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The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter(1978)

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  • Ditto kevin sellers' review!

    • RedRain
    • 2/13/16

    The film is simply too damned long! I would only add to Mr. Sellers' review that Christopher Walken's performance is also worth noting.

  • the deer hunter

    • kevin sellers
    • 2/13/16

    Michael Cimino's best film is a sprawling, sometimes brilliant, sometimes tedious, and sometimes downright silly attempt to tell the story of the Vietnam War's effect on a Pennsylvania coal town. First, let's take the brilliance, which mostly lies in the performances of just about every member of a large cast. All are memorable, but I wish to single out three. Robert DeNiro perfectly embodies the humanism and largeness of soul of the only one of the three friends who went off to war and came back both physically and somewhat emotionally intact, although he too battles the postwar furies, as can be seen in the scene where he plays Russian roulette with sleazy Stan, brilliantly played by John Cazale. (It's nice to finally agree with previous reviewer Don Riley about an actor.) And the third great performance is given by John Savage as the pitiful, befuddled Steve, who seems to never be in control of any part of his life. I think this performance kinda mirrored this actor's life and was the main reason he didn't have a bigger career. Now to the tedium. Just who the hell edited this behemoth, anyway? Just about every scene in this film goes on for way too long. To take just one example: DeNiro asks Steve's wife where he is and instead of simply telling him the actress has to go through a three minute method exercise of heavy breathing and catatonia before slowly tearing off a piece of paper and writing down where Steve is. Multiply this example times twenty and you can see why this film can drive even the most patient of film goers to break dishes. Finally the silly. Two examples here: The ending, where Cimino suddenly decides to shift tone from properly bleak to "Mrs. Miniver," with a syrupy rendition of "God Bless America" as well as all the stuff with Christopher Walken suddenly transformed from a convincing PTSD case into the Harry Lime of wartime Saigon. So let's give it a solid B.

  • John Cazale needs to be recognized !!

    • DON RILEY
    • 2/4/16

    Sure, his film career was brief. But, he had amazing impact. DEER HUNTER a Oscar winner (BEST PICTURE). Godfather's one and two Oscar winners (BEST PICTURE) and was absolutely irreplaceable in DOG DAY AFTERNOON. Personally in all of these film's no actor in film history could have replaced him, done a better job, or made a stronger impact. Also this film has some of the riches scenes imaginable as does the vastly underrated HEAVEN'S GATE.

  • The Deer Hunter

    • Michael Whitty
    • 1/9/16

    An epic narrative on buddyship in love and war "The Deer Hunter"works out its manly saga of life in a Pennsylvania steel town and on the Vietnam War fields. Three buddies from Pennsylvania later find themselves reunited as prisoners of war in Vietnam with that gruesome experience including russian roulette with a gun and bullets. This gripping and suspenseful drama won an Oscar for Best Picture for 1978 with not only the effects of war but the justification of American involvement in the war. It has honesty and gut-power but I still liked "Apocalypse Now" better.

  • The Deer Hunter

    • Dashiell B.
    • 2/10/13

    One of the most controversial films about the Vietnam War. The film follows the experiences of three men from a Pennsylvania steel town going to fight in Vietnam. De Niro was nominated as a man who learned the dangers of the macho code he lived by, Walken won an Academy Award and Streep earned her first nomination as Walken's betrothed. In addition to Walken's win, the film was named the Best Picture of '78, Cimino the Best Director, while also winning for editing and sound. A truly harrowing & intense war film. I give it a 5/5.

  • A HAUNTING MOVIE

    • william gauslow
    • 2/8/13

    Anybody who was of age to go to Vietnam or witness from afar, still finds this movie to true and haunts on many levels. The Russian roulette scenes can turn a stomach. But, war is like this. Kudos to Cimino for arranging such a complex movie. I think it's effect is alive today. I hear John Williams version of Cavatina any time since this movie, and the tears roll without end. What a lousy, no purpose war.

  • Devastating

    • Suzanne Wheat
    • 2/5/13

    Ths film is stunning & tho. I have not seen it again for a couple of decades, it haunts me. It's indeed rare to be privy to such elemental & immediately tragic human experience. It's about more than war.

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