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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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(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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972 ( 308)
Top Rated Movies #164 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Michael
... Stan
... Steven
... Nick
... Linda
... John
Chuck Aspegren ... Axel
... Steven's Mother
... Angela
Pierre Segui ... Julien
Mady Kaplan ... Axel's Girl
... Bridesmaid
Mary Ann Haenel ... Stan's Girl
... Linda's Father
... Bandleader
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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:

Winner of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture 1978 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:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Producer Michael Deeley, orchestrated lobbying against the film was led by Warren Beatty, whose own picture Heaven Can Wait (1978) had multiple Oscar nominations. Beatty also used ex-girlfriends in his campaign: Julie Christie, serving on the jury at the Berlin Film Festival where the film was screened, joined the walkout of the film by the Russian jury members. Jane Fonda also criticized the film in public. Deeley suggested that her criticisms partly stemmed from the competition between her film, Coming Home (1978), vying with this movie for Best Picture. According to Deeley, he planted a friend of his in the Oscar press area behind the stage to ask Fonda if she had seen the film. Fonda replied she had not seen the film, and to this day she still has not. Backstage at the Academy Awards, she told Michael Cimino that his movie was the "racist Pentagon version of the war", which she claimed without having seen it. Go figure. See more »

Goofs

When Nick walks out on the prostitute, she picks up her child and bumps its head on the lampshade. 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

Featured in The 74th Golden Globe Awards (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Take My Eyes Off You
(1967) (uncredited)
Written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe
Performed by Frankie Valli
Published by BMI Records
by arrangement with Rhino Records Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Best Film Ever made about War
18 June 2007 | by 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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