Apocalypse Now


2h 33m 1979
Apocalypse Now

Brief Synopsis

An Army captain travels to Cambodia during the Vietnam War to terminate a renegade officer.

Film Details

Also Known As
Apocalypse Now Final Cut, Apocalypse Now Redux, Apocalypse Now Redux (2001 version), Apocalypto, Apokalypse Now Redux - Digital Remastered (nur Digital)
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Adventure
War
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1979
Premiere Information
not available
Distribution Company
United Artists Films
Country
United States
Location
Thailand; Philippines

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 33m
Sound
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints), DTS (2001 re-release), Dolby Digital (2001 re-release), Dolby (35 mm prints) (original release)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

An American soldier is sent out to murder an American Colonel who has supposedly become insane.

Crew

Andy Aaron

Production Assistant

Abigail Abbuehl

Production Assistant

John Addington

Pilot

Giuseppe Alberti

Camera Assistant

Marisa Alcaraz

Production Coordinator

Lawrence Andrews

Production Assistant

Susan Arnold

Apprentice

John Ashley

Production

Kim Aubry

Producer

Jean A Autrey

Production Associate

Eddie Ayay

Special Effects

Sue Bastian

Casting Associate

Luster Bayless

Costumes

Heig Beck

Casting Associate

Richard Beggs

Other

Richard Beggs

Sound

Louis Benioff

Sound Editor

Joe Bennoit

Other

Mark Berger

Sound

Rino Bernardini

Camera Assistant

George Berndt

Associate Editor

Fred Blau Jr.

