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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.

Director:

Michael Cimino

Writers:

Michael Cimino (story), Deric Washburn (story) | 3 more credits »
Popularity
978 ( 37)
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:
Robert De Niro ... Michael
John Cazale ... Stan
John Savage ... Steven
Christopher Walken ... Nick
Meryl Streep ... Linda
George Dzundza ... John
Chuck Aspegren ... Axel
Shirley Stoler ... Steven's Mother
Rutanya Alda ... Angela
Pierre Segui Pierre Segui ... Julien
Mady Kaplan ... Axel's Girl
Amy Wright ... Bridesmaid
Mary Ann Haenel ... Stan's Girl
Richard Kuss ... Linda's Father
Joe Grifasi ... 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:

One of the most important and powerful films of all time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Russian | Vietnamese | French

Release Date:

23 February 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Came to Play See more »

Filming Locations:

Mingo Junction, Ohio, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 »

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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Dead Talk Back (1994) 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 »

User Reviews

 
A War Like All Wars A Film Like No Other
31 January 2010 | by abelardo64See all my reviews

"The Deer Hunter" is 32 years old. How extraordinary to sit through it now. Walking over the politics that divided , somehow, all of its admirers then. "Great film but..." How silly to think of it now. Michael (a sensational young Robert De Niro) is as extreme a character as Rocco was in "Rocco And His Brothers" His goodness, the one that was always there but that he discovers under the most horrendous circumstances, underlined by Stanley Mayers's "Cavatina" permeates the entire film. I remember thinking, when I saw the film for the first time, that I couldn't or wouldn't spend ten minutes with Michael and his friends, the ones we meet at the beginning of the film but by the end I thought of them as brothers and I loved them. I actually loved them. That in itself is a sort of film miracle. John Savage will break your heart, it certainly broke mine and Christopher Walken is absolutely riveting. How strange to tho think that Michael Cimino, still a young man, is nowhere to be seen. Is still a punishment for "Heaven's Gate" and "Indecent Exposure" or there is something else we don't know about. The Cimino behind "The Deer Hunter" is a true master.


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