The Deer Hunter (1978)
November 5, 2015 9:45 AM - Subscribe

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale (in his final role), Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza. The story takes place in Clairton, a small working class town on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh and then in Vietnam, somewhere in the woodland and in Saigon, during the Vietnam War