Makeup

Jay Boekelheide

Assistant Editor

Todd Boekelheide

Production Assistant

James A Borgardt

Sound Editor

Nat Boxer

Sound

Steve Boyum

Stunts

Tony Brandt

Assistant Director

Paul Broucek

Production Assistant

Stephen H Burum

Other

Stephen H Burum

Director Of Photography

Norman Burza

Costumes

David L Butler

Photography

John Calvert

Choreographer

Richard Candib

Assistant Editor

Mario Carmona

Special Effects

Larry Carney

Production Assistant

David Carroll

Production Assistant

Robert Carroll

Production Assistant

Randy Carter

Casting Associate

James Casey

Art Department

Larry Cavanaugh

Special Effects

John Chapman

Production Assistant

Leon Chooluck

Production Manager

Richard P. Cirincione

Sound Editor

Doug Claybourne

Assistant Director

Doug Claybourne

Assistant

Doug Claybourne

Post-Production Coordinator

Doug Claybourne

Production Assistant

Patti Claybourne

Production Assistant

Arthur Coburn

Assistant Editor

Denise Cooney

Production Assistant

Pete Cooper

Other

Carmine Coppola

Music

Francis Ford Coppola

Screenplay

Francis Ford Coppola

Music

Francis Ford Coppola

Producer

Francis Ford Coppola

Other

Marc Coppola

Casting Associate

Russ Corin

Production Assistant

Douglas Cross

Production Assistant

Dave Davies

Sound Editor

Rogilio De La Rama

Camera Assistant

Loolee Deleon

Production Coordinator

Caleb Deschanel

Photography

Roger Dietz

Art Department

Tony Dingman

Production Assistant

Richard Dioguardi

Technical Advisor

The Doors

Song Performer

The Doors

Song

Mitch Dubin

Production Assistant

Robert Duvall

Song

Shane Edwards

Other

T. S. Eliot

Other

Barbara Ellis

Sound Editor

Nancy Ely

Production Assistant

Jerry Endler

Special Effects

Jack English

Other

Jack English

Location Coordinator

Charles Esposito

Production Assistant

Rudi Fehr

Post-Production Coordinator

Dennis Fill

Costumes

Deborah Fine

Researcher

Deborah Fine

Production

Joe Finnegan

Stunts

Ken Fisher

Assistant Editor

Wayne Fitzgerald

Titles

A. D. Flowers

Special Effects Coordinator

John Fraser

Special Effects

Gray Frederickson

Coproducer

Karen Frerichs

Production Assistant

Dain Fritz

Production Assistant

Jack Fritz

Assistant

Lisa Fruchtman

Editor

Rob Fruchtman

Sound Editor

Luciano Galli

Gaffer

Eva Gardos

Casting

Dennis Gassner

Production Assistant

Chas Gerretsen

Photography

Patrick Gleeson

Other

Dan Gleich

Production Assistant

Ernst Goldschmidt

Production

Angelo Graham

Art Director

Jerry Greenberg

Editor

Paul Gregory

Technical Advisor

Randy Hansen

Music

Mickey Hart

Music

Dale Hawkins

Song

Richard O Helmer

Special Effects

Douglas Hemphill

Production Assistant

Paul Hensler

Technical Advisor

Michael Herr

Screenplay

Michael Herr

Other

Jephrey Hetz

Sound Editor

Shelley Higgins

Production Assistant

James Hill

Production Assistant

Michael Hinton

Music

Leslie Hodgson

Sound Editor

Tim Holland

Sound Editor

Dennis Hollis

Transportation Coordinator

Willie E Hunter

Property Master Assistant

Linda Ignacio

Other

Pat Jackson

Sound Editor

Michael Jacobi

Assistant Editor

Jack C. Jacobsen

Sound

Mick Jagger

Song

Dennis Jakob

Creative Consultant

Charles James

Costume Supervisor

David Jones

Other

Dennis Juban

Liaison

Peter Kama

Technical Advisor

Donald Kaufman

Production Assistant

Lloyd Kino

Production Assistant

Michael Kirchberger

Assistant Editor

Colin M Kitchens

Production Assistant

Valerie Koutnik

Production Assistant

Julie Kramer

Production Assistant

Bernard L Krause

Other

Shannon Lail

Coproducer

Efren Lapid

Camera Assistant

John Lasalandra

Construction Coordinator

Clifford Latimer

Production Assistant

Leonard Lee

Song

Terry Leonard

Stunt Coordinator

S J Lewis

Song

Terry Liebling

Casting

Rudy Liszczak

Special Effects

George L. Little

Costumes

Joe Lombardi

Special Effects Coordinator

Evan Lottman

Editing

Gwen M Lucas

Production Associate

Douglas T Madison

Property Master

Blackie Malkin

Editing

Alfredo Marchetti

Key Grip

Mauro Marchetti

Camera Assistant

Barbara Marks

Post-Production Coordinator

Richard Marks

Editor

Ted Martin

Special Effects

Melissa Mathison

Assistant

Barbara Mcbane

Sound Editor

Ken Metcalfe

Casting Associate

John Milius

Screenplay

James Miller

Production Assistant

Jay Miracle

Sound Editor

Andrew Kinsley Moore

Production Assistant

Airto Moreira

Music

Julie Morin

Production Assistant

Katherine Morton

Production Assistant

James J Murakami

Assistant Art Director

Walter Murch

Editor

Walter Murch

Sound

Walter Murch

Sound Design

Dennis Murphy

Other

Hiro Narita

Camera Operator

Christopher Nedderson

Production Assistant

George R. Nelson

Set Decorator

Sherry Nisewaner

Production Assistant

Ernesto Novelli

Color

David Nowell

Camera Assistant

John Nutt

Sound Editor

Barrie M. Osborne

Production Manager

Barbara Parker

Production Assistant

David Parker

Production Assistant

Robert Peitso

Production Assistant

Kristine Peterson

Production Assistant

William Poplar

Production Assistant

Michael Popso

Production Assistant

Don Preston

Other

Flora Purim

Music

Ray Quiroz

Script Supervisor

Phil Radcliffe

Production Assistant

Vic Ramos

Casting

Liza Randol

Production Assistant

John C Reade

Transportation Coordinator

Fred Rexer

Technical Advisor

Keith Richard

Song

Francesca Riviere

Other

Eddie Romero

Production

Fred Roos

Coproducer

Jerry Ross

Assistant Editor

Film Details

Also Known As
Apocalypse Now Final Cut, Apocalypse Now Redux, Apocalypse Now Redux (2001 version), Apocalypto, Apokalypse Now Redux - Digital Remastered (nur Digital)
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Action
Adventure
War
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1979
Premiere Information
not available
Distribution Company
United Artists Films
Country
United States
Location
Thailand; Philippines

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 33m
Sound
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints), DTS (2001 re-release), Dolby Digital (2001 re-release), Dolby (35 mm prints) (original release)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Wins

Best Cinematography

1979

Best Sound

1979

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1979
Dean Tavoularis

Best Director

1979

Best Editing

1979
Richard Marks

Best Picture

1979

Best Supporting Actor

1979
Robert Duvall

Best Writing, Screenplay

1980
Francis Ford Coppola

Articles

Apocalypse Now


"Apocalypse Now is not about Vietnam; it is Vietnam," writer-director Francis Ford Coppola said of his infamous war epic in 1979, the year of the film's original release. "And the way we made it was very much like the way the Americans were in Vietnam. We had access to too much money, too much equipment; and little by little we went insane."

After a trouble-plagued production described as a "nightmare" by its participants, and despite charges of overreaching self-indulgence on the part of its creator, Coppola's film is considered by many to be one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- of all anti-war movies. Inspired by Joseph Conrad's 1902 novella Heart of Darkness, it depicts war as a descent into madness, as the anguished Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is assigned to find and execute Lt. Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), an AWOL Special Forces officer who has set himself up as an all-powerful avenging angel among head-hunting villagers in a Cambodian jungle. As he heads upriver in his search, Willard encounters various horrors of combat, not the least of which is the supermacho, semi-psychotic Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall).

One of several movies about Vietnam released in the late 1970s, Apocalypse Now has a sense of extravagance and daring unusual even for that decade of dynamic filmmaking. In retrospect, its dark vision and polarizing effect among viewers make it one of the most emblematic works of its era.

The project began with George Lucas's plans to direct a script written by John Milius in 1969 entitled The Psychedelic Soldier, with Coppola as executive producer. Lucas had planned to shoot his film as a faux documentary on location in South Vietnam while the war was still underway. But a production deal with Warner Bros. fell through, and Coppola moved on to co-write and direct The Godfather (1972). The huge success of this Oscar®-winning film gave him the clout to reintroduce the idea of Apocalypse Now, which would be filmed by Coppola's own American Zoetrope Studios for United Artists, on location in the Philippines.

