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The Deer Hunter (1978)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  23 February 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 216,771 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 991 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


One of the most important and powerful films of all time! 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?


The deer which Michael allows to get away was actually an elk - the same one often used on commercials for Hartford Insurance. The crew had a very difficult time trying to get the elk to look at them, as it was apparently used to various noises; it finally looked at them when someone in the crew yawned. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Edited into Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

How far would you go for a friend?
12 December 2005 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best adaptions of the Vietnam War on film that I have seen. We have also "Platoon" that represented somewhat of the same thing that "The Deer Hunter" did as well, but this one came first and was a great version. It showed the intense horror and ultimate change effect on the men that fought in Vietnam. At first, I admit, I was a little bored because the beginning is a little long and felt unnecessary, but then I realized later in the film how much that developed the characters and understood their friendships and how they relate.

Robert De Niro seems to be the strongest one of the group, his name is Mike. He has a lot of guts, but he also seems to care mostly about himself, he later on proves that after finally just letting go with his kept up emotions, he must take care of his friends as well. Christopher Walken, he's a baby in here! He's such a terrific actor and he did so well by portraying innocence in his role and the ultimate insanity of his character. He and Robert were amazing, they were just so believable and worked so well together.

This was the best picture of 1978, so far I cannot really judge one wither or not it deserved the reward. But it is an awesome movie and I would highly recommend it for anyone. The lines are just F****** A! :D I mean memorable! This does deserve to be on the top 250, good job to other IMDb users!


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Talked to a Vietnam vet about this movie ExplodIngNinja
Analysis of the first hour - great or terrible? nielw
Where do the boots end up? pshute-147-286550
Question about Stan faulknerfan123
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Response from a Vietnamese decoyleknox
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