The Deer Hunter (1978)

Camaraderie & Russian Roulette

Three Pennsylvania steelworkers, Mikey (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage), obey Uncle Sam’s call to fight in Vietnam, leaving behind wives and sweethearts, including shopworker Linda (Meryl Streep) who may be in love with more than one of them. Before they leave, they attend Steven’s wedding: a ceremony in which, without realising it, they are saying goodbye to their old lives. These guys like nothing more than a laugh, a drink and hunting deer in the mountains.

The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino‘s second movie following the pleasingly throwaway Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, can, and should, be read as an epic treatise on endurance, and, in particular, the indomitable spirit of the American male. The near three-hour narrative tracing the classic human parabola from wedding bliss to funeral blues.

John Cazale, who was 42 at the time of filming, had appeared in only four previous pictures. But what a quartet! The Godfather (1972), The Conversation, The Godfather Part II (both 1974) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Visibly losing his battle to cancer, director Michael Cimino agreed to film all of Cazale’s scenes in The Deer Hunter first. When the studio said they wanted Cazale off the movie because of his health, Cimino and Cazale’s then girlfriend, Meryl Streep threatened to walk away. The studio relented, but said they wouldn’t cover his insurance, so Robert De Niro fronted the bill.

This film received nine Academy Award nominations (including Best Actor (Robert De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Cinematography (by Vilmos Zsigmond – who had just filmed Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)), and Best Original Screenplay), and won five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Christopher Walken), Best Director, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing.

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15 respuestas a The Deer Hunter (1978)

  1. rexval dijo:

    I love this movie. I’ve seenit several times. I have found that there is censorship. There are two completely different endings. In one of them, the protagonist goes to an opium den in Vietnam totally depressed. Thanks to the drug, his face is artificially glad. In the second version, the religious one, the whole family comes together and begins to pray.

    I prefer the first ending because is much more dramàtic, but opium and religion are very similar: The brain doesn’t work in the correct way.

  2. Carmen dijo:

    I have seen this movie many times, and it’s such a great, dramatic, heart poignant film! All the actors excel in this movie, so natural, and real. The value of friendship at its highest level, the locker for one’s country. The trip to the woods to hunt, to Vietnam to rescue a friend, the end, so emotional and epic, the hospital and emotional turmoil perfectly portrayed by Christopher Walken…. Who has not seen this movie needs to run to the DVD section and get a copy. No matter what position you have regarding war, you will never ever forget this movie. 💟😿😿😿

  3. jesús dijo:

    Tota la colla al bar, bevent, jugant a billar i cantant «Can’t take my eyes off you»… Inoblidable.

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