It is the height of the war in Vietnam, and U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent by Colonel Lucas and a General to carry out a mission that, officially, 'does not exist - nor will it ever exist'. The mission: To seek out a mysterious Green Beret Colonel, Walter Kurtz, whose army has crossed the border into Cambodia and is conducting hit-and-run missions against the Viet Cong and NVA. The army believes Kurtz has gone completely insane and Willard's job is to eliminate him. Willard, sent up the Nung River on a U.S. Navy patrol boat, discovers that his target is one of the most decorated officers in the U.S. Army. His crew meets up with surfer-type Lt-Colonel Kilgore, head of a U.S Army helicopter cavalry group which eliminates a Viet Cong outpost to provide an entry point into the Nung River. After some hair-raising encounters, in which some of his crew are killed, Willard, Lance and Chef reach Colonel Kurtz's outpost, beyond the Do Lung Bridge. Now, after becoming prisoners of Kurtz, will...Written by
Lee Beaupre, publicist for this movie until his murder in 1979, wrote in a publicity release on Chas Gerretsen as a war photographer for Apocalypse Now, "From Real to Reel". "His (Chas Gerretsen's) photographic career had come full circle." The release was later withdrawn, since it was decided that Sean Flynn, son of Errol Flynn, had more publicity value. See more »
When Willard is played the tape of Kurtz's transmissions, the male voice at the beginning of each transmission references them as originating from sectors "Peter, Victor, King" and "King, Zulu, King" respectively. By 1956, updates to the NATO phonetic alphabet included replacing "Peter" with "Papa" and "King" with "Kilo". During the time frame of the events of the film (at least the late 1960's), Army lettering code would not have referenced "Peter" or "King". See more »
Saigon... shit; I'm still only in Saigon... Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle.
When I was home after my first tour, it was worse.
[grabs at flying insect]
I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said "yes" to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room...
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There are no opening credits in the film. The title can be seen as graffiti in the Kurtz compound late in the film. See more »
The theatrical and Redux DVDs released by Paramount Pictures and Lions Gate Studios in the United States, as well as the earlier letterbox VHS and LaserDisc releases, were re-framed in DP Vittorio Storaro's preferred 2.00:1 "Univision" format. The Lions Gate US Blu-ray release, however, restores the film's original 2.39:1 aspect ratio (although the packaging reads 2.35:1). See more »
Coppola conveyed the drama and spectacle of this truly outstanding film
After the success of the first two 'Godfather' films in 1972 and 1974 respectively, Francis Ford Coppola embarked on an ambitious attempt to bring home the reality of the war in Vietnam, which had concluded with the fall of Saigon to the Vietcong in 1975 The plot was loosely based on the book 'Heart of Darkness,' a story by Joseph Conrad about Kurtz, a trading company agent in the African jungle who has acquired mysterious powers over the natives Coppola retains much of this, including such details as the severed heads outside Kurtz's headquarters and his final words, "The horror the horror "
In the film, Sheen plays an army captain given the mission to penetrate into Cambodia, and eliminate, with "extreme prejudice," a decorated officer who has become an embarrassment to the authorities On his journey up the river to the renegade's camp he experiences the demoralization of the US forces, high on dope or drunk with power
Although, as a result of cuts forced on Coppola, the film was accused of incoherence when first released, it was by the most serious attempt to get to grips with the experience of Vietnam and a victorious reinvention of the war film genre In 1980 the film won an Oscar for Best Cinematography and Best Sound
"Apocalypse Now" was re-released in 2001 with fifty minutes restored As a result, the motion picture can now be seen as the epic masterpiece it is
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