movies

Heaven's Gate

Heaven’s Gate Discussion

Doug Mckenna

I wish to offer this mini appreciation of Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate” here on this page because of our hero’s involvement in the film & because I strongly believe in the film. “Heaven’s Gate” was deemed a failure when it came out. A massive failure. A failure that busted a studio, destroyed it’s director’s career & dropped Kris Kristofferson from an “A List” Star to a “B” List Star. It was a disaster. Financially.

The critics, because of it’s troubled reputation & it’s excesses & because of the artistic integrity of it’s director, wanted it to be so. The studio, first in gutting it once, then in pulling it from release, then cutting it again before release, assured that it was a disaster. For them. One, really, of their own making.

It is not, however, an artistic disaster. In fact, far from it. Visually it is, in it’s own rather unique way, stunning. Beautiful & yet anti-beautiful &, in being so, even more beautiful. It’s scope, which is also it’s weight, it’s albatross, is marvelously appealing although, admittedly, hard to digest in one viewing & a viewing of this very long film is not one sitting. A pause button is a must in the taking in of this broad & heavy film. The script is good. At times very good. The cast is marvelous. The performances are very satisfying. Our man Kris, is very good indeed & is, I think, perfectly cast.

I think we see our hero, for Kris is our hero, in a fuller light, a fuller scope, than we had before & maybe since. Isabella Hupert & Christopher Walken are pitch perfect as is Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston & the rest of the cast.

The excesses are excesses. Effective excesses. Memorable, very memorable, for the color, the character they lend to the film & although they are indeed self indulgent of Mr. Cimino they are so in the way that makes this an artist work, an artist canvas, & not an artist assignment.

The music is lovely—richly satisfying—& works on many levels.

This is running too long & so I will bring it to a close with stating that though, admittedly, I can not watch this film without definitely being in the mood & that mood has been, in my past, drunk & depressed I do strongly suggest that everyone watch it again in the near future & not just to see our man Kris but to appreciate a fine & unusual piece of cinematic art—albeit safely on video in your home & at your leisure.

These are my thoughts on “Heaven’s Gate” & if it prompts yours then it’s been worth sharing.

Kirk Smith – On the Set

Checkout other films reviews and discussions on the Kris Kristofferson Film List

CASEY’S LAST RIDE

By Ilene Armstrong – Ontario

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Ilene on Kris’ Iconic Song

I JUST POSTED CASEY’S LAST RIDE, AND AS I LISTENED TO THIS SONG, I REALIZED THAT THIS IS THE SONG THAT MADE ME TAKE NOTICE OF THIS MAN THAT I’D NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE

I HEARD OTHERS SING FOR THE GOOD TIMES, SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN AND BOBBY MCGEE BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHO WROTE THEM.


I WAS DRAWN TO LISTEN TO THAT SONG AND PLAYED IT NUMEROUS TIMES.


THE WORDS AND ALL THOSE METAPHORS – I REALISED WHOEVER WROTE THAT SONG WAS A GENUIS. THEN, I LEARNED IT WAS KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, AND I WAS HOOKED AND NOW LISTEN TO EVERY WORD HE SINGS AND WRITES.


KRIS IS A GIFT TO ME. I TREASURE HIS SONGS. THEY ARE SPECIAL. I’VE NEVER HEARD SONGS LIKE HE WRITES. GENIUS.

GENUIS AND EASY TO LOOK AT.


KRIS KRISTOFFERSON DOES HAVE IT ALL.

