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Apocalypse Now Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

One of a cluster of late-1970s films about the Vietnam War, [[Performer~P85868~Francis Ford Coppola~francisfordcoppola]]'s Apocalypse Now adapts the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness to depict the war as a descent into primal madness. Capt. Willard ([[Performer~P111083~Martin Sheen~martinsheen]]), already on the edge, is assigned to find and deal with AWOL Col. Kurtz ([[Performer~P8070~Marlon Brando~marlonbrando]]), rumored to have set himself up in the Cambodian jungle as a local, lethal godhead. Along the way Willard encounters napalm and Wagner fan Col. Kilgore ([[Performer~P88530~Robert Duvall~robertduvall]]), draftees who prefer to surf and do drugs, a USO Playboy Bunny show turned into a riot by the raucous soldiers, and a jumpy photographer ([[Performer~P94825~Dennis Hopper~dennishopper]]) telling wild, reverent tales about Kurtz. By the time Willard sees the heads mounted on stakes near Kurtz's compound, he knows Kurtz has gone over the deep end, but it is uncertain whether Willard himself now agrees with Kurtz's insane dictum to "Drop the Bomb. Exterminate them all." Coppola himself was not certain either, and he tried several different endings between the film's early rough-cut screenings for the press, the Palme d'Or-winning "work-in-progress" shown at Cannes, and the final 35 mm U.S. release (also the ending on the video cassette). The chaotic production also experienced shut-downs when a typhoon destroyed the set and star Sheen suffered a heart attack; the budget ballooned and Coppola covered the overages himself. These production headaches, which Coppola characterized as being like the Vietnam War itself, have been superbly captured in the documentary, [[Feature~V21925~Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse~heartsofdarkness:afilmmakersapocalypse]]. Despite the studio's fears and mixed reviews of the film's ending, Apocalypse Now became a substantial hit and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Duvall's psychotic Kilgore, and Best Screenplay. It won Oscars for sound and for [[Performer~P112513~Vittorio Storaro~vittoriostoraro]]'s cinematography. This hallucinatory, Wagnerian project has produced admirers and detractors of equal ardor; it resembles no other film ever made, and its nightmarish aura and polarized reception aptly reflect the tensions and confusions of the Vietnam era. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:August 15, 1979

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lisa Fruchtman Best Editing 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mark Berger Best Sound 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nathan Boxer Best Sound 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Beggs Best Sound 1979 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Robert Duvall Best Supporting Actor 1979 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Robert Duvall Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Duvall Best Supporting Actor 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tom Sternberg Best Picture 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dean Tavoularis Best Art Direction 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Milius Best Adapted Screenplay 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Vittorio Storaro Best Cinematography 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Murch Best Sound 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Murch Best Editing 1979 Nominee
National Society of Film Critics Frederic Forrest Best Supporting Actor 1979 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Francis Ford Coppola Best Director 1979 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Francis Ford Coppola Best Original Score 1979 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Francis Ford Coppola Best Picture 1979 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Francis Ford Coppola Best Director 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Francis Ford Coppola Best Director 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Francis Ford Coppola Best Adapted Screenplay 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Francis Ford Coppola Best Picture 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Marks Best Editing 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gray Fredrickson Best Picture 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Angelo P. Graham Best Art Direction 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jerry Greenberg Best Editing 1979 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George R. Nelson Best Art Direction 1979 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Carmine Coppola Best Original Score 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Fred Roos Best Picture 1979 Nominee

Cast

Martin Sheen
as Capt. Benjamin Willard
Marlon Brando
as Colonel Kurtz
Robert Duvall
as Lt. Col. Kilgore
Frederic Forrest
as Chef
Dennis Hopper
as Photo Journalist
Samuel Bottoms
as Lance
Albert Hall
as Chief
Laurence Fishburne
as Clean
Harrison Ford
as Colonel
G.D. Spradlin
as General
Bill Graham
as Agent
Cynthia Wood
as Playmate of the Year
Francis Ford Coppola
as Film Director
Bo Byers
as MP Sergeant No. 1
Ron McQueen
as Injured Soldier
Kerry Rossall
as Mike from San Diego
Jerry Ziesmer
as Civilian
Herb Rice
as Roach
Glenn Walken
as Lt. Carlsen
Colleen Camp
as Playmate
Jack Thibeau
as Soldier in Trench
George Cantero
as Soldier with Suitcase
Scott Glenn
as Colby
James Keane
as Kilgore's Machine-Gunner
Vittorio Storaro
as TV Photographer (uncredited)
Tom Mason
as Supply Sgt. Fourier
Linda Carpenter
as Playmate
Marc Coppola
as AFRS Announcer
R. Lee Ermey
as Heliocopter Pilot
Damien Leake
as Kilgore's Machine-Gunner

Crew

Francis Ford Coppola
Director
Francis Ford Coppola
Producer
Francis Ford Coppola
Screenwriter
John Milius
Screenwriter
Michael Herr
Screenwriter
Vittorio Storaro
Cinematographer
Carmine Coppola
Composer (Music Score)
Jerry Greenberg
Editor
Walter Murch
Editor
Richard Marks
Editor
Barry Malkin
Editor
Lisa Fruchtman
Editor
Dean Tavoularis
Production Designer
Angelo P. Graham
Art Director
Fred Roos
Co-producer
Tom Sternberg
Co-producer
Gray Fredrickson
Co-producer
Eddie Romero
Associate Producer
George R. Nelson
Set Designer
Bob Nelson
Set Designer
Nathan Boxer
Sound/Sound Designer
Lawrence James Cavanaugh
Special Effects
Jerry Ziesmer
First Assistant Director
Leon Chooluck
Production Manager
Barrie M. Osborne
Production Manager
Shirley Walker
Musical Performer
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