Apocalypse Now (1979)


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Starring: Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne

I just don’t know where to start with this film. It is simply stunning. It is a miracle it even got made. In my opinion the finest war movie ever made. Many may even say – the greatest movie ever made. The only other war film that comes close is Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket’… I know some of you would say ‘Platoon’ but it’s nowhere near, I don’t even want to mention it in the same sentence!

There is an amazing documentary that accompanies this film called ‘Hearts of Darkness’ which is the title of the book that the story is based on. It’s very hard to come by in the UK but gives an unprecedented look at how the film was made. Unbelievable until you watch it!

The quality of the cast alone should be enough to make you want to watch this film.

It basically tells the story of a young Captain, Willard (Martin Sheen) who is sent into the jungles of Vietnam to track down and assassinate a Colonel that has gone mad.

There are so many mesmerising scenes in this film. Probably the most famous of all being the helicopters moving into attack playing ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ or Robert Duvall saying “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” which the US soldiers surfing in the background.

When initially released it was presented as a work in progress. Now all these years later, we get the Redux with an extra 45 minutes. As Francis Ford Coppola says – “This film is not about Vietnam – IT IS VIETNAM”

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr, Joseph Conrad

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