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The Deer Hunter: Special Edition (2 discs) [DVD] [1979]


Price: £3.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Deer Hunter: Special Edition (2 discs) [DVD] [1979] + Apocalypse Now Redux [DVD] [1979] + Platoon [DVD] [1987]
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, John Savage, Meryl Streep
  • Directors: Michael Cimino
  • Writers: Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker
  • Producers: Barry Spikings, Joann Carelli, John Peverall
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Russian, Vietnamese
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Aug. 2003
  • Run Time: 176 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009QNW8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,956 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Robert De Niro, John Savage and Christopher Walken star in this Michael Cimino war drama. As Michael (De Niro), Steven (Savage) and Nick (Walken) volunteer to serve in Vietnam, they fail to foresee the horrors that will encapsulate their future lives. When the men are captured by the Vietcong and forced to play Russian roulette for their entertainment, Michael and Steven manage to escape leaving Nick to fight off the enemy. As Steven is shipped home, severely disabled and damaged by the whole experience, he discovers that Nick has sent him money to help him get back into society. When the news of the fall of Saigon reaches home, Michael vows to return to Vietnam to bring home his friend.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Deer Hunter is an expansive portrait of friendship in a Pennsylvania steel town, and of the effects of the Vietnam War. Led by the trio of Robert De Niro, John Savage and Christopher Walken (who won a supporting actor Oscar), the first hour is dominated by an engrossing Russian Orthodox wedding and reception. When the drama moves overseas it switches from anthropologically realistic documentation of a community's rituals to highly controversial and still shocking Russian Roulette scenes, symbolising the random horror of war. Unforgettable as they are, the Vietnam sequences occupy less than a third of the three-hour running time; defying movie convention The Deer Hunter is fundamentally a before-and-after ensemble character study anchored by De Niro's great performance.

Although it was the first serious Hollywood feature to address the Vietnam War, the plausibility of some of the later plot developments raises awkward questions. But the film remains powerfully effective, its deliberate pace, naturalistic overlapping dialogue and unflinching seriousness marking it very much a product of the 1970s. With nine Oscar nominations and five wins, including Best Picture and Director, it's a cinematic landmark that stands the test time, almost incidentally setting Meryl Streep on the road to superstardom in her first leading role.

On the DVD: The Deer Hunter: Special Edition has the film on the first disc with a serious yet amiable Region 2 exclusive discussion track between director Michael Cimino and critic SX Finnie. The picture is anamorphically enhanced at 2.35:1, and perfectly reproduces Vilmos Zsigmond's deliberately desaturated, necessarily grainy cinematography. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack clearly reveals the mono original, being largely focused on the centre speaker and while it does a good job, some of the choral music does sound harsh. Dialogue is sometimes indecipherable, but that's due to the naturalistic nature of the original sound recording and mixing.