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Additional Comments

Casey’s last ride is interpreted different at all stages of our lives. Think.of it: The passionate love that can never last a lifetime that comes before marriage, after a divorce, entering middle age and during seniorhood. This song is profound. I would say one of the most brilliant analogies ever – Lita Gidge Macasieb Wilcox

Once I heard “Help me make it through the Night “…. I was hooked from then on. His voice is mesmerizing, & he himself oozes charisma. Even as he ages (gracefully), he still has that certain charm that endears him to everyone. No one sings the songs he writes like The Man Himself – Joy Robins

His songs are stories. Anyone can sing them. He is the only one that can bring you into the story with him by way of his perfectly, purposeful lyrical nuances. – Amy Baldwin West

No hate, I thought the song was about a dog, until he drank a pint of bitters 🙂 – Patricia Sherwood Chance

Carson Annett Adds …

Always considered Casey, Duvalier and Darby (my nicknames), as 3 of his strongest lyrics, with Jody and Silver Tongued Devil honourably mentioned in the same breath – Then again, I can start a new list with almost ANY of his tunes ….. I have nicknames for every song by the way – Bobby, Pilgrim, Girl, Nowhere, Easy Lovin’, Jesse, Billy……on and on

Tom Ghent – the Final Word

Final word must go to Tom. “To me this song has always been such a sweet tragedy, written in the style of an old Anglican ballad. Love it….a real gem.”

caseys_last_ride

Casey’s Last Ride – Lyrics

Casey joins the hollow sound of silent people walking down
The stairway to the subway in the shadows down below;
Following their footsteps through the neon-darkened corridors
Of silent desperation, never speakin’ to a soul.
The poison air he’s breathin’ has the dirty smell of dying
‘Cause it’s never seen the sunshine and it’s never felt the rain.
But Casey minds the arrows and ignores the fatal echoes
Of the clickin’ of the turnstiles and the rattle of his chains.

“Oh!” she said. “Casey it’s been so long since I’ve seen you!”
“Here,” she said, “just a kiss to make a body smile. See …,” she said. “I’ve put on new stockings just to please you. Lord…,” she said. “Casey, can you only stay a while?”

Casey leaves the under-ground and stops inside the Golden Crown
For something wet to wipe away the chill that’s on his bone.
Seeing his reflection in the lives of all the lonely men
Who reach for any thing they can to keep from goin’ home.
Standin’ in the corner Casey drinks his pint of bitter
Never glancing in the mirror at the people passing by
Then he stumbles as he’s leaving, and he wonders if the reason
Is the beer that’s in his belly, or the tear that’s in his eye.

“Oh!” she said. “I suppose you seldom think about me.
“Now…,” she said, “now that you’ve a fam’ly of your own.
“Still…,” she said, “it’s so blessed good to feel your body –

‘Lord…,” she said. “Casey, it’s a shame to be alone.”

Kathy McGovern shared this version of the song with our Fan Group – Willie joins Kris

Song is one of my top five favorites. Nice to see and hear Willie join Kris. Wonderful harmony.

Rita Dudley Gren

Image is courtesy State Library Queensland

Kristoffersonfilm

Kristofferson doesn’t Die in these Films

Kris Kristofferson doesn’t die in all of his films. If you cannot watch the end of A Star is Born but you enjoy watching Kris Kristofferson on film, here are a few ideas.

This is a list of movies provided by fans, and we will add to it. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Another Pair of Aces

Black Orchid ?

Blood and Orchids

Blue Rodeo

Blume in Love

Cheating Hearts (AKA Paper Hearts)

Christmas in Connecticut

Cisco Pike

Convoy

Dance With Me

Dolphin Tale 1 & 2

Dreamer

Flashpoint

Girls’ Night Out

Heaven’s Gate

Lives of the Saints

(the) Long Kill

Midnight Stallion

Millenium

Night of the Cyclone

No Place to Hide

Outlaw Justice

Pair of Aces

Paper Hearts AKA Cheating Hearts – (Thank you, Tina!)

Rollover

Room 10 – A short film

Semi-Tough

Songwriter

Stagecoach

The Greening of Whitney Brown

The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck

Traded

Trouble in Mind (?? jury is still out)

Welcome Home

Wooly Boys

TradeWelcome HomeWooly Boys

If you want to add more films to our list of movies where Kristofferson doesn’t die, then drop us a comment.