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Apocalypse Now (1979)

Trailer
1:30 | Trailer

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During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director:

Francis Ford Coppola (as Francis Coppola)

Writers:

John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola (as Francis Coppola) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
435 ( 100)
Top Rated Movies #49 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
Martin Sheen ... Captain Benjamin L. Willard
Robert Duvall ... Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore
Frederic Forrest ... Jay 'Chef' Hicks
Sam Bottoms ... Lance B. Johnson
Laurence Fishburne ... Tyrone 'Clean' Miller (as Larry Fishburne)
Albert Hall ... Chief Phillips
Harrison Ford ... Colonel Lucas
Dennis Hopper ... Photojournalist
G.D. Spradlin ... General R. Corman
Jerry Ziesmer ... Jerry, Civilian
Scott Glenn ... Lieutenant Richard M. Colby
Bo Byers Bo Byers ... MP Sergeant #1
James Keane ... Kilgore's Gunner
Kerry Rossall ... Mike from San Diego
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Storyline

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 Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Horror. . . The Horror. . .

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent images, language, sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

American Zoetrope

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Vietnamese

Release Date:

15 August 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$118,558, 19 August 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,471,511
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zoetrope Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Redux) | (workprint)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (Redux version)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| DTS (Redux version)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers put an ad in Boxoffice Magazine in November 1970 announcing their future production slate. It had this movie scheduled to start shooting in 1971. See more »

Goofs

The maximum gross weight of a Huey helicopter is 10,500 pounds. It would be impossible for such an aircraft to lift a Patrol Boat, Riverine (PBR) which weighs anywhere between 15,000 and 19,000 pounds. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Willard (voice-over): Saigon... shit; I'm still only in Saigon... Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle.
Willard (voice-over): When I was home after my first tour, it was worse.
[grabs at flying insect]
Willard (voice-over): 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

There are four different treatments of the end credits, all four are available in different VHS, laserdisc, DVD and TV prints of the film......
  • When the film premiered in a limited 70mm format, it had no beginning or end credits, nothing but a one-line Omni Zoetrope copyright notice at the end. Programs were passed out to theatre goers in lieu of any credits (this ending was used for the theatrical cut featured on the 2011 Blu-Ray release).
  • When the film went into its wide release its format was 35mm. This version included end credits rolling over surrealistic explosions and burning jungle, showing the Kurtz compound being destroyed.
  • When Coppola heard that people were assuming that the explosions during the end credits of the 35mm version meant that an air strike had been called in on the Kurtz compound (which is not what he wanted audiences to think) he quickly re-edited the 35mm version to have the end credits rolling over a simple black background and a slightly altered musical score.
  • The "Redux" version also has the end credits over a black background but in different screen fonts and including additional "Redux" inserted cast members.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ying xiong wu lei (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Surfin' Safari
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
Guild Music (BMI) c/o Original Sound Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Spectacular and fascinating movie about a journey leading to horror
11 July 2005 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The picture talks about the captain Willard (Martin Sheen) who tells the story , he is assigned for a special mission : Kill Kurtz (Marlon Brando) , American general highly decorated who the army officers (Harrison Ford , G.D. Spradlin) believe has gone murderer and nut . Willard joins to misfit crew (Albert Hall , Sam Bottons , Frederic Forest, Larry Fishburne) make a risked and dangerous journey up river towards Cambodia . They'll find a mad marine captain (Robert Duval) fond of surf , playboy bunnies and French military and a civil group (Christian Marquand and Aurore Clement) living lonely on a plantation since Dien Bien Phu defeat (1954) . The travel is dangerously developed until the fateful meeting with Kurtz .

Its a stunning and absorbing story that is based on Joseph Conrad novel : ¨the heart of the darkness¨ . The travel is narrated as a surrealist odyssey leading to the dreadful and horrible final but when the protagonists find General Kurtz the scenarios are darkest and gloomiest . Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming and some shots of Willard's back are of doubles , including Sheen's brother Joe Estevez who was flown out specially . The storyline by John Milius tackles issues of ethics and morality and the horror war . In 2001 was realized a ¨redux¨ , a new reediting adding footage , the episode of the playmates and the French people encounters , where there are a lot of nudism and is a bit boring but is pretty dialog and little action . This new edition is today considered to be the official version . Originally scheduled to be shot over six weeks , ended up taking 16 months . The movie in spite of the passed time is still powerful and astounding . Colorful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro is spellbound and breathtaking , he won an Oscar , a very well deserved Academy Award . Carmine Coppola musical score and time songs are atmospheric and exceptional . The picture was perfectly directed by Francis Ford Coppola , pacing with great sensitivity and artistic ambition . Rating: Above average . Awesome.


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