Disc 2 offers excellent new interviews with Jon Savage (15 mins), Vilmos Zsigmond (15 mins) and Michael Cimino (23 mins). Also included is the original trailer (anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1), a routine photo gallery and a DVD version of the original press brochure. There's no trace of the 40 minutes of deleted material referred to by Cimino, but this presentation is still an object lesson in how quality of extras triumphs over quantity. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Steven Moses on 14 Feb. 2003
Format: DVD
This film runs 'The Godfather' close for arguably the finest cast of any movie. The acting is second-to-none and boasts the combined talents of De Niro, Streep, Walken and Cazale. The early part of the movie is devoted to the relationships between the main characters and a marvellously joyous Russian Orthodox wedding scene that sets up the tragedy that befalls the three friends after their capture at the hands of the Viet-Cong. The changes both physical and mental as the men return from war and the effects on their loved ones is brilliantly portrayed. Russian roulette although arguably not historically correct is used as a metaphor for Walken's disregard for his own life and the hunting trip on De Niro's return only serves to highlight his own high regard for life.
It's one of those films that stays with you long after viewing and causes you to think deeply on the terrible effect war has on people and communities. Outstanding.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 14 Feb. 2004
Format: DVD
'The Deer Hunter' is not a conventional war film. Rather, it's an exploration of the psychological effects of war on the individual. At over three hours long, some call this film epic, others horribly dull and depressing. Split into three acts, the first hour of the film follows the three main characters Mike, Nick and Steve (Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage) in their home town of Clairton, a small, industrial town with a large contingent of Russian immigrants. The story begins with Steve's wedding, which doubles as a send-off party for the three men who have volunteered to fight in Vietnam, but with no real knowledge of what to expect. However, an uninvited guest at the wedding, a 'Green Beret' who has recently returned from Vietnam, hints at what they can expect... he is a man who has been psychologically destroyed, and his unusual behaviour is greeted at first with anger, then amusement, but no real comprehension. We also follow the men on a last deerhunting trip in the mountains, as the film builds up our understanding of each character. Indeed, the deer hunting segments serve as a powerful metaphor that underpins the rest of the movie. The peace and tranquility of the mountains are counterposed with the sound of choppers and gunfire in Vietnam. From the outset it is clear that Mike, who sees deerhunting as more than just mere sport, has a deeper understanding of what the war will do to them, as is somehow better placed to cope...
The second third of the movie throws us straight into the thick of battle, from the sleepy streets of a small Pennsylvanian town, to the brutality of the Vietnam War.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wilson on 5 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD
First off i've watched many many films in my short time here on earth. As i've studied film in college i have really began to see the beauty of filmmaking. The Deer Hunter for me is one of the best films i have ever seen and i believe ever will. The film first off introduces the audience to the relationship between 'the gang' of friends and we see intimate moments of friendship between them which comes back later to give some of the most brilliant moments ever in film history. Do not be fouled, this isn't a film based in Vietnam, the film shows only roughly 30 minutes for it's 3 1/2 film in Vietnam. I suggest you watch 'Apocalypse Now' if you are interested in that sort of film. This film is based entirely on the bond between the friends and the impact of Vietnam on them which changes them forever.
A glorious film by Michael Cimino and i suggest any one who is interested in watching a fantastic story and character development to watch this.

What a gift.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amazon customer on 29 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Brilliantly crafted film follows the paths of three young men from small-town Pennsylvania, focusing mainly on De Niro's Michael and three times in their lives: just before they go to fight in Vietnam, some momentous times during the war, and the situation at home when they finally return. Heart-wrenching, epic, and a fantastic study of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, not only on the people fighting the war but their loved ones at home. De Niro, Streep and Walken stand out in a superb cast - not much to complain about with this one.

Oscar Wins for Film Editing, Sound, Supporting Actor (Christopher Walken), Directing, and Best Picture. Oscar Nominations for Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep), and Lead Actor (Robert De Niro).
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By I. Thomson on 25 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD
(Warning: this film contains war bruality and violence that is "not suitable" for sensitive people)

The Deer Hunter was the one, that no studio would take on, following the end of American involvement of Vietnam, a couple of years previous. The help of Sir Henry Belfonte, the chairman of EMI as one of a three-picture-deal, ensured it was made and released to the public.

Fresh out of Thunderbolt and Lightening, Cimino and his crew studied the impact of Vietnam War, via many sources, to add to the accuracy and realism of the tough times in half capitalist and half communist divided states of North and South Vietnam.

The Deer Hunter deals with a group of blue-collar steel workers drinking buddies' in a small Pennyslevania town. Michael and Nick are the closest and are probably seen in our eyes as the most afraid of going to fight, Nick promises whatever happens, he wants Michael to take him home where he belongs......

The title, is a metaphor, since in this case, the men refer the deers as "girls", hence it is important to find one to settle down with and that "you've only got one shot" like the precise shot to kill the deer, to get it right before the oppertunity is gone forever.

The acting, shows the men try to stride along with three serving in Vietnam, how difficult and lost their lives' become, how empty and meaningless. The performance of Walkden, who comes across as loving, cheery and happy, slowly reverts in a suicidal troubled man whose longing to go back, means nothing to him now. De Niro gives the emotion of a man of dedication, glory and trust, but deeply worrying and sad.
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