The Deer Hunter 1978

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(160) 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:
John Cazale, Christopher Walken
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 John Cazale, Christopher Walken, Chuck Aspegren, Shirley Stoler, Robert De Niro, John Savage, George Dzundza, Rutanya Alda, Meryl Streep
Director Michael Cimino
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release 28 September 2009
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
For all the naturalism of the presentation, the plot of The Deer Hunter is melodrama and metaphor, sometimes effective, often contrived, and seen today it's hard to get over how the main characters seem far too old to be going to Vietnam. Indeed, the film itself seems so much less impressive than Heaven's Gate today that it's surprising that this is the one the critics feted. Not that it's as bad as the revisionism that subsequently hit it would have you believe, but a lot of its original power has been diluted by the better films about Vietnam that would follow it. There's definitely a feeling of avoiding saying anything about Vietnam: this could almost be any war, from Korea to WW2, leaving much of the last act a 70s Best Years of Our Lives.

The biggest revelation watching it again is how good Robert de Niro used to be, leaving you with the suspicion that the pod people got him and replaced him with a lifeless hack who gets his assistants to phone in his performances while he's down at the bank cashing the checks these days. It's a surprise to see how engaging and credible an actor he once was. Unlike his later work, he seems less selfish here and able (in the first half at least) to connect with the other actors in the ensemble rather than constantly standing apart, which makes the character's feelings of disconnection with his old life far more effective in the latter part of the movie. Similarly, Meryl Streep is surprisingly natural in an early performance before everything became a veritable computer program of meticulously planned mannerisms and inflections that bore increasingly little relation to human behavior, while Christopher Walken didn't have the baggage that would increasingly prevent him from playing regular guys onscreen.
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43 of 48 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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14 of 16 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 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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