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

Robert De Niro , Christopher Walken , Michael Cimino    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
Price: 6.19 & 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 (135 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009QNW8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,326 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Affecting 14 Feb 2003
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray Review 22 Dec 2009
Wow! I own this on HD DVD and I have to say that this Blu-Ray is even better looking and sounding. Plays region free since I am in the United States and have no problem playing it on my Panasonic BD35. Well worth the purchase.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One shot 24 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Although based in Vietnam this film is far more a look at the effects of war on the soldiers and the people "back home" in America than a film about the war (less than half the film is based in the actual war zone). You can really be sure your getting a vietnam film when it is entirely A-political and the Americans are not only the good guys, but also victims of the war.
This is the story of three friends who go to war together for their country and their people. Upon their return we see the psychological effects of the war on their characters. The characters become unwilling or unable to form relationships, self destructive, lonely and in some cases appear to remove any trace of personality. One of the most interesting aspects of this film is actually the relevance of the title; the deer hunting is used so well to gie us an insight into the characters, their attitudes and their loyalties. The wedding scene being equally vital for showing depth to the characters but it is the hunting later in the film that allows us to see how things change.
As a director Cimino really shines here. If you are a fan of his previous work, then you'll probably find this to be his best piece. The character development and depth is truly brilliant. He really allows the audience to get attached to the characters, which he uses to its best advantage later when we see how they have changed. Cimino creates a feeling where the film is no longer entertainment, but a lesson! A lesson that we watch and although shocked, we are thankful for.
The acting from DeNiro and Walken really is amazing and without them the overall feeling of this picture may not have been possible.
This is a film that will be especially loved by fans of the vietnam genre, but can really be loved by a mauch wider audience.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deer Hunter- A powerful, moving, genuine film 4 Mar 2004
The Deer Hunter is a hugely significant film, because it was the first film to deal with a problem that has troubles the American conscience for 30 years- the Vietnam War. As such, this, in my view, set the model for other films to follow- for Oliver Stone's Trilogy on Vietnam(Platoon, Born on the 4th July, Heaven and Earth- all superb films). For Apocalypse Now, the genius film from Francis Ford Coppola. For Killing Fields, for Full Metal Jacket. As such, this must be regarded as a landmark in the history of cinema.
And what a landmark- this is a powerful, moving, realistic film, concentrating on the effects of war on the individual. A common criticism of this film is that it portrays the Vietcong as sadists and the Americans as victims, when it was in fact the other way around. I for one do not deny that the US Army were rather liberal in their use of Agent Orange and Napalm, nor do I deny that many innocent Vietnamese were murdered by the Americans(take the My Lai massacre, for example). Yet it must be emphasised that the other side of the coin is equally true- that Americans were also victims, and that the Vietcong could at times be very ruthless in their methods of warfare. However, as I've said, I think this film is more about the psychological impact of war more than Vietnam itself- and that is what makes The Deer Hunter such a good film. It is a brutally honest portrayal of what many American soldiers would have experienced psychologically; it does NOT show the Americans as gung-ho colonialist adventurers, but simple everyday people put in a horrific situation; and it does not beat you senseless with violence, but rather provokes you into comprehending the trauma of war.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Touring Mars VINE VOICE
'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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Excellent service and a marvellous film.
Published 1 day ago by Angus Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Supreme acting
Simply a great never to miss film
Published 4 days ago by redchris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 19 days ago by Hannibal
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deer Hunter
Really enjoyed the film. Bought it in advance of my far easter holiday (Gap Year).
Published 19 days ago by oldglory
4.0 out of 5 stars While the storm clouds gather far across the sea.
Which actor has the best filmography in the world? Robert De Niro? Al Pacino? Perhaps - but Rocky & Bullwinkle and Gigli would say otherwise. Read more
Published 28 days ago by R. J. Lister
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film
Published 1 month ago by Liz Garrini
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deer Hunter
As good as I remembered it-------------------------Wonderful ------BUT --- Robert de Niro was in it so it couldn't fail shall play it again soon, cant stop singing th theme tune
Published 2 months ago by aging groupie
5.0 out of 5 stars DO IT!
Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken on top form, a very serious film about the different affects the Vietnamese war had on people, ranging from physical to emotional, a powerful... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Luke
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a good film even in this day and age.
I had never watched this film but had always understood that it was a classic. Anything with Robert De Niro in is usually a good film so I decided to give it a watch. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Juddz444
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Films of the Seventies.
I remember how often this film was talked about when it first came out. I have seen it a number of times and each time it seems to get better. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Nicodemus
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