8.2/10
259,744
1,069 user 145 critic

The Deer Hunter (1978)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
Popularity
874 ( 249)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #159 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake La Motta's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Rocky (1976)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Unforgiven (1992)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio
Heat (1995)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist, while both sides attempt to find balance between their personal and professional lives.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.

Director: David Lean
Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins
Casino (1995)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Amadeus (1984)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Chuck Aspegren ...
...
Steven's Mother
...
Pierre Segui ...
Mady Kaplan ...
Axel's Girl
...
Bridesmaid
Mary Ann Haenel ...
Stan's Girl
...
Linda's Father
...
Edit

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 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

Taglines:

Best Picture 1978 See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

23 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Came to Play  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$48,979,328, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Various critics objected to the Russian Roulette sequences, suggesting that such activity never took place in the Vietnam War. Director Michael Cimino was planning on the scenes to cause controversy, and simply stated that no one could be certain of the accuracy. Robert De Niro and Cimino reportedly argued as to the realism of the scenes. See more »

Goofs

When the guys sang "Drop Kick Me Jesus" at the bar just prior to the Vietnam scenes they were singing a song that would not be written until 1976. 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 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played at the wedding reception
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Touching drama about the ruin of a group of men's friendship by war
30 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

"The Deer Hunter" is not a film about the Vietnam war, as it is wrongly said in many cases.

"The Deer Hunter" is a film tells the story of 3 friends within about 5-6 years, during which their friendship is repeatedly put to the test.

It is primarily a picture of the contemporary life of a group of people around 30 living in a small American town during the Vietnam war.

The first hour of the film portrays the every day life of three friends Mike (De Niro), Steven (Savage) and Nick (Walken), who look forward to Steve's wedding but at the same time have to prepare for their commitment in Vietnam. The main actors (above all De Niro and Walken) perfectly picture the character's inner conflict between their easygoing home town life and the forthcoming assignment in Vietnam. Despite this conflict the characters don't show their concerns to their environment.

Particularly Nick is worried about him and his friends leaving his home town and perhaps never coming back, but he only tells his best friend Mike of his thoughts, who is much more resolute and sees their engagement as a strong masculine act.

Cimino manages to show the simple irrationality of young men, going to a senseless war from which they might never return for the only purpose of glory and approval, and abandoning their settled and happy life for it. The spectator just can't understand why those young men voluntarily sign for the army and give up everything they have. The passage from the small-town-idyll to the war cruelty is greatly pictured. Cimino does not show the three friends' way to Vietnam or the training, he immediately switches from a happy get-together to the cruel war captivity of the Vietcong. This passage perfectly underlines the contrast and the inexplicability of the three men's actions.

Although the passage that is set in Vietnam is only about one third of the whole film long, the war is omnipresent at any time, which is probably the best benefit of the whole film, Cimino does not need to bomb the spectator with pictures of crying children, mutilated soldiers or desert battlefields in order to illustrate the cruelty of war. Far from it! The changed behavior of all characters after the friends' returns tell more about wars' capability of changing someone's life, than anything else.

And the fact that the many dreams that these three friends had before they went to Vietnam didn't come true, because of their longing for recognition by becoming an acclaimed veteran can even pluck your heartstrings.

Cimino's great directing and the cast's awesome acting provide for a touching and honest drama about the friendship of a group of young men, that is destroyed by the Vietnam war.


23 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 1,069 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page