By this time Saigon had fallen, making the idea of a "documentary" approach obsolete and redefining the story as a reflection on what many saw as the futility and horror of the Vietnam War, as well as Coppola's own conflicted emotions. Screenwriter Milius had no desire to direct the film himself, and Lucas, busy now with Star Wars (1977), gave Coppola his blessing to direct Apocalypse Now.

Orson Welles had been Coppola's first choice to play Col. Kurtz, and while Brando vacillated about doing the film, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, and Al Pacino were considered for his role. The latter two were also on Coppola's list of possibilities to play Capt. Willard, a role that already had been turned down by Steve McQueen. In declining the captain's role, Pacino was said to have told Coppola, "You're going to be up there in a helicopter telling me what to do, and I'm gonna be down there in the swamp for five months."

Eventually, Harvey Keitel was cast as Willard, but two weeks into filming Coppola replaced him with Sheen, feeling that Keitel's "feverish" intensity was wrong for an essentially passive character. The director had wanted James Caan as Col. Lucas, a general's aide, but Caan's salary demands were deemed too high for a relatively minor role. Harrison Ford, although then emerging as a major star thanks to the first Star Wars movie, accepted the role for a smaller fee.

After planning a six-week shoot on a $12 million budget, Coppola would end up with a 238-day shooting schedule, spread over 16 months, expenses in excess of $31 million (requiring him to dip into his own private funds) and more than 200 hours of raw footage. The human cost of the production also was high; along with the discomfort, stress and diseases suffered by the company during what seemed like endless filming in the jungle, Coppola came close to nervous collapse, made threats of suicide and reportedly lost 100 pounds. Sheen suffered a life-altering heart attack. Drug use was rampant on the set.

Other causes for the frequent delays in the Philippines were such natural disasters as an earthquake and a typhoon that destroyed several elaborate sets; plus the ever-evolving script and Coppola's overwhelming sense of perfectionism.

The actors created considerable crises of their own. Coppola had been led to believe that Brando, who had been paid $1 million in advance on his $3 million salary, had studied Heart of Darkness and prepared his role in advance of filming. The director was appalled when his star arrived to reveal that he had never read the novel, did not know his lines and had become hugely fat, weighing in at 285 pounds -- even though Kurtz had been written as emaciated because he is infected with malaria.

After his initial dismay, Coppola proceeded by reading the novel aloud to Brando on the set and making plans to photograph him in close-ups and deep shadows to hide his bulk. After many arguments, Brando refused to deliver his lines as written and rewrote or ad-libbed them. Coppola reportedly became so angry with the actor that he turned over the filming of Brando's scenes to assistant director Jerry Ziesmer.

Sheen, at Coppola's urging, stayed drunk for two days as he improvised the scene early in the film when Willard becomes distraught and crashes his hand into a mirror. (The first of these days was his 36th birthday.) The emotional state, shattered mirror and bloody hand were all real, leading Ziesmer to ponder, "Should we have pushed and prodded Marty to the extent we did for a performance in a motion picture? Did the ends justify the means?" Sheen, who failed to win an Oscar® nomination for his performance, has since enjoyed a very successful career but never again threw himself into a project with this kind of reckless commitment.

Also in the cast are Dennis Hopper as a spaced-out journalist, Frederic Forrest as an ill-fated grunt, G.D. Spradlin as the general who sends Willard on his mission, and Albert Hall as a soldier whose disciplined behavior seems unique in the surroundings. Laurence Fishburne, then billed as "Larry" and cast as a member of Willard's crew, was only 14 when filming began!

Coppola had sought the Pentagon's support in making the movie, but Army officials, after reading a draft of the script, promptly refused to cooperate in any way. This led to arrangements with Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the Philippines, to rent American-made helicopters and military equipment. Real-life mountain tribesmen appeared as the natives at Kurtz's compound who have turned him into a god. For Coppola's climactic scene, they performed the actual ritual slaying of a water buffalo.

No mention of Heart of Darkness as the literary source of Apocalypse Now is included in the film's credits, even though the script follows the outline of the novella (which was set in the Belgian Congo of the 1890s), and the name "Kurtz" is retained for the Brando character. Significantly, the Oscar® nomination for the script was in the category of best screenplay based on another medium. The real-life model for the updated Kurtz was Col. Robert Rheault, a commanding officer of U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam who was court-martialed in 1969 for the murder of a Vietnamese guide he suspected of being a double agent. The charges against Rheault eventually were dropped, but his career had been ruined by what the press called "the Green Beret murder case." Official documents had described the killing of the suspected agent as "termination with extreme prejudice" -- a phrase repeated in the film.

After an additional nine months of editing, Coppola released Apocalypse Now to mixed reviews. Even those who found Brando's section to be pretentious and/or incomprehensible, however, were impressed by the extraordinary combat footage and Storaro's consistently brilliant cinematography. The film, shown as a work in progress at the Cannes Film Festival, won that group's prestigious Grand Prize.

The film won eight nominations, including those for Best Picture and Director, and captured two Oscar®s, for Vittorio Storaro's magnificent cinematography and Best Sound. (Apocalypse Now was the first major motion picture to utilize Dolby Stereo Surround technology.) Despite several brilliant performances, the only acting nomination went to Duvall for his role as the ruthless, dandified, surf-and-Wagner-loving Col. Kilgore, who delivers one of the most-quoted lines in film history: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning... It smells like victory."

