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
Voted number one in Film4's "50 Films To See Before You Die". See more »
When Johnson is painting the Playmate of the Year's face, you see a shot of her forehead already painted black. About a minute later, her forehead is clean and he is applying the black makeup, seemingly for the first time. 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 »
Reading many of the comments here, I am stunned that I found none who actually got it. This is a film about the study of humanity and what it means to be human. Kurtz is not mad because of the war...he is mad because of what he must do to win against barbarians...he had to sacrifice his humanity and he did it willingly. He teaches us that in order for civilzied human beings to survive an onslaught of barbarians, you have to immerse yourself...defeat your own humanity. And then, when you have defeated the barbarian, you look around...and you are not human any more. In essence, the barbarian wins by forcing this sacrifice on civilized warriors. I left the theater in amazement that such a topic was even thought of for cinematic art. I got it just about everyone else missed it. And I felt contempt for those around me in the leaving crowd who were complaining they were disappointed in the film. They completely missed the point. Now, civilized people are faced again with a decision against barbarians who saw peoples heads off on TV. Will we immerse ourselves and our humanity to do what we must to survive...or will we surrender to the alternative if we don't? Is a surrender to barbarians as bad as becoming one of them? I think everyone should review "Apocalypse Now" once again because we are about to find out.
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