marxism-digest V2 #1246 re: Heaven's Gate

Martin Jukovsky martyj at
Sat Jun 15 14:38:08 MDT 1996

At 12:55 PM 6/15/96, Paul Lennon wrote:
>I think Gary missed a lot of the point of "Heaven's Gate." The big
>ranchers met at Harvard years before.They are not peasants, nor merely
>entrepreneurs--they are ruling class.Ultimately, they declare war on
>the ragtag bunch of immigrants, sheep farmers, etc., and literally
>hire an army to wipe them out, somewhat like in "Matewan." "Heaven's
>Gate" is class war in the old west. The film received unprecedented
>critical attacks before it even opened, but the focus was on its
>length and looseness. Perhaps true, but I never doubted the reason for
>the attacks.                                - Lennon in Jersey
>     --- from list marxism at ---

HEAVEN'S GATE was a heavy-handed attempt by Cimino to make up for his
racist, reactionary DEER HUNTER.  Yes it had an allegedly left-wing, "class
struggle," revisionist view of the West and the Johnson County wars.  But
so what?  It was a sprawling, stupid, self-indulgent mess (see the 4-hour
version) that deserved every bit of harsh criticism it got.  Let's not be
taken in by everything that appears to be well meaning.

Martin Jukovsky
Cambridge, Mass.

Martin Jukovsky
Cambridge, Mass.

martyj at

            --listen:there's a hell
            of a good universe next door;let's go
                       --e. e. cummings

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