Friday, May 7, 2010

Apocalypse Now

Plot: Apocalypse Now (1979)


One of a cluster of late-1970s films about the Vietnam War, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now adapts the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness to depict the war as a descent into primal madness. Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen), already on the edge,... less

One of a cluster of late-1970s films about the Vietnam War, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now adapts the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness to depict the war as a descent into primal madness. Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen), already on the edge, is assigned to find and deal with AWOL Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), rumored to have set himself up in the Cambodian jungle as a local, lethal godhead. Along the way Willard encounters napalm and Wagner fan Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall), draftees who prefer to surf and do drugs, a USO Playboy Bunny show turned into a riot by the raucous soldiers, and a jumpy photographer (Dennis Hopper) telling wild, reverent tales about Kurtz. By the time Willard sees the heads mounted on stakes near Kurtz's compound, he knows Kurtz has gone over the deep end, but it is uncertain whether Willard himself now agrees with Kurtz's insane dictum to "Drop the Bomb. Exterminate them all." Coppola himself was not certain either, and he tried several different endings between the film's early rough-cut screenings for the press, the Palme d'Or-winning "work-in-progress" shown at Cannes, and the final 35 mm U.S. release (also the ending on the video cassette). The chaotic production also experienced shut-downs when a typhoon destroyed the set and star Sheen suffered a heart attack; the budget ballooned and Coppola covered the overages himself. These production headaches, which Coppola characterized as being like the Vietnam War itself, have been superbly captured in the documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. Despite the studio's fears and mixed reviews of the film's ending, Apocalypse Now became a substantial hit and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Duvall's psychotic Kilgore, and Best Screenplay. It won Oscars for sound and for Vittorio Storaro's cinematography. This hallucinatory, Wagnerian project has produced admirers and detractors of equal ardor; it resembles no other film ever made, and its nightmarish aura and polarized reception aptly reflect the tensions and confusions of the Vietnam era. ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide less

Duration: 153min

Cast: Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Francis Ford Coppola, Dennis Hopper, Harrison Ford, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Vittorio Storaro, Scott Glenn, Walter Murch, Laurence Fishburne, Tom Mason, Lawrence James Cavanaugh, Dean Tavoularis, Eddie Romero, John Milius, Carmine Coppola, R. Lee Ermey, Colleen Camp

This was indeed a movie worth watching . Marlon Brando plays a superb role. Harrison Ford is so young in this movie and Martin Sheen escapes being shot so many times. If you like Vietnam movies.....

3 comments:

Mama Zen said...

A classic!

A Lady's Life said...

Mama Zen : I had never seen it before.But Brando told Sheen what kind of men he needed to clean up the mess.People with a heart of darkness, with no judgment or morals.
Men who just went in to do the job.
So Sheen up until that time was morally judging his right to kill this man after everything he had seen in war. A war being fought with no methods. Just a bunch of CEO Clowns.So he listened to Brando's philosophy especially when he said you have a right to kill me, but you have no right to judge me. This made it easier for Sheen to make a decision. He killed him because he was ordered to, without judgement or morals. Then Brandos children bowed down to him and he became their new leader. They left it as a cliff hanger.Was Sheen going to stay or go back to his base? To go either way signified corruption. There was no right or wrong here, just what was.
Man this was heavy to watch.
Brandos last words were HORROR. and this is what war is, horror.All senseless killings.
And yet not many national leaders come to this conclusion and so you have to fight or be killed anyway.

A Lady's Life said...

Sheen took his two soldiers and went back but now with a new understanding of war and what it meant. Killing is just killing and yet Brando wanted to die as a soldier and not as a rabble criminal.He wanted Sheen to explain to his son what his Dad was all about.So I guess he was not insane.