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The Deer Hunter (1978)

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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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Writers:

(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
Popularity
884 ( 238)
Top Rated Movies #153 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 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 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:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
 »

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

According to Michael Cimino, he would call Deric Washburn while on the road scouting for locations and feed him notes on dialogue and story. Upon reviewing Washburn's draft, Cimino said, "I came back, and read it and I just could not believe what I read. It was like it was written by somebody who was ... mentally deranged." Cimino confronted Washburn at the Sunset Marquis in LA about the draft, and Washburn supposedly replied that he couldn't take the pressure and had to go home. Cimino then fired Washburn. Cimino later claimed to have written the entire screenplay himself. Washburn's response to Cimino's comments were, "It's all nonsense. It's lies. I didn't have a single drink the entire time I was working on the script." See more »

Goofs

When Angela looks at herself in the mirror wearing her wedding gown, a mic hanging over her head is also reflected in the mirror. 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 Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.11 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Drop-Kick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)
(uncredited)
Written by Paul Craft
Performed by the cast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Best Film Ever made about War
18 June 2007 | by (Pennsylvania Wilderness) – See all my reviews

Most of you after reading my title are already going to be upset. I do consider this to be the best film ever made about war. I do not look at this film being about the Vietnam War. I look at this film being about war (Period).

I think this film is as excellent as it is for one good reason, showing the effects of war. True, we see the films where men are shaped by war, what events make them who they are, and how the events of war transform them. It is mainly about what the war has done to them. The Deer Hunter takes a bigger step back from that and shows the entire character transformation. It does not just show the transformation of a soldier, but also the transformation as a civilian. You spend a good 40 minutes in the Deer Hunter getting to know the main characters and getting a feel for their personalities. The first 40 minutes is about character development and almost getting an attachment to those characters. This makes their transformation more effective for the viewer and they almost feel for the character and what they are going through. Than those characters get thrown into war and you see the events that change them. The things they had to experience as a soldier. And than, most importantly, we see the changes in their characters after the war. And we do not just see the changes in the soldiers, we see the changes that their friends and lovers undergo as a result of the war. We are not just looking at one soldier, we are looking at a network of friends and how they are changed due to the war. Even those who did not go to war are still effected. And the fact all the characters are from a small town makes it that much more powerful. The Deer Hunter is a powerful film about how war effects everybody, not just the soldiers involved in it.

The cast is terrific! Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Meryll Streep, and Christopher Walken. Need I say more. Christopher Walken won an Oscar for best supporting actor in this film. The script is beautifully written and the movie is filmed perfectly. I can find nothing wrong with anything about this movie. I mean, it did win 5 Oscars in 1978 including Best Picture and Best Director for Michael Cimino.

This movie is emotionally powerful. I can not say this film is accurate about war, I can only give my opinion and take from the film what I can. I am an 18-year old teen who has an almost complete control over his emotions. This film brought me the closest to tears I have ever been by a movie. It is an absolute masterpiece. This is one of the greatest films ever made. Take the time to watch this film, it is a classic that hits you the hardest emotionally.


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