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Heaven's Gate is director Michael Cimino's bleak 1980 "anti-western" based on events in 1890s Wyoming. Sheriff James Averill (Kris Kristofferson), educated in the East and full of idealism, attempts to protect Eastern European immigrants - farmers against the land barons and owners of pastures who hire mercenaries to settle their scores. The hired gunmen, including Nathan Champion (Christopher Walken), plan to kill a number of farmers whose names appear on a death list and whom the farmers believe have been stealing their cattle. Backed by the federal government, the mercenaries prepare to attack the farmers when Averill and Champion clash over the impending massacre and Ella Watson (Isabelle Huppert), a local prostitute and woman they both love. The film, while shot very realistically with attention to every detail, became notorious for its enormous budget and its negative buzz and subsequently became one of the biggest box office flops of all time. Thirty-nine years after the movie's disastrous premier it is now considered by many film critics/historians (in particular Europeans) to be an outstanding example of American filmmaking at its finest. There have also been many who have stated that in retrospect the film was savaged in part due to the fact that Michael Cimino was (personally) disliked by many in the industry. Whatever the case might be the movie is arguably one of the most famous failures in film history.
The following weapons were used in the film Heaven's Gate:
Single Action Army
Most of the characters in the movie use "Cavalry" model Single Action Army revolvers. Sheriff Averil James (Kris Kristofferson) carries an "Artillery" model.
1848 Colt Dragoon
Nick Ray (Mickey Rourke) also uses a long-barreled Colt Dragoon during his and Nathan Champion's last stand.
Remington Model 1875 "Frontier"
One of the immigrants is armed with a 5.5" Remington 1875.
Merwin Hulbert & Co. Pocket Revolver
Deputy John L. Bridges (Jeff Bridges) and Ella Watson (Isabelle Huppert) both use Merwin Hulbert & Co. Pocket Revolver
Henry Model 1860
Sheriff James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) initially purchased a Henry 1860 rifle, but later switch to a more modern Winchester Model 1892.
Winchester Model 1892
Many characters in the film are armed with Winchester Model 1892's.
Winchester Model 1866 "Yellow Boy"
Deputy John L. Bridges (Jeff Bridges) in battle is seen with a Winchester Model 1866 "Yellow Boy"
Remington Rolling Block
Sheriff James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) also uses a Remington Rolling Block rifle.
Winchester Model 1876
Some Winchester Model 1876 rifles appear in the hands of mercenaries, some appear to be missing their handguards like other rifles in the film.
Maynard Single Shot Percussion Carbine
Some mercenaries are seen using Maynard Single Shot Percussion Carbines.
Trapdoor Springfield Model 1873 Cavalry Carbine
Many of the immigrant farmers arm themslves with "Trapdoor" Springfield Model 1873 rifles.
12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun
Trappers are seen with 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotguns. Nathan Champion (Christopher Walken) also uses this weapon.