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The Deer Hunter Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

One of several 1978 films dealing with the Vietnam War (including Hal Ashby's Oscar-winning [[Feature~V10511~Coming Home~cominghome]]), [[Performer~P85067~Michael Cimino~michaelcimino]]'s epic second feature The Deer Hunter was both renowned for its tough portrayal of the war's effect on American working class steel workers and notorious for its ahistorical use of Russian roulette in the Vietnam sequences. Structured in five sections contrasting home and war, the film opens in Clairton, PA, as Mike ([[Performer~P17593~Robert De Niro~robertdeniro]]), Nick ([[Performer~P74206~Christopher Walken~christopherwalken]]), and Stan (John Cazale, in his last film) celebrate the wedding of their friend Steve (John Savage) and go on a final deer hunt before the men leave for Vietnam. Mike treats hunting as a test of skill, lecturing Stan about the value of "one shot" deer slaying and brushing off Nick's urgings to appreciate nature's beauty. As Mike ruminates post-hunt, the film cuts to the horror of Vietnam, where the men are captured by Vietcong soldiers who force Mike and Nick to play Russian roulette for the V.C.'s amusement. Mike turns the game to his advantage so they can escape captivity, but the men are permanently scarred by the episode. Steve loses his legs; Nick vanishes in the Saigon Russian roulette parlors. Mike returns alone to Clairton a changed man, as he rejects the killing of the deer hunt and finds solace with Nick's old girlfriend Linda ([[Performer~P68676~Meryl Streep~merylstreep]]). Disgusted by the antics of his male cohorts at home, Mike decides to bring Steve back from a veterans' hospital, and he returns to Saigon to find Nick. As Saigon falls, Mike discovers how far gone Nick is; the survivors gather in Clairton for a funeral breakfast, singing an impromptu rendition of "God Bless America." ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:December 8, 1978

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Peverall Best Picture 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Louis Garfinkle Best Original Screenplay 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Deeley Best Picture 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Portman Best Sound 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Barry Spikings Best Picture 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Aaron Rochin Best Sound 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Christopher Walken Best Supporting Actor 1978 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Christopher Walken Best Supporting Actor 1978 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Christopher Walken Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1978 Nominee
National Society of Film Critics Meryl Streep Best Supporting Actress 1978 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Meryl Streep Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Meryl Streep Best Supporting Actress 1978 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Michael Cimino Best Director 1978 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Michael Cimino Best Director 1978 Winner
Directors Guild of America Michael Cimino Best Director 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Cimino Best Director 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Cimino Best Picture 1978 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Cimino Best Original Screenplay 1978 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Michael Cimino Best Picture 1979 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Robert De Niro Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert De Niro Best Actor 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Vilmos Zsigmond Best Cinematography 1978 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Vilmos Zsigmond Best Cinematography 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Peter Zinner Best Editing 1978 Winner
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Peter Zinner Best Editing 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Quinn K. Redeker Best Original Screenplay 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Darin Knight Best Sound 1978 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Deric Washburn Best Screenplay 1978 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Deric Washburn Best Original Screenplay 1978 Nominee

Cast

Robert De Niro
as Michael
John Cazale
as Stan
John Savage
as Steven
Meryl Streep
as Linda
Christopher Walken
as Nick
George Dzundza
as John
Shirley Stoler
as Steven's Mother
Rutanya Alda
as Angela
Pierre Segui
as Julien
Mady Kaplan
as Axel's Girl
Michael Wollet
as Stock Boy
Paul D'Amato
as Sergeant
Amy Wright
as Bridesmaid
Joseph Strand
as Bingo Caller
Richard Kuss
as Linda's Father
Joe Grifasi
as Bandleader

Crew

Michael Cimino
Director
Michael Cimino
Producer
John Peverall
Producer
Michael Deeley
Producer
Barry Spikings
Producer
Louis Garfinkle
Screen Story
Louis Garfinkle
Screenwriter
Michael Cimino
Screen Story
Michael Cimino
Screenwriter
Quinn K. Redeker
Screen Story
Deric Washburn
Screen Story
Deric Washburn
Screenwriter
Vilmos Zsigmond
Cinematographer
Stanley Myers
Composer (Music Score)
Peter Zinner
Editor
Marion Rosenberg
Associate Producer
Joann Carelli
Associate Producer
Alan Hicks
Set Designer
Eric Seelig
Costume Designer
Darin Knight
Sound/Sound Designer
Charles Okun
First Assistant Director
Joann Carelli
Consultant/advisor
Fred Schuler
Camera Operator
June Samson
Script Supervisor
Del Acevedo
Makeup
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