots as Nate storms out of the whorehouse, shortened the shot of him riding through the stream and remixed the audio
01.07.09 - Added a single 3 second shot of Billy after the slap from 'La Porte Du Paradis' SD-DVD (Was not present in the 2012 Blu-Ray cut)
01.08.24 - Brought forward the 1st meeting scene and removed 30 seconds of Jim and John arriving
01.08.55 - Removed 5 shots of the crowd shouting over JB
01.08.57 - Added shot of Jim watching the crowd
01.09.52 - Brought forward crowd reaction shot
01.10.39 - Removed last 3 minutes of meeting and removed 13 minutes of Ella packing and Jim getting drunk and going to sleep
01.12.38 - Brought forward 2nd meeting scene and removed 2 minutes from the start
01.13.26 - Removed last 30 seconds of 2nd meeting scene
01.14.30 - Removed 5 shots of the cabin battle
01.15.14 - Removed 20 seconds of the fire and brought forward 2 shots
01.15.37 - Removed 3 shots of Nate writing
01.15.41 - Removed 3 shots of the fire raging
01.16.03 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.05 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.06 - Shortened 2 shots of Nate being shot
01.16.07 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.11 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.22 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.14 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.17 - Shortened shot of Nate firing
01.16.18 - Shortened shot of Canton shooting Nate
01.16.18 - Shortened shot of Nate being shot
01.16.19 - Removed reaction shot of Billy
01.16.24 - Shortened shot of burning cabin and removed Canton appraoching and the 3rd meeting
01.17.45 - Shortened shot of Ella leaning on Jim
01.18.20 - Shortened shot of Jim looking into the mirror
01.18.29 - Shortened 2 shots of Jim and Ella talking
01.18.45 - Removed 30 seconds of the people preparing to march
01.18.55 - Removed 30 seconds of the people preparing to march
01.19.07 - Removed 5 shots of the crowd gathering
01.19.10 - Removed a long shot of the melee
01.20.44 - Removed a shot of the woman drowning
01.20.47 - Removed 30 seconds of the battle
01.21.00 - Removed 20 seconds of the battle
01.21.04 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.21.06 - Removed 3 shots of the battle
01.21.08 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.21.22 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.21.30 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.21.37 - Removed 30 seconds of the battle
01.21.39 - Brought forward shot of gun fire
01.21.42 - Removed 20 seconds of the battle
01.21.50 - Brought forward shot of Billy
01.21.54 - Removed 30 seconds of the battle
01.21.58 - Removed 6 shots of the battle
01.22.01 - Brought forward scene of Jim leaving for the battle and trimmed the first 1.5 minutes
01.22.11 - Removed a minute of the battle
01.22.21 - Added shot of Ella riding
01.22.23 - Removed 20 seconds of the battle
01.22.26 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.22.27 - Added shot of rider being shot
01.22.28 - Shortened shot of Canton shooting
01.22.30 - Removed 5 shots of the battle
01.22.36 - Added shot of Billy
01.22.38 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.22.44 - Removed 4 shots of the battle
01.22.46 - Removed a shot of the book keeper
01.22.52 - Added shot of JB
01.22.57 - Removed 2 shots of the battle
01.23.00 - Removed 20 seconds of the battle
01.23.03 - Removed 20 seconds of the battle
01.23.09 - Removed 3 shots of the battle
01.23.14 - Removed a minute of the battle
01.23.30 - Added shot of wagon being flipped
01.23.37 - Shortened shot of wagon
01.23.39 - Removed 20 seconds of the battle
01.23.42 - Removed 4 shots of the battle
01.23.43 - Adde shot of the association
01.25.15 - Removed 2 shots of Ella and Jim
01.25.42 - Removed first shot of the night after the battle
01.26.53 - Removed final minute of the nigh scenes and remixed singing
01.28.45 - Removed 6 shots of the dynamite attack
01.28.51 - Removed 5 shots of the dynamite attack
01.28.55 - Removed 20 seconds of the dynamite attack
01.29.08 - Removed a shot of the dynamite attack
01.29.09 - Removed 2 shots of the dynamite attack
01.29.15 - Brought forward shot of the dynamite attack
01.29.16 - Removed 4 shots of the dynamite attack and shortened a 5th
01.29.20 - Brought forward shot of man dying
01.29.31 - Removed 1 shot of the dynamite attack and shortened a 2nd
01.29.32 - Removed 1 shot of the dynamite attack and shortened a 2nd
01.29.34 - Removed 20 seconds of the dynamite attack
01.29.40 - Removed 1 shot of the dynamite attack
01.29.42 - Removed 1 shot of the dynamite attack
01.29.43 - Shortened shot of Jim
01.29.45 - Removed 20 seconds of the dynamite attack
01.29.46 - Removed 2 shots of the dynamite attack
01.29.47 - Removed 1 shot of the dynamite attack
01.29.48 - Removed 1 shot of the dynamite attack
01.29.54 - Removed 3 shots of the dynamite attack
01.29.55 - Added shot of crawling woman
01.29.57 - Removed 20 seconds of the dynamite attack
01.30.25 - Removed 3 shots of the dynamite attack
01.33.44 - Removed final 10 minutes of the original movie, including the assasinations and epilogue. Music ontinues for a further 2 minutes
01.33.50 - Slow fade into Harvard scene (Now forming a new flashback epilogue). Soundtrack plays almost muted under music
01.34.58 - Shortened 1 shot of the student march and removed a 2nd
01.35.16 - Soundtrack slowly faded up to full (While the music receeds) as the student bustle into the hall
01.35.53 - Removed first 2.5 minutes of The Reverend's speech
01.36.14 - Added shot of The Beautiful Girl clapping
01.36.18 - Removed 3 shots of Billy appraoching the lecturn
01.36.57 - Added 5 shots of Jim and The Beautiful Girl exchanging glances
01.37.57 - Shortened shot of Police laughing
01.38.23 - Removed 2 shots of Billy's speech
01.40.41 - Removed 1.5 minutes of the dancing
01.41.29 - Removed 2 shots of the dancing
01.41.31 - Brought forward 3 shots of the dancing
01.41.50 - Added the main cast credits played in reverse and every credit shortened
01.42.43 - Removed a minute of the dancing
01.43.59 - Removed final 1.5 minutes of Harvard sequence
01.44.01 - Freeze framed last shot of Jim for 2 seconds
01.44.04 - Added general cast and crew credits sequence
01.47.55 - Added fanedit titlecard

