8.1/10
308,317
1,151 user 142 critic

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Trailer
2:45 | Trailer
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
444 ( 8)
Top Rated Movies #185 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 27 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 Nicky are 3 best friends who enjoy going Deer hunting quote often. These men get enlisted to head to Vietnam to fight for their country and celebrate with a farewell party, as well as Nicky marrying a pregnant woman named "Angela." After the horrors during the war and edge-grabbing games of Russian Roulette that these men are forced to play, Michael returns home and realizes that his Deer hunting outings aren't the same as they used to be, because of the war and he eventually finds out that Steven is handicapped and Nicky hasn't returned from Vietnam, and in response, he heads back to Vietnam to rescue him. Written by Koen Versieck

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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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 Los Angeles 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 Michael goes back to Vietnam to find Nick, it is obviously in April 1975 as the fall of Saigon is depicted. At Nick's funeral, Angela's son is no more than 2 years old, yet Angela had yet to give birth when Mike, Nick and Steven left for Vietnam. That would mean they went to Vietnam in 1973...however, all American troops were withdrawn from Vietnam by March, 1973 let alone engaging in combat missions and being as prevalent as shown in the film. 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.
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Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of our Thai crew in the production of "The Deer Hunter" See more »

Alternate Versions

The Region 2 Spain DVD is cut for violence. See more »


Soundtracks

Korobeiniki
(uncredited)
(a.k.a. "Korobuska")
Traditional Russian folk song
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User Reviews

 
It was 1978 and everyone in the audience was about to wet their pants
6 April 2006 | by yawn-2See all my reviews

No, this is not the best film about the Vietnam War; it's hardly about Vietnam at all. The vets who don't like it have it wrong, as do the Vietnamese who found it racist. It could be any war, with any combatants. But because the (primary) victims here are recognizable American archetypes, Americans will feel this in their gut more than any other war film I know of. This is one of the very few post-war Hollywood films that shows a sincere reverence for the lives of small town Americans.

After seeing it in a very high quality theater on its initial release, I walked out thinking it was easily one of the best movies I had ever seen - and that I never wanted to see it again. But I looked at it today on cable and found that not much had changed about it, or me. I don't want to see it again...but I want you to see it.

Even now, the Russian Roulette scene (in context, people: watch all that comes before it first) is the single most intense sequence I've seen; it makes the end of "Reservoir Dogs" seem like a cartoon. Best Walken performance, period. Meryl Streep glows, DeNiro has seldom been more affecting. A unique classic...it is not surprising that Cimino didn't have another movie in him after something this wrenching.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,074,243
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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