The movie's reputation has grown over the years; it was voted as "Best Picture of the Last 25 Years" by the Dutch magazine Skrien and placed as No. 30 on the American Film Institute's list of Greatest Movies of All Time. British TV's Film4 puts Apocalypse Now at No. 1 on its list of "50 Films To See Before You Die."

Eleanor Coppola, the director's wife, kept a diary during filming and published it with her husband's permission in 1979 as Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now. At his suggestion, she also worked on a promotional film for the United Artists Publicity Department. This idea eventually was abandoned, but Eleanor turned over her footage to Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper for their feature-length, Emmy-winning documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991).

In 2001, Coppola introduced Apocalypse Now Redux, his revised and extended version of the film created with editor Walter Murch. This re-edit includes 49 minutes of new material, clarifies some story points and emphasizes the movie's surreal atmosphere.

Producers: Francis Coppola; John Ashley, Eddie Romero, Mona Skager (associate producers); Gray Frederickson, Freed Roos, Tom Sternberg (co-producers)
Director: Francis Coppola
Screenplay: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr (narration), from novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (uncredited)
Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro
Film Editing: Lisa Fruchtman, Gerald B. Greenberg, Walter Murch
Original Music: Carmine Coppola, Francis Coppola
Production Design: Dean Tavoularis
Art Direction: Angelo Graham
Cast: Marlon Brando (Colonel Walter E. Kurtz), Martin Sheen (Captain Benjamin L. Willard), Robert Duvall (Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore), Frederic Forrest (Jay "Chef" Hicks), Sam Bottoms (Lance B. Johnson), Larry Fishburne (Tyrone "Clean" Miller), Albert Hall (Chief Phillips), Harrison Ford (Colonel Lucas), Dennis Hopper (Photojournalist), G.D. Spradlin (General Corman), Jerry Ziesmer (Jerry, civilian), Scott Glenn (Lieutenant Richard M. Colby) .
C-153m. Letterboxed.

