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A metaphoric film that travels down a river of self discovery into one's soul and the madness of war

  • Aug 8, 2010
Rating:
+4
Apocalypse Now is a bizarre adaptation of "Hearts of Darkness".  Willard (Martin Sheen) goes on a journey to look for the missing Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) and exterminate him with extreme prejudice (as opposed to plain old prejudice).  Along the journey into the deep dark jungle, Willard not only learns more about the mythical and dangerous Kurtz, but a lot about himself.  Along for the ride are Chief (Albert Hall), Lance (Sam Bottoms), Clean (Laurence Fishburne) and Chef (Frederic Forrest).  The small boat crew encounters a surf crazy Lt. Colonel (Robert Duvall), Playboy Bunnies (Cynthia Wood, Collen Camp and Linda Carpenter) and a family of French hold overs from the French Indochina days before encountering a nearly abandoned firebase occupied by scared soldiers who have no chain of command before entering Kurtz's compound.

A highly underrated film that has unfairly been labeled as a straight forward Vietnam War film.  The movie is not, the War is just a metaphor for the madness of War and the journey is a trip into one's soul and searching for answers that we sometimes look inside our selves.  Willard is a man who's life is shattered by PTD and he looks at the mission to terminate Kurtz as a way to not only redeem himself in the eyes of the government but to discover why a man like Kurtz would abandon everything to become a bizarro leader deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia.  Willard's obsession with him puts not only his fragile sanity in danger but the lives of his river boat guides.

Francis Ford Coppola put a lot of himself, health and reputation on the line whilst making this movie.  He also in some ways became like the two characters in the film in real life.  Too much stroke in Hollywood made him into a megalomaniac and it nearly drove him over the edge during the film's troubled production.  Martin Sheen had a heart attack on the set and was replaced by his brother Joe Estevez in several scenes.  For more information on this film's interesting production history check out the documentary "Hearts of Darkness".
Cocaine and ego made and nearly destroyed Hollywood at the same time during the 70's and this film was one of it's products of the chaotic times.
A metaphoric film that travels down a river of self discovery into one's soul and the madness of war A metaphoric film that travels down a river of self discovery into one's soul and the madness of war A metaphoric film that travels down a river of self discovery into one's soul and the madness of war A metaphoric film that travels down a river of self discovery into one's soul and the madness of war

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August 11, 2010
Because I am a history prof.., my tip will emphasize the important literary influences on the writers Francis Ford Copolla, (director as well), John Milius and Michael Herr. The movie is a seminal work because it was influenced by four important works of the twentieth century: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, T. S. Elliott's poem the Waste Land, Sir James George Frazer's book The Golden Baugh, and Jessie L. Weston's book From Ritual To Romance. By the way, anyone who has read Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces cannot deny that the movie follows his paradigm of the "hero's quest." One actually gets a visual glimpse of this in the movie in a scene with Col. Kurtz in his cave. On his night stand one can briefly see T. S. Elliott's poem the Waste Land, Sir James George Frazer's book The Golden Baugh, and Jessie L. Weston's book From Ritual To Romance. To learn more about these books see my review of the movie or these books. Anyone wanting to understand the movie Apocalypse Now, especially the character of Colonel Kurtz, and what Milius and Copolla were trying to tell their audience need to read these five books! I promise you that in addition to a better understanding of the movie you will have a better insight into mankind's thirst for spirituality. I recommend this movie and the books for anyone interested in literature, myth, history, philosophy, religion and fans of Apocalypse Now. Since I am a retired army helicopter pilot how could I not recommend the movie. It has great dialogue, and perhaps one of the very best sound tracks of any movie produced, love the Doors!!!
August 11, 2010
Coppola was influenced by those novels but his excessive living whilst in the Philippines, his large ego, huge budget and white powder also made the film into what it is. Hollywood was a real wild during the 70's. Check out the book "Easy Riders and Raging Bulls". I also advise you to check out the 5 hour work print of Apocalypse Now., it's truly something else.
August 12, 2010
Thanks for the info, by the way, where does one get a copy of the work print?
 
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More Apocalypse Now reviews
review by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the greatest war films to come out of Hollywood
“Captain_Couth” has written an excellent review and plot summary of Apocalypse Now.  Therefore, because I am a history prof., my review will emphasize the important literary influences on the writers Francis Ford Copolla, (director as well), John Milius and Michael Herr.  The movie is a seminal work because it was influenced by four important works of the twentieth century: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, T. S. Elliott’s poem the WasteLand, Sir James George …
Quick Tip by . March 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Apocalypse Now is based off the book Heart of Darkness By the Author last name Conrad I believe. The movie is one of Francis Ford Coppala's great films. I believe filmed in the Philippines. Set during the Vietnam War it traces a special forces Captain, played by Micheal Sheen, struggling with the knowledge of having to get rid of another officer because Kurts, played by Marlon Brando, has gone off the reservation and become tribal and killing haphazardly. I can't tell you how much I loved this movie …
Quick Tip by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Hopper is great in this movie, especially since he really had only a cameo apperance! He was given great lines. By the way he is quoting T.S. Elliot's "The Waste Land" when he says: "I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas... "
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
THE WAR MOVIE. PERFECT. FEW FILMS ARE ABLE TO RUN WITH THIS MASTERPIECE.
review by . August 21, 2004
Pros: Even with its faults it was a decent production     Cons: .....     The Bottom Line: ___________     ..."I love the smell of napalm in the morning...."... Duvall         I graduated from high school in 1964, that was not a good time for young men and women to be starting out on their own. Back then, like now, it was cool to be serving your country on the battle front. Many of my classmates signed on the …
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Joseph Ulibas ()
Ranked #32
I have been working on my web series Fine Feather Friends.
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