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Anyone like this film? Not seen it for years and my memory tells me I was unimpressed when I watched it last.

Anyway, watched it again last night on BBC player - extended version of 171 minutes - and was really enjoying it until they reached the French family home and then it all came flooding back - dire from this point onwards reaching a major low when Marlon Brando becomes involved. Real shame because all good up until then.

Never understood why the ending was so weird but did read a while ago about major problems with Marlon Brando who had put on a huge amount of weight and refused to be filmed looking the way he did. This was the reason for all the fuzzy effects, and shots through curtains etc and brought about a complete last minute change of script and an entirely different ending to the film.

Having said all that it is apparently the film that Vietnam Vets consider the most realistic.

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Hi Stevie, I would suggest you watch the final edit version and not the directors cut as the whole section that involves 'the French family' is cut from the final edit version (the producers didn't li

Hi Stevie, I am not entirely sure which version the above is but the final cut version would obviously be the shorter in length of the two. I also understand that there was an alternate ending shot wh

Along with Casualties  of war and full metal jacket my favourite war film all 3 explore the complex nature of war and its futility .  What added to Apocalypse Now was the hype and the cast going lit

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Hi Stevie, I would suggest you watch the final edit version and not the directors cut as the whole section that involves 'the French family' is cut from the final edit version (the producers didn't like it either!). I have to say in my IMHO this film is a masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made. Ultimately it's a tale of the insanity and double standards of war, whilst hunting down Kurtz (The American soldier who has 'gone insane' and is waging his own war in the jungle we see our 'hero' shoot innocent people and the people around him getting killed too whilst causing general mayhem along the journey and also a whole village destroyed (and nepalm used) in order that a CO (brilliantly played by Robert Duvall) can watch 3 of his soldiers surf from a particular beach that has a great 'break' and is good for surfing! It is also worth remembering that this film was shot before the era of CGI and is a work of monumental dedication by all involved. I would also add that I think Brando was absolutely stunning in this movie and the fact he is hidden in the shadows just adds to his characters mystery and / or insanity (you decide!). I love this movie.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Stomping

Cutting the French family sounds like a sensible decision but the rewritten ending was rushed due to Brandos obesity - something Francis Ford Coppola was unaware of until Brando turned up on set. A blessing in disguise resulting in a more fitting ending? - for some maybe, but it just doesn't sit right with me. The rest of the film, as you say, is excellent.

Is this the final edit version? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Apocalypse-Now-Final-Cut-Blu-ray/dp/B07VB3WLKC/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=apocalypse+now&qid=1598021858&s=dvd&sr=1-3

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Hi Stevie, I am not entirely sure which version the above is but the final cut version would obviously be the shorter in length of the two. I also understand that there was an alternate ending shot where Martin Sheen's character, after murdering Kurtz and making his escape by boat actually turns the boat back around on the river. This would possibly imply that the character has seen the insanity of war and decided to pick up where Kurtz has left off, once again questioning who is 'right' and who is 'wrong'.

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I watched it also not having seen it for a while. The additional scenes shown not in the original cinematic release are imo a distraction. I have the redux dvd and tbh have only watched it once. It is an all time classic film though and the documentary of the making of is worth watching, it highlights the logistical problems, personality conflicts, Sheen' s heart attack etc.

A great soundtrack with some great acting, Sheen, Brando and Duval are great with Hopper, Forrest and a young Laurence Fishburne great support.

Coppola was criticised for the live slaughter of the cow.

The Clash wrote a song called Charlie don't surf

A film i would watch over and over in it's original format

 

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Watched it the first time it was on TV.

My mate lying in front of the box-when that effin Tigers head came through the bush he literally jumped backwards(still lying down).

Brilliant stuff.

 

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Was for many years my favourite film ,that was until I read that the slaughter of the water buffalo was reality Coppola learned that there was annual ritual taking place ,that involved the savage slaughter of the buffalo so he got permission to film it and added it in to the film , apparently was one of the very few films that didn’t have the words in the end credits … no animals where hurt during the making of this film ,  personally ill never watch it again !!

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“ War on drugs “ ..

Cant imagine what it must have been like for both sides during that war , but this film gives a little glimpse as did the Dear Hunter. 

The film I think , is a classic ... and Brando plays his part really well , even with the troubled script re-writes .. the filing issues .. his personal demands ... it’s a true epic in my opinion and still stands the test of time. 

 

 

 

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Along with Casualties  of war and full metal jacket my favourite war film all 3 explore the complex nature of war and its futility . 
What added to Apocalypse Now was the hype and the cast going literally half mad on the set.

Martin Sheen had a huge heart attack while filming Brando did not speak to any cast members the whole film and Dennis Hopper got busted on a drugs charge. 

