One of several 1978 films dealing with the Vietnam War (including Hal Ashby's Oscar-winning Coming Home), Michael Cimino's epic second feature The Deer Hunter was both renowned for its tough portrayal of the war's effect on American working class steel workers and notorious for its ahistorical use of Russian roulette in the Vietnam sequences. Structured in five sections contrasting home and war, the film opens in Clairton, PA, as Mike (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), and Stan (John Cazale, in his last film) celebrate the wedding of their friend Steve (John Savage) and go on a final deer hunt before the men leave for Vietnam. Mike treats hunting as a test of skill, lecturing Stan about the value of "one shot" deer slaying and brushing off Nick's urgings to appreciate nature's beauty. As Mike ruminates post-hunt, the film cuts to the horror of Vietnam, where the men are captured by Vietcong soldiers who force Mike and Nick to play Russian roulette for the V.C.'s amusement. Mike turns the game to his advantage so they can escape captivity, but the men are permanently scarred by the episode. Steve loses his legs; Nick vanishes in the Saigon Russian roulette parlors. Mike returns alone to Clairton a changed man, as he rejects the killing of the deer hunt and finds solace with Nick's old girlfriend Linda (Meryl Streep). Disgusted by the antics of his male cohorts at home, Mike decides to bring Steve back from a veterans' hospital, and he returns to Saigon to find Nick. As Saigon falls, Mike discovers how far gone Nick is; the survivors gather in Clairton for a funeral breakfast, singing an impromptu rendition of "God Bless America."~Lucia Bozzola
Feature Commentary with Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and film journalist Bob Fisher
Robert De NiroMichael
Shirley StolerSteven's Mother
Mady KaplanAxel's Girl
Joseph StrandBingo Caller
Mary Ann HaenelStan's Girl
Richard KussLinda's Father
Michael WolletStock Boy
Deric WashburnScreen Story
Louis GarfinkleScreen Story
Michael CiminoScreen Story
Quinn K. RedekerScreen Story
Stanley MyersComposer (Music Score)
Ron HobbsArt Director
Joann CarelliAssociate Producer
Marion RosenbergAssociate Producer
Alan HicksSet Designer
Eric SeeligCostume Designer
Fred CramerSpecial Effects
Charles OkunFirst Assistant Director
Fred SchulerCamera Operator
Nick McLeanCamera Operator
Anti-War Film,Ensemble Film,Reunion Films,War Drama,POW Drama
The Deer Hunter in Blu-Ray format is a fantastic upgrade!
A very sad depiction of effects of drugs on our GIs in Vietnam War, based in a blue collar town near Pittsburgh PA where I grew up! This show hit real close to home in my life experience!
These war vets were shown as heroes in a war that most Americans turned against over time! Painfully realistic show!
Awesome Action, Adventure, Drama Film! The Deer Hunter was both renowned for its tough portrayal of the war's effect on American working class steel workers and notorious for its historical use of Russian roulette in the Vietnam sequences. Structured in five sections contrasting home and war, the film opens in Clairton, PA, as Mike (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), and Stan (John Cazale, in his last film) celebrate the wedding of their friend Steve (John Savage) and go on a final deer hunt before going off to Vietnam.
Are you depressed? If so stay far away from this one until you're feeling better as it is so bleak it'll make you question your life. Brilliant acting all around here including a haunting performance from Christopher Walken that you'll never be able to un see. Slow paced but truly worthy of your time.
To this day I had no idea what went on in Vietnam during the war. This movie opened my eyes a little bit as it really didn’t have a few combat scenes but still a great movies about friends and what war does to the human mind.
One of my favorites from the 70's with a remarkable cast. If you haven't seen this movie, it's a must. If you have seen it, it's worth going back and seeing it again. One of the most moving films I've ever seen.