The Deer Hunter – 1978 – English
Film directed in 1978 by Michael Cimino, and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, John Cazale, George Dzundza, Chuck Aspegren, Amy Wright, Joe Grifasi, Rutanya Alda, Shirley Stoler, Mady Kaplan, Richard Kuss, Paul D’Amato…
Synopsis: Michael, Steven and Nicky are three best friends who enjoy going Deer hunting quote often. These men get enlisted to head to Vietnam to fight for their country and celebrate with a farewell party, as well as Nicky marrying a pregnant woman named “Angela.”
After the horrors during the war and edge-grabbing games of Russian Roulette that these men are forced to play, Michael returns home and realizes that his Deer hunting outings aren’t the same as they used to be, because of the war and he eventually finds out that Steven is handicapped and Nicky hasn’t returned from Vietnam, and in response, he heads back to Vietnam to rescue him.
Review: No, this is not the best film about the Vietnam War; it’s hardly about Vietnam at all. The vets who don’t like it have it wrong, as do the Vietnamese who found it racist. It could be any war, with any combatants. But because the (primary) victims here are recognizable American archetypes, Americans will feel this in their gut more than any other war film I know of. This is one of the very few post-war Hollywood films that shows a sincere reverence for the lives of small town Americans.
After seeing it in a very high quality theater on its initial release, I walked out thinking it was easily one of the best movies I had ever seen – and that I never wanted to see it again. But I looked at it today on cable and found that not much had changed about it, or me. I don’t want to see it again…but I want you to see it.
Even now, the Russian Roulette scene (in context, people: watch all that comes before it first) is the single most intense sequence I’ve seen; it makes the end of “Reservoir Dogs” seem like a cartoon. Best Walken performance, period. Meryl Streep glows, DeNiro has seldom been more affecting. A unique classic…it is not surprising that Cimino didn’t have another movie in him after something this wrenching.