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The Deer Hunter (1978)

 -  Drama | War  -  23 February 1979 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 185,862 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 960 user | 127 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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Title: The Deer Hunter (1978)

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Top 250 #148 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 31 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 is also 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

Taglines:

One of the most important and powerful films of all time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

23 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Came to Play  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 10,994,967 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's screenplay, by Michael Cimino and Deric Washburn, was based, in part, on the script "The Man Who Came to Play", a 1975 screenplay by Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker about men who travel to Las Vegas to play Russian Roulette. A pre-release arbitration dispute secured Garfinkle and Redeker a co-"story by" credit on the film, although the two writers had nothing to do with its making. They also later shared an Oscar nomination with Cimino and Washburn. See more »

Goofs

In the first hunting scene as they're changing their clothes, Michael and Stan are arguing about Mike's boots. Nicky is seen putting on a sweater and had both arms in when it cuts back to Mike who delivers his "This is this" lines. When it cuts back to Stan and Nicky, Nicky is once again putting the sweater on as if it was never on in the first place. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mad: TwiGH School Musical/Avenger Time (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Tattletale Eyes
(1976) (uncredited)
Written by Jody Emerson
Performed by George Jones and Tammy Wynette
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hollywood, pure Hollywood
25 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All one has to do, is to read the plot synopsis given here by IMDb, to see how ridiculous this movie is. 1) The steel workers in the movie appear to be in their late twenties or early thirties (the actors were all in their thirties at least). They were too old to be drafted and sent to Vietnam. Men like that didn't have to join the army (which at the time would could result in their being sent to Vietnam). They would have hung on to their jobs and gotten married. 2) If by some miraculous twist (practically impossible) of fate they wound up in the Army, they wouldn't have served together in the same outfit in Vietnam. 3) The Special Forces were an all volunteer outfit made up almost entirely of career soldiers who had to meet special qualifications to be selected. 4) Very few of our soldiers were captured by the enemy (most of the POWs were downed pilots). Bamboo (tiger) cages were a scandal notoriously used by our side (not theirs) to imprison enemy "Viet Cong" or NLF combatants or suspects (this was turned around cleverly in the movie, so Americans (the audience) can feel themselves victimized). 5) The absurdity is taken further with the Russian roulette hokum. This is utterly contrived to show the insidious brutality of the "oriental" fiends who seek to unman our red-blooded, masculine, all-American steelworker heroes. While nothing like this ever really happened, the point however is to mimic the famous scene (viewable in the documentary "Hearts and Minds") in which the Chief of Police of South Vietnam puts a pistol to the head of a prisoner with his hands tied behind his back and shoots him dead point blank, again the movie turns the imagery completely around. Lastly, the big lie in the movie is that we poor Americans have been victimized by the diabolical, insidious, inhuman orientals. Our big, strong, hulking men have been rendered temporarily impotent and defenseless against this nefarious surreal menace. In the end our boys loyalty and patriotism sees them through, though they may be physically maimed and will be emotionally scarred for live by what has transpired on this heinous foreign den of inequity. Almost nothing in the plot makes sense nor could it ever have happened save in the fertile imagination of a cunning Hollywood hack. If you like this movie, you've got some growing up to do.


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