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The Deer Hunter (1978)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  23 February 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 217,043 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 992 user | 133 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.



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Top Rated Movies #150 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chuck Aspegren ...
Shirley Stoler ...
Pierre Segui ...
Mady Kaplan ...
Mary Ann Haenel ...
Richard Kuss ...


Michael, Steven and Nick are young factory workers from Pennsylvania who enlist into the Army to fight in Vietnam. Before they go, Steven marries the pregnant Angela, and their wedding party also serves as the men's farewell party. After some time and many horrors, the three friends fall in the hands of the Vietcong and are brought to a prison camp in which they are forced to play Russian roulette against each other. Michael makes it possible for them to escape, but they soon get separated again. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture 1978 See more »


Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

23 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Came to Play  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 10,994,967 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert De Niro recently explained that the scene where Michael visits Steve in the hospital for the first time was the most emotional scene that he was ever involved with. He broke down in tears while discussing the scene in AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Robert De Niro (2003). See more »


The credits list John D. Rockefeller III as the Governor of West Virginia, when in fact it was his son, Jay Rockefeller, or John D. Rockefeller IV. See more »


[first lines]
Michael: Hey, watch out, Axel. We'll be calling him old fireballs after tonight.
Axel: Fuckin' A.
Michael: Not bad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of our Thai crew in the production of "The Deer Hunter" See more »


Referenced in Two and a Half Men: Best H.O. Money Can Buy (2008) See more »


Foxy Lady
Written by Jimi Hendrix
Performed by Jimi Hendrix
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Real look at Life for some...
25 May 2004 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

The Deer Hunter is a masterpiece of life among a community before and after three friends get drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. The tragic events that take place in the jungles and the adjustment back into the drinking and hunting life of steel workers in Pittsburgh shook my life forever. Bobby, Chris, and John all give fine performances with an outstanding supporting cast comprised of George Dzunda(Crimson Tide, The Limbic Region) Meryl Streep(Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa) and of course the late John Cazale(The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon). The scenes are lavishly created to pull us into the magic and to strike horror into our dreams. The themes of a powerful movie such as this applies across all generations even to now with all that is happening with our soldiers in the Middle East. If you only have "one shot" to see an outstanding movie that will make your heart sing and make your soul weep, make it this movie.

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