by Roger Fristoe
Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now

"Apocalypse Now is not about Vietnam; it is Vietnam," writer-director Francis Ford Coppola said of his infamous war epic in 1979, the year of the film's original release. "And the way we made it was very much like the way the Americans were in Vietnam. We had access to too much money, too much equipment; and little by little we went insane." After a trouble-plagued production described as a "nightmare" by its participants, and despite charges of overreaching self-indulgence on the part of its creator, Coppola's film is considered by many to be one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- of all anti-war movies. Inspired by Joseph Conrad's 1902 novella Heart of Darkness, it depicts war as a descent into madness, as the anguished Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is assigned to find and execute Lt. Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), an AWOL Special Forces officer who has set himself up as an all-powerful avenging angel among head-hunting villagers in a Cambodian jungle. As he heads upriver in his search, Willard encounters various horrors of combat, not the least of which is the supermacho, semi-psychotic Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall). One of several movies about Vietnam released in the late 1970s, Apocalypse Now has a sense of extravagance and daring unusual even for that decade of dynamic filmmaking. In retrospect, its dark vision and polarizing effect among viewers make it one of the most emblematic works of its era. The project began with George Lucas's plans to direct a script written by John Milius in 1969 entitled The Psychedelic Soldier, with Coppola as executive producer. Lucas had planned to shoot his film as a faux documentary on location in South Vietnam while the war was still underway. But a production deal with Warner Bros. fell through, and Coppola moved on to co-write and direct The Godfather (1972). The huge success of this Oscar®-winning film gave him the clout to reintroduce the idea of Apocalypse Now, which would be filmed by Coppola's own American Zoetrope Studios for United Artists, on location in the Philippines. By this time Saigon had fallen, making the idea of a "documentary" approach obsolete and redefining the story as a reflection on what many saw as the futility and horror of the Vietnam War, as well as Coppola's own conflicted emotions. Screenwriter Milius had no desire to direct the film himself, and Lucas, busy now with Star Wars (1977), gave Coppola his blessing to direct Apocalypse Now. Orson Welles had been Coppola's first choice to play Col. Kurtz, and while Brando vacillated about doing the film, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, and Al Pacino were considered for his role. The latter two were also on Coppola's list of possibilities to play Capt. Willard, a role that already had been turned down by Steve McQueen. In declining the captain's role, Pacino was said to have told Coppola, "You're going to be up there in a helicopter telling me what to do, and I'm gonna be down there in the swamp for five months." Eventually, Harvey Keitel was cast as Willard, but two weeks into filming Coppola replaced him with Sheen, feeling that Keitel's "feverish" intensity was wrong for an essentially passive character. The director had wanted James Caan as Col. Lucas, a general's aide, but Caan's salary demands were deemed too high for a relatively minor role. Harrison Ford, although then emerging as a major star thanks to the first Star Wars movie, accepted the role for a smaller fee. After planning a six-week shoot on a $12 million budget, Coppola would end up with a 238-day shooting schedule, spread over 16 months, expenses in excess of $31 million (requiring him to dip into his own private funds) and more than 200 hours of raw footage. The human cost of the production also was high; along with the discomfort, stress and diseases suffered by the company during what seemed like endless filming in the jungle, Coppola came close to nervous collapse, made threats of suicide and reportedly lost 100 pounds. Sheen suffered a life-altering heart attack. Drug use was rampant on the set. Other causes for the frequent delays in the Philippines were such natural disasters as an earthquake and a typhoon that destroyed several elaborate sets; plus the ever-evolving script and Coppola's overwhelming sense of perfectionism. The actors created considerable crises of their own. Coppola had been led to believe that Brando, who had been paid $1 million in advance on his $3 million salary, had studied Heart of Darkness and prepared his role in advance of filming. The director was appalled when his star arrived to reveal that he had never read the novel, did not know his lines and had become hugely fat, weighing in at 285 pounds -- even though Kurtz had been written as emaciated because he is infected with malaria. After his initial dismay, Coppola proceeded by reading the novel aloud to Brando on the set and making plans to photograph him in close-ups and deep shadows to hide his bulk. After many arguments, Brando refused to deliver his lines as written and rewrote or ad-libbed them. Coppola reportedly became so angry with the actor that he turned over the filming of Brando's scenes to assistant director Jerry Ziesmer. Sheen, at Coppola's urging, stayed drunk for two days as he improvised the scene early in the film when Willard becomes distraught and crashes his hand into a mirror. (The first of these days was his 36th birthday.) The emotional state, shattered mirror and bloody hand were all real, leading Ziesmer to ponder, "Should we have pushed and prodded Marty to the extent we did for a performance in a motion picture? Did the ends justify the means?" Sheen, who failed to win an Oscar® nomination for his performance, has since enjoyed a very successful career but never again threw himself into a project with this kind of reckless commitment. Also in the cast are Dennis Hopper as a spaced-out journalist, Frederic Forrest as an ill-fated grunt, G.D. Spradlin as the general who sends Willard on his mission, and Albert Hall as a soldier whose disciplined behavior seems unique in the surroundings. Laurence Fishburne, then billed as "Larry" and cast as a member of Willard's crew, was only 14 when filming began! Coppola had sought the Pentagon's support in making the movie, but Army officials, after reading a draft of the script, promptly refused to cooperate in any way. This led to arrangements with Ferdinand Marcos, then president of the Philippines, to rent American-made helicopters and military equipment. Real-life mountain tribesmen appeared as the natives at Kurtz's compound who have turned him into a god. For Coppola's climactic scene, they performed the actual ritual slaying of a water buffalo. No mention of Heart of Darkness as the literary source of Apocalypse Now is included in the film's credits, even though the script follows the outline of the novella (which was set in the Belgian Congo of the 1890s), and the name "Kurtz" is retained for the Brando character. Significantly, the Oscar® nomination for the script was in the category of best screenplay based on another medium. The real-life model for the updated Kurtz was Col. Robert Rheault, a commanding officer of U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam who was court-martialed in 1969 for the murder of a Vietnamese guide he suspected of being a double agent. The charges against Rheault eventually were dropped, but his career had been ruined by what the press called "the Green Beret murder case." Official documents had described the killing of the suspected agent as "termination with extreme prejudice" -- a phrase repeated in the film. After an additional nine months of editing, Coppola released Apocalypse Now to mixed reviews. Even those who found Brando's section to be pretentious and/or incomprehensible, however, were impressed by the extraordinary combat footage and Storaro's consistently brilliant cinematography. The film, shown as a work in progress at the Cannes Film Festival, won that group's prestigious Grand Prize. The film won eight nominations, including those for Best Picture and Director, and captured two Oscar®s, for Vittorio Storaro's magnificent cinematography and Best Sound. (Apocalypse Now was the first major motion picture to utilize Dolby Stereo Surround technology.) Despite several brilliant performances, the only acting nomination went to Duvall for his role as the ruthless, dandified, surf-and-Wagner-loving Col. Kilgore, who delivers one of the most-quoted lines in film history: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning... It smells like victory." The movie's reputation has grown over the years; it was voted as "Best Picture of the Last 25 Years" by the Dutch magazine Skrien and placed as No. 30 on the American Film Institute's list of Greatest Movies of All Time. British TV's Film4 puts Apocalypse Now at No. 1 on its list of "50 Films To See Before You Die." Eleanor Coppola, the director's wife, kept a diary during filming and published it with her husband's permission in 1979 as Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now. At his suggestion, she also worked on a promotional film for the United Artists Publicity Department. This idea eventually was abandoned, but Eleanor turned over her footage to Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper for their feature-length, Emmy-winning documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991). In 2001, Coppola introduced Apocalypse Now Redux, his revised and extended version of the film created with editor Walter Murch. This re-edit includes 49 minutes of new material, clarifies some story points and emphasizes the movie's surreal atmosphere. Producers: Francis Coppola; John Ashley, Eddie Romero, Mona Skager (associate producers); Gray Frederickson, Freed Roos, Tom Sternberg (co-producers) Director: Francis Coppola Screenplay: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr (narration), from novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (uncredited) Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro Film Editing: Lisa Fruchtman, Gerald B. Greenberg, Walter Murch Original Music: Carmine Coppola, Francis Coppola Production Design: Dean Tavoularis Art Direction: Angelo Graham Cast: Marlon Brando (Colonel Walter E. Kurtz), Martin Sheen (Captain Benjamin L. Willard), Robert Duvall (Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore), Frederic Forrest (Jay "Chef" Hicks), Sam Bottoms (Lance B. Johnson), Larry Fishburne (Tyrone "Clean" Miller), Albert Hall (Chief Phillips), Harrison Ford (Colonel Lucas), Dennis Hopper (Photojournalist), G.D. Spradlin (General Corman), Jerry Ziesmer (Jerry, civilian), Scott Glenn (Lieutenant Richard M. Colby) . C-153m. Letterboxed. by Roger Fristoe

