Customer Review

11 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More right wing than Rambo, 16 Dec. 2007
This review is from: The Deer Hunter [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
So, here is the - ahem - classic film that won five - five!!! - Academy awards in 1978. It must have been a bad year for films because this is a real howler. This is a review of the first 70 minutes because after that I switched off. It may have improved in leaps and bounds after that. I have my doubts, but you never know. The first 50 minutes or so deal with a group of Pennsylvanian steelworkers: their lives, their fights, their bonding, their background, culture, etc, all of which is quite entertaining - but not very - and then goes on to the war in Vietnam. It is from here where the film goes from being mildly engrossing to being an insult to the intelligence, a disgraceful rewriting of history and a hysterical jingoistic piece of flag waving.

The first scene in Vietnam shows our Pennsylvanian ex-steelworkers trying to protect Vietnamese villagers from the Vietcong, who are portrayed as a bunch of blood thirsty crazed geeks who shoot dead mothers and their children with gay abandon. Thank God for the Americans, eh? Anyone remember My Lai? Imagine a film set in France during World War II which showed German soldiers protecting French villagers from the French Resistance and with the French resistance portrayed as blood thirsty demons and the German soldiers as decent, brave Caucasian heroes. There would be a howl of outrage and everyone involved in the making of the film treated like a pariah. Deservedly so, too. In the same way that the French were fighting against a German invasion, the Vietcong were fighting against an American invasion, and no amount of Hollywood re-writing of history will change this fact.

The Russian roulette scenes are ridiculous -and a complete invention, they never happened in real life- and show the director's racist attitude towards the Vietnamese.

The best that can be said for this film is that some of the set scenes in Pennsylvania are quite good, especially the wedding scene, and shows Michael Cimino has a talent as a 2nd Unit film director. The acting and the cinematography are fine. One star for each. Avoid this film. It is awful. It makes the Rambo movies look like Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers."
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Aug 2008 17:33:35 BDT
H. Coremans says:
I was going to read your review, but I switched it off after reading the first couple of sentences.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2008 22:59:32 BDT
Penguin Egg says:
Ho ho. I asked for that.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2010 09:10:56 BDT
Hugh Jape says:
You did. It's nice you're a good sport about it. :)

Posted on 19 Sep 2013 10:52:04 BDT
tranefan says:
'A bunch of blood-thirsty geeks'?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2014 06:00:49 GMT
R. Martin says:
"Your a good egg".
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