The Deer Hunter 1978

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(141) IMDb 8.2/10
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Three friends from a Pennsylvanian steelworks, Michael (Robert De Niro), Steven (John Savage) and Nick (Christopher Walken), volunteer for service in Vietnam. Over the course of the war the trio are captured by the Vietcong and forced to play Russian Roulette for their captors' entertainment. Michael and Steven manage to escape, and the latter is shipped home, disabled and bitter. When Michael also returns, to a hero's welcome, he discovers that Nick has remained in Vietnam, sending money to Steven without any explanation. With Saigon about to fall at any moment, Michael decides to return to Vietnam to bring his friend back. Michael Cimino's epic drama won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Starring:
Rutanya Alda, John Savage
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

The Deer Hunter

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 3 hours 2 minutes
Starring John Cazale, Christopher Walken, Chuck Aspegren, Shirley Stoler, Robert De Niro, John Savage, George Dzundza, Rutanya Alda, Meryl Streep
Director Michael Cimino
Studio 4 FRONT VIDEO
Rental release 25 March 2002
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 3 hours 2 minutes
Starring Rutanya Alda, John Savage, Shirley Stoler, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, Chuck Aspegren, George Dzundza, John Cazale, Robert De Niro
Director Michael Cimino
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 28 September 2009
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Outrageous on 22 Dec 2009
Format: Blu-ray
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 By A Customer on 24 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
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 By Mr. T. Speller on 4 Mar 2004
Format: DVD
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sean paul mccann VINE VOICE on 30 May 2008
Format: DVD
From the opening sounds of the key soundtrack song at the beginning of this 1978 academy award winning film,it is clear that this is going to be a mournful and painful movie and it very much is,a look at how those who fought in vietnam can leave that place but it will never leave you,there are more morals than just that to be honest,im only scratching at the surface.
The film deals with a bunch of characters in a close knit town,the film starts with a wedding and we get character development,many have said that the opening scene is a bit drawn out and it is in my opinion but nonetheless significant as we see a comical side to characters who soon would have little reason to laugh.
We skip to vietnam and hell would be a preferred destination as the americans are captured and forced to play russian roulette and then we have homecomings of sorts and souls so much darker than before.
There is plenty more to this than that,its just hard to dissect this without writing a book,but this is a great epic movie that all involved with can walk away with all the credit in the world.
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