Restoration - Apocalypse Now (June)


Maybe you've heard the news that Francis Ford Coppola has re-edited an extra hour of material back into Apocalypse Now (this version premiered at the Cannes festival with a U.S. release planned for later this summer entitled Apocalypse Now Redux). What's new in Francis Ford Coppola's restored version? Here are a few highlights, culled from the Miramax web site: The much-discussed French plantation sequence, which includes a riverside encounter, the funeral of Clean, a rancorous dinner, and Willard's seduction of (and by) Roxanne, a young French widow (played by Aurore Clement). At the dinner, the patriarch of the French plantation, Hubert deMorais (played by the late Christian Marquand) asks rhetorically: "Why do we stay here? It keeps our family together. We fight to keep what is ours. You Americans fight for the biggest nothing in history." This sequence, Coppola says,"captures an exotic yearning, groping for long-vanished ideals and a crumbling way of life that presages and essentially predicts the folly of America's experience in Vietnam. These characters are sort of ghosts like Bunuel has ghosts: people who are trapped in their own thinking from years ago."

An expanded Playboy playmates sequence. Coppola remembers: "This was never even in the assembly because it was shot during the typhoon when we had to stop shooting, and the scene was never completed. But in this new version Walter found a way to get in and out of the sequence; In the beginning of the sequence, we learn that the Playboy helicopter has run out of fuel and landed at a remote Medevac base along the river. As Willard leaves the boat, the chief (Albert Hall) asks: "Captain, are you giving away our fuel for a Playmate of the Month."; Willard replies: "No, Playmate of the Year, chief." Coppola says: "In their way, the girls are the corresponding characters of those young boys on the boat, except they're being exploited in sexual ways. But it's the same thing, you know how they're being consumed; used up by a society that calls itself moral and yet isn't."

A new scene with Marlon Brando: "Don't try to escape, or you'll be killed," Kurtz tells Willard in their first meeting. Kurtz, holding Willard captive in a metal shed, quotes an American intelligence analyst recently returned to Vietnam to sound out the situation for President Nixon. "He told the President last week that: 'Things felt much better, and smelled much better over there.'; How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks his charge. The deletion of this scene was one of the last cuts the filmmakers made in 1979, in the interest of time. Restoring this philosophical scene, Murch says, "sets up the last scene in the film much more effectively."

All of this talk about Apocalypse Now Redux started us wondering about films that exist in two versions. Sure there are countless films that were slightly different in America and overseas (such as Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train), had minor trims for content (Robocop), were reworked by the director (The Wild Bunch) or other similar oddities (Abbott and Costello's first film One Night in the Tropics was for years missing an entire scene that triggered the plot!). But what really got us thinking are films that can be seen in your choice of Version A or Version B. Our crack TCM researchers came up with the following:

The Big Sleep - Made right at the tail end of World War II, this Humphrey Bogart classic was held up by the studio because they had a glut of films to release. In the meantime, though, co-star Lauren Bacall lept from new face to major star which, along with some other behind-the-scenes maneuvering, resulted in the filming of new material and some re-editing to emphasize her new status. This reworking is the familiar one but the original was recently released to the public. You can see both versions on TCM.

The Godfather - Coppola isn't new to re-editing. For a TV showing of the first two Godfather films he put all the material into chronological sequence and added deleted material to make one giant epic called The Godfather Saga. Then that big saga was again slightly re-edited and released on video as The Godfather Epic. Then after the third film appeared, that too was edited into the chronological story for a video set called The Godfather Trilogy. And of course all the films are also available separately.

Passion of Joan of Arc - Here's one that's even more complicated than the Godfather films. This 1928 classic was immediately denounced by censors which resulted in some small cuts but the real tragedy occurred when the negative and most of the prints were destroyed in a laboratory fire. Director Carl Theodor Dreyer reconstructed another negative using outtakes and other surviving material but guess what? That too burned up in a fire. Apparently still floating around at the time were prints of these two versions but they seem to have been chopped up or simply destroyed. In the early '30s the film was trimmed to almost an hour and had voice-overs added while during the next decade came a poorly regarded "restoration" and then in 1951 there was yet another version done with additional dubious shots added. Finally 1981 brought a wonderful surprise. A Norweigan mental hospital discovered that it had a print of Dreyer's original cut stored literally in one of their closets. This was restored to as much of its full glory as possible and can be seen on TCM.

Touch of Evil - Orson Welles' struggles with the studios are legendary and perhaps only the butchering of The Magnificent Ambersons rivals his travails with this one. A 1958 film noir classic, Touch of Evil apparently so horrified the studio that they looked for a way to cut their losses. So they took a 108 minute version prepared for preview screenings that Welles was still working on, cut it down to 95 minutes and dumped that into theatres. For years, this was all that was available until the preview version quietly appeared on video in the 1980s. But that wasn't enough. Welles had prepared a 58-page memo about how envisioned the film, information that guided a 1998 revision by restoration expert Rick Schmidlin which may be as close as we're likely to get to Welles' intentions. So where does this leave us? Three different versions of the same film, none of them definitive or a "director's cut" and all three available at one time or another on video (though unfortunately only the revision is on DVD).

