8.2/10
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1,070 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
625 ( 29)

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

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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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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

Had its British television premiere on January 1 1985 on BBC Two. See more »

Goofs

When hunting, Michael carries a left handed Winchester Model 70 rifle, with the bolt handle on the left side. However in one shot during the second hunting scene, the bolt handle is suddenly on the right hand side. His wristwatch is also on the opposite wrist. The editors apparently flipped the negative so that he would be facing the right direction to match the other shots in the sequence. 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 Coronation Street: Episode #1.8606 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Hearted Woman
(1972) (uncredited)
Written by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
Performed by Waylon Jennings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's about character development
21 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

A comment re the other comments: A lot of the comments criticize the first half hour as being too long. In my opinion, these comments miss the point of the movie.

Of course many of the scenes in the first hour don't advance the narrative. They're not supposed to; they're for character development.

The whole point of the movie is to show us how the various characters were affected by the war. It wouldn't have worked nearly as powerfully as it does had the first hour been trimmed down. We have to sense the careless and frat-boy-like immaturity of these young men. That's why the scenes all revolve around frivolity and seemingly senseless boyish behavior; it creates such a stark contrast to the devastated characters of the three who went to war (and the relatively unaffected personalities of those who stayed behind, like Stanley).

The strong points of the film are the outstanding performances of nearly every actor in the movie. Yes, there are technical deficiencies in the sound, but it hardly matters. This is nitpicking compared to the overall construction of the film.


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