Apocalypse Now
Francis Ford Coppola (1979)

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1979, 153 minutes. Colour, US

  • Dir: Francis Coppola
  • Prod: Francis Coppola
  • Scr: Coppola, John Milius
  • Ph: Vittorio Storaro
  • Ed: Barry Malkin
  • Mus: Carmine Coppola, Francis Coppola
  • Art Dir: Stephen Gooson

CAST:

(United Artists)

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    "You have a right to kill me... but you have no right to judge me.'
    - Brando to his nemesis, Martin Sheen

What we have here is a great, sprawling, deeply flawed, pretentious, self-indulgent and yet, in the end, magnificent picture. When Francis Coppola showed it as a work in progress at the Cannes Film Festival he said it was 'more of an experience than a movie' and that just about sums it up.

Ostensibly, of course, it's about the Vietnam War, about US Army captain Martin Sheen's progress through the jungle, the skirmishes and the battlefields on a mission to assassinate Marlon Brando's mad and dangerous Colonel Kurtz, a maverick soldier who had become a kind of demigod. But, starting out as a modern parallel yo Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the film proceeds to encompass all manner of psychology and myth (death and regeneration, for example) to become both a nightmare journey through the horror and madness of war and an examination of the evil rooted in men's souls.

What remains in the mind is not so much the story - as Coppola has said, that becomes less important as the film goes on - as a series of astonishing vignettes: Robert Duvall as a crazy, water-skiing commander; helicopter gunships going into action to the accompaniment of The Ride of the Valkyries; the huge, gross appearance of Brando, half in light, half in darkness.

By all accounts the filming (in the Philippines) was a horrendous experience: the budget soared from $iz million to more than $30 million; Martin Sheen had a massive heart attack; and the picture went so far over schedule that in Hollywood it was known as 'Apocalypse Later'.

Somehow one feels that what Coppola set out to shoot was not the film he finally delivered, but no matter. For all its faults Apocalypse Now is still by far the best of all the Vietnam movies and a riveting condemnation of the appalling damage war can do to people, psychologically as well as physically.


OSCARS:

  • 1979: Best cinematography; best sound recording (Walter Murch, Mark Berger, Richard Beggs, Nat Boxer)


OSCAR NOMINATIONS:

  • 1979: Best film; best director; best screenplay; best supporting actor (Duvall); best art direction/set decoration (Dean Tavouiaris, Angelo Graham, George R. Nelson); best film editing (Richard Marks, Walter Murch, Gerald B. Greenberg, Lis Fruchtman).

    (Winner best film 1979: Kramer rs. Kramer)


5 STARS OUT OF 5



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francis coppola dvds


apocalypse now uk dvd
apocalypse now redux uk dvd
apocalypse now steelbook edition uk dvd



francis coppola videos



apocalypse now

dvds | videos

al pacino | michelle pfeiffer

yul brynner | christopher plummer | romy schneider

the godfather | the godfather part ii
marlon brando | james caan | diane keaton | al pacino
laurence olivier | clark gable | vivien leigh | leslie howard | alfred hitchcock | robert montgomery | grace kelly
olivia de havilland | humphrey bogart | howard hawks | frank capra | charlie chaplin | lauren bacall | fritz lang
jean harlow | greta garbo | ava gardner | audrey hepburn | edward g. robinson | john garfield
erich von stroheim | wim wenders | madeleine carroll | marlene dietrich | rita hayworth







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