The Big Sky - Maybe you've noticed that when TCM shows Howard Hawks' classic Western (chosen by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum as one of the 100 greatest American films) it runs about 20 minutes longer than most reference book listings and the video release. That's because the material was trimmed shortly after release and practically unseen until our airings.

Black Sunday - A good example of how small changes can really alter a film is Mario Bava's classic horror film. It's a subtle and atmospheric story (adapted from the same Gogol tale used for the cult Russian film Vij) but marketed almost as kiddie fare in the U.S. The grown-up dialogue was watered down, the moody music replaced by a typically schlocky Les Baxter score, and numerous small edits were made to protect sensitive Americans. Recently, though, the original version appeared on DVD and can be seen for the striking visual experience it really is. (An even more extreme revision exists in Bava's career. After his oblique, dream-like film Lisa and the Devil was considered unreleasable it was taken over by the producer and so drastically reworked with new material that the story turned out quite different. That version was released as House of Exorcism to capitalize on that trend but both can now be found on DVD.)

Restoration - Apocalypse Now (June)

Maybe you've heard the news that Francis Ford Coppola has re-edited an extra hour of material back into Apocalypse Now (this version premiered at the Cannes festival with a U.S. release planned for later this summer entitled Apocalypse Now Redux). What's new in Francis Ford Coppola's restored version? Here are a few highlights, culled from the Miramax web site: The much-discussed French plantation sequence, which includes a riverside encounter, the funeral of Clean, a rancorous dinner, and Willard's seduction of (and by) Roxanne, a young French widow (played by Aurore Clement). At the dinner, the patriarch of the French plantation, Hubert deMorais (played by the late Christian Marquand) asks rhetorically: "Why do we stay here? It keeps our family together. We fight to keep what is ours. You Americans fight for the biggest nothing in history." This sequence, Coppola says,"captures an exotic yearning, groping for long-vanished ideals and a crumbling way of life that presages and essentially predicts the folly of America's experience in Vietnam. These characters are sort of ghosts like Bunuel has ghosts: people who are trapped in their own thinking from years ago." An expanded Playboy playmates sequence. Coppola remembers: "This was never even in the assembly because it was shot during the typhoon when we had to stop shooting, and the scene was never completed. But in this new version Walter found a way to get in and out of the sequence; In the beginning of the sequence, we learn that the Playboy helicopter has run out of fuel and landed at a remote Medevac base along the river. As Willard leaves the boat, the chief (Albert Hall) asks: "Captain, are you giving away our fuel for a Playmate of the Month."; Willard replies: "No, Playmate of the Year, chief." Coppola says: "In their way, the girls are the corresponding characters of those young boys on the boat, except they're being exploited in sexual ways. But it's the same thing, you know how they're being consumed; used up by a society that calls itself moral and yet isn't." A new scene with Marlon Brando: "Don't try to escape, or you'll be killed," Kurtz tells Willard in their first meeting. Kurtz, holding Willard captive in a metal shed, quotes an American intelligence analyst recently returned to Vietnam to sound out the situation for President Nixon. "He told the President last week that: 'Things felt much better, and smelled much better over there.'; How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks his charge. The deletion of this scene was one of the last cuts the filmmakers made in 1979, in the interest of time. Restoring this philosophical scene, Murch says, "sets up the last scene in the film much more effectively." All of this talk about Apocalypse Now Redux started us wondering about films that exist in two versions. Sure there are countless films that were slightly different in America and overseas (such as Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train), had minor trims for content (Robocop), were reworked by the director (The Wild Bunch) or other similar oddities (Abbott and Costello's first film One Night in the Tropics was for years missing an entire scene that triggered the plot!). But what really got us thinking are films that can be seen in your choice of Version A or Version B. Our crack TCM researchers came up with the following: The Big Sleep - Made right at the tail end of World War II, this Humphrey Bogart classic was held up by the studio because they had a glut of films to release. In the meantime, though, co-star Lauren Bacall lept from new face to major star which, along with some other behind-the-scenes maneuvering, resulted in the filming of new material and some re-editing to emphasize her new status. This reworking is the familiar one but the original was recently released to the public. You can see both versions on TCM. The Godfather - Coppola isn't new to re-editing. For a TV showing of the first two Godfather films he put all the material into chronological sequence and added deleted material to make one giant epic called The Godfather Saga. Then that big saga was again slightly re-edited and released on video as The Godfather Epic. Then after the third film appeared, that too was edited into the chronological story for a video set called The Godfather Trilogy. And of course all the films are also available separately. Passion of Joan of Arc - Here's one that's even more complicated than the Godfather films. This 1928 classic was immediately denounced by censors which resulted in some small cuts but the real tragedy occurred when the negative and most of the prints were destroyed in a laboratory fire. Director Carl Theodor Dreyer reconstructed another negative using outtakes and other surviving material but guess what? That too burned up in a fire. Apparently still floating around at the time were prints of these two versions but they seem to have been chopped up or simply destroyed. In the early '30s the film was trimmed to almost an hour and had voice-overs added while during the next decade came a poorly regarded "restoration" and then in 1951 there was yet another version done with additional dubious shots added. Finally 1981 brought a wonderful surprise. A Norweigan mental hospital discovered that it had a print of Dreyer's original cut stored literally in one of their closets. This was restored to as much of its full glory as possible and can be seen on TCM. Touch of Evil - Orson Welles' struggles with the studios are legendary and perhaps only the butchering of The Magnificent Ambersons rivals his travails with this one. A 1958 film noir classic, Touch of Evil apparently so horrified the studio that they looked for a way to cut their losses. So they took a 108 minute version prepared for preview screenings that Welles was still working on, cut it down to 95 minutes and dumped that into theatres. For years, this was all that was available until the preview version quietly appeared on video in the 1980s. But that wasn't enough. Welles had prepared a 58-page memo about how envisioned the film, information that guided a 1998 revision by restoration expert Rick Schmidlin which may be as close as we're likely to get to Welles' intentions. So where does this leave us? Three different versions of the same film, none of them definitive or a "director's cut" and all three available at one time or another on video (though unfortunately only the revision is on DVD). The Big Sky - Maybe you've noticed that when TCM shows Howard Hawks' classic Western (chosen by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum as one of the 100 greatest American films) it runs about 20 minutes longer than most reference book listings and the video release. That's because the material was trimmed shortly after release and practically unseen until our airings. Black Sunday - A good example of how small changes can really alter a film is Mario Bava's classic horror film. It's a subtle and atmospheric story (adapted from the same Gogol tale used for the cult Russian film Vij) but marketed almost as kiddie fare in the U.S. The grown-up dialogue was watered down, the moody music replaced by a typically schlocky Les Baxter score, and numerous small edits were made to protect sensitive Americans. Recently, though, the original version appeared on DVD and can be seen for the striking visual experience it really is. (An even more extreme revision exists in Bava's career. After his oblique, dream-like film Lisa and the Devil was considered unreleasable it was taken over by the producer and so drastically reworked with new material that the story turned out quite different. That version was released as House of Exorcism to capitalize on that trend but both can now be found on DVD.)

