For years, I went along with the assumption that HEAVEN'S GATE was just a horrible failure not worth bothering with. Then I began hearing it had merit so I gave it a shot. It's actually a pretty good film. Yes it's long, but it held my attention and I found characters and plot quite involving. It's beautifully shot too. There are definite moments where you can feel something was cut or re-edited in some way. So it would be interesting to see a 'director's cut' or something similar.
I remember hearing that special edition DVD of this movie was cancelled by MGM. So we may never get more than this. Agree, it's not a bad looking transfer of the film. But some supplementary info would be nice.
You should look at this trivia page for the film from IMDb:
PS--I appreciate your correct quote from COOL HAND LUKE, most people say "...'A' failure to communicate".