The Deer Hunter

It was mentioned on the podcast that a thread for this film would be started here, but I have not seen any yet. So I'll get it going.

I was pretty surprised to hear J&A weren't very positive about this film. I've always thought it held up well.

And while I am someone who has seen The Godfather dozens of times, I find repeat viewings of this film rewarding.

One question I have for J&A is how they would compare this to Apocalypse Now as far as early depictions of the Vietnam War go. Does AN feel as dated as TDH? They're two extremely different stories and portrayals of the war, but I think a comparison is warranted given the shared subject matter.

Overall, this was yet another highly enjoyable podcast. I think I love listening to J&A review movies just as much as their coverage of TV shows.


  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    I like to picture The Deer Hunter as like climbing a mountain: the majority of the time you are just trudging along in discomfort, but every once in a while you reach a point where you get to appreciate the progress and the view, and at those moments you realize why you're doing it.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I feel like AN is more surreal and less open to criticism regarding pacing and accuracy, plus I think Coppola is just better at filmmaking than Cimino.  Not to say the latter didn't get some solid gold on film.  It's funny because I think the performances in TDH are better than AN, but AN is more "entertaining" and successful as a narrative work.  
  • I tried to watch this years ago and only got 20-30min in and haven't willed myself to try again since. I just remember super bleak depressing '70s blue collar-ness. I should try to watch it again sometime.

    I didn't like Apocalypse Now either, which I did see all of. It mostly just seemed like boring overacting to me, neither movie holds up to time well at all IMO.
  • Thank you, @AntManBee for this thread! I commissioned this one and kept looking for the thread that was mentioned. Mom would say I didn't look hard enough.

    I enjoyed the podcast, even though J&A found the movie depressing. In truth I cackled every time that was mentioned. I get it, but I have a high tolerance for film-inflicted pain. This was actually not depressing to me. I was just riveted by the acting. Love this movie.

    I'm glad that other people listened. I hope some people were inspired to watch it.

    @Freddy, very funny comparison. @ghm3, I hope you give it another try, but if you were already depressed after the first 20 min, maybe it's best if you pass. Haha.
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    edited May 2015
    While I love AN, the BTS documentary Hearts of Darkness is actually better than the movie itself. Production was such a clusterfuck that Coppola parallels the decent into madness of the antagonist of the movie he's trying to make. It's quite intense and hilarious at the same time.
  • I'll have to check out that documentary. (Just did a search on Netflix and Hulu but didn't see it.) I've only seen Apocalypse Now once, having stumbled upon a screening late one night in college when I wasn't sober. All I recall was thinking of the story Heart of Darkness. Obviously I need to revisit that film as well.
  • @NikkiP Just make sure you watch the original cut if you revisit AN, not the Redux. The Redux is a sprawling incoherent mess. It's amazing what some shrewd editing can do for a large narrative work.
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    edited May 2015
    NikkiP said:

    I've only seen Apocalypse Now once, having stumbled upon a screening late one night in college when I wasn't sober.

    That's the best way to watch that film IMO. My best Apocalypse Now viewing involved my best friend, a lot of hash and The Doors on vinyl afterwards.

    AntManBee said:

    Just make sure you watch the original cut if you revisit AN, not the Redux.

    I love the Redux but I agree it's not first-time viewing material. I'd recommend AN -> Hearts Of Darkness -> AN Redux.

    Hearts of Darkness gives all the context for all the deleted scenes in AN Redux.
  • davidjacobsdavidjacobs Portland, OR
    I think TDH is a great move, but it is difficult to watch, a hard slog. Like reading Moby Dick. AN I have always liked better in many ways. The firefight scene over the river is just incredible. As far as more modern Vietnam movies, I would say don't miss Full Metal Jacket and, of course, Platoon.  
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