Quotes

Why do all you guys sit on your helmets?
- Chef
So we don't get our balls blown off.
- Soldier
Saigon, shit, I'm still only in Saigon. Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle.
- Willard
I hardly said a word to my wife until I said yes to a divorce.
- Willard
When I was here, I wanted to be there, when I was there all I could think of was getting back into the jungle.
- Willard
I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A ile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.
- Kurtz

Trivia

'McQueen, Steve' was the first to turn down the role of Captain Willard.

Harvey Keitel was then cast as Willard. Two weeks into shooting, director Francis Ford Coppola replaced him with Martin Sheen.

George Lucas was originally set to direct "Apocalypse Now" from a screenplay by John Millus. Lucas' initial plan was to shoot the movie as a faux documentary on location in South Vietnam while the war was still in progress. Coppola, who was to be the executive producer, tried to get the film made as part of a production deal with Warner Bros. The deal fell through, and Coppola went on to direct Godfather, The (1972). By the time both men were powerful enough to get the film made, Saigon had fallen and Lucas was busy making Star Wars (1977). Millus had no interest in directing the film. Lucas gave Coppola his blessing to direct the film himself.

Director Francis Coppola lost 100 pounds while filming.

It took Francis Ford Coppola nearly three years to edit the footage from Apocalypse Now. While working on his final edit, it became apparent to him that Martin Sheen would be needed to tape a number of additional narrative voice-overs. Coppola soon discovered that Sheen was busy and unable to perform these voice-overs. He then called in Sheen's brother Joe Estevez, whose voice sounds nearly identical to Sheen's, to perform the new narrative tracks. Estevez was also used as a stand-in/double for Sheen when Sheen suffered a heart-attack during the shoot in 1976. Estevez was not credited for his work as a stand-in or for his voice-over work.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States November 2001

Released in United States Spring May 1979

Re-released in United States August 20, 2001

Re-released in United States August 28, 1987

Shown at London Film Festival (Gala Films) November 7-22, 2001.

Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival (Zoetrope Studios Turns 20: a 70mm Celebration) April 30 - May 13, 1990.

Martin Sheen replaced Harvey Keitel in the role of Captain Willard a few weeks into production.

Re-released in 2001 as an "entirely new" and "re-edited" version of the 1979 original. Under the new title "Apocalypse Now Redux", the 2001 version contains an additional 53 minutes of never-before-seen footage.

Selected in 2000 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Re-released in United Kingdom ("Apocalypse Now Redux"/2001 version) November 23, 2001.

Released in United States 1990 (Shown at San Francisco International Film Festival (Zoetrope Studios Turns 20: a 70mm Celebration) April 30 - May 13, 1990.)

Released in United States Spring May 1979

Expanded re-release in United States August 10, 2001

Released in United States August 15, 1979

Re-released in United States August 20, 2001 ("Apocalypse Now Redux"/2001 version; New York City and Los Angeles)

Re-released in United States August 28, 1987 (Los Angeles)

Voted Best Supporting Actor (Forrest--shared with his work in "The Rose") by the 1979 National Society of Film Critics.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1979 National Board of Review.

Winner of the Palme d'Or and the International Critics Prize at the 32nd Annual Cannes Film Festival May, 1979.

Expanded re-release in United States August 10, 2001

Released in United States 1990

Released in United States August 15, 1979

Released in United States November 2001 (Shown at London Film Festival (Gala Films) November 7-22, 2001.)