The best scene of course Sheen coming out of the water I thought the extended version was shite and prefer the first cut . 
Will never forget the Doors this is the end to me suns the film up a journey into pure madness . 
If you have not read Hearts of darkness by Josepth Conrad make sure you do the film was loosely based on this great novel . 
 

A true masterpiece of cinema ! 

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Some of the greatest cinematographic output of all time in the hands of Vittorio Storaro and if if it features in Roger Ebert’s top ten films of all time that says everything.

I was in my early 20’s when it was released and having read “Hearts of Darkness” in my teens I must have read about the film being made and how it was based loosely on the book and the problems it encountered before it’s release because I can remember it being delayed. All those problems were featured in the documentary- Hearts of Darkness: A Filmaker’s Apocalypse and only then did you begin to understand the  significance of some of the scenes and the characterisation.

At the time Brando’s role seemed a perfect portrayal of the character Mr Kurtz from the book - a man who had gone insane and the issues about his weight and the filming of him in the shadows didn’t seem obvious at all at the time.

I’ve only ever seen the final edit version and would probably want to just stick with that. It was blatantly obvious to me at least that the slaughter of the buffalo was real and even though Coppola had previously witnessed a ritual killing of a water buffalo by a local tribe, it’s hard to give him any benefit of doubt as to the context he was looking for by its inclusion.

There are so many elements of the film to admire that can be revisited not least the soundtrack and the subtle use of the T S Eliot poem - The hollow men - prior to Kurtz death. 

The ultimate message of the film can be interpreted as both pro-war and anti-war though Coppola has stated that he believes the message is an anti-lie one - that the horrors of war and its brutality can somehow be morally justified and that culture can lie about what really happens to seek that justification.

A timeless classic and a ten from me.

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17 hours ago, Stompingsevens said:

Hi Stevie, I would suggest you watch the final edit version and not the directors cut as the whole section that involves 'the French family' is cut from the final edit version (the producers didn't like it either!). I have to say in my IMHO this film is a masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made. Ultimately it's a tale of the insanity and double standards of war, whilst hunting down Kurtz (The American soldier who has 'gone insane' and is waging his own war in the jungle we see our 'hero' shoot innocent people and the people around him getting killed too whilst causing general mayhem along the journey and also a whole village destroyed (and nepalm used) in order that a CO (brilliantly played by Robert Duvall) can watch 3 of his soldiers surf from a particular beach that has a great 'break' and is good for surfing! It is also worth remembering that this film was shot before the era of CGI and is a work of monumental dedication by all involved. I would also add that I think Brando was absolutely stunning in this movie and the fact he is hidden in the shadows just adds to his characters mystery and / or insanity (you decide!). I love this movie.

😀 "Charlie don.t surf" Priceless 👍

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Always interesting to hear other peoples thoughts - done a bit of research since first post on the different editions - what scenes included/excluded but it would appear that a lot of people find this confusing so no real definitive answer regarding plantation scene. I dug out my original DVD which I guess would now be called the Theatrical Cut and was blown away by the difference in picture quality between that and the version I saw on BBC Player. As such I've decided to buy the 2019 Final Cut Blu Ray for both the picture quality and the fact that it also includes the Hearts of Darkness documentary which I was previously unaware of. In fact the Blu Ray only costs a pound more than the HoD docu as a stand alone purchase.

Will invest a little more time in watching this in the hope that something clicks re the Brando scenes..

 

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Unbelievable film (cinematography is bananas).

Pay attention to COL Kurz's career path. He was a West Point graduate, received a masters degree from Harvard, and then applies to join the (newly formed) US Army Special Forces (he appears to be wearing 5th Special Forces Grp insignia). This was a "career killer" for him (and, in many ways, still is), as there are very few general officer billets for ARSOF in the US Army. This establishes him as a Quixotic free-thinker.

In the wake of the Vietnam War, the social-engineering (hearts and minds) stuff of the Vietnam era (and especially the work of the Special Forces) fell out of favor. The "big Army" (conventional branches) wanted to reorient back towards "World War II" type combined-arms warfare (in preparation for a potential battle with Soviet forces at the Fulda Gap). US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) was stood up to do this - culminating in the Air-Land Battle doctrine. The big takeaway of this effort was to reorient Army thinking away from anything/anyone like Kurz (free thinker, "big ideas", outside the box).

The movie focuses solely on the extreme "bad side" of such a commander (obviously)... but both extremes are dangerous IMHO (pure doctrine versus wild genius).

If you have a few hours to spare I suggest this nice monograph from the US Command and General Staff College on the establishment of TRADOC and reforming the "intellectual bases" of US Army officers after Vietnam. 

https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/combat-studies-institute/csi-books/herbert.pdf

If you want to see what a "real" COL Kurz looks like... see this article on the insanely controversial MAJ Jim Gant (Special Forces) from Afghanistan....

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/green-beret-compared-apocalypse-nows-3786381

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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