So much has been written about this movie that the experience of actually watching it is unique: you find yourself trying to ignore the critics, and just lose yourself in, what is, a pretty special film. Yes, it damaged the director's reputation. Yes, it bankrupted the studio. Yes, it failed at the time to live up to the hype. And yet, leaving all that aside, we have as sumptuously a mounted western as you'll ever see, and a complex, fascinating story. For too long people have been unwilling to forgive the perfectionism that went into the production. What they're missing is a film which takes the time to set up a recreation of a true chain of events which ought to be remebered - for comparison, watch the much shorter, glossier Johnson County War. This is the real deal. Buy the full-length Director's Cut, not the truncated version. If you love Hollywood history, especially the 70s when this was devised and filmed, then this is right up there in terms of significance with The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. Not to say that Heaven's Gate isn't flawed. There are traces of self-indulgence - moments when we want a gritty West, not touches of David Lean. But we should remain thankful that one man persevered with his vision towards the end of a time when films like this were still being made.