= 186 major cuts
Cover art by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE) image


Screenshot Comparisons:
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[The Butcher's Cut: Act 1 - Scene 3]

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
6.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0  (1)
Visual Editing 
 
10.0  (1)
Audio Editing 
 
10.0  (1)
Narrative 
 
4.0  (1)
Enjoyment 
 
6.0  (1)
Overall rating 
 
6.8
Audio/Video Quality 
 
10.0
Visual Editing 
 
10.0
Audio Editing 
 
10.0
Narrative 
 
4.0
Enjoyment 
 
6.0

Cutting Heaven's Gate down to a normal feature length must have seemed a great idea, but Heaven's Gate was never intended to be a commercial western so it ends up defying any attempts to turn it into one.

This version of Heaven's Gate is easy to sit through owing to its brisk running time and the fact that most of the film's highlights remain. Unfortunately this version is missing all character development and all context leading up to the Johnson County land wars. It ends up feeling like the Classics Illustrated version of Heaven's Gate. If you aren't familiar with the long version this cut will likely be very hard to follow since there was never a strong narrative to edit a shorter version around--it feels like you are jumping into a movie already in progress, which of course you are.

I would say this is worth seeing once for what was attempted with the material but there will never be a perfect or easy to digest version of Heaven's Gate and the best is still Michael Cimino's director's cut which is tedious and beautiful and occasionally exciting. This version feels like the Hollywood-butchered-my-movie cut. Still, it's a nice try.

User Review

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Yes
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MP4/AVI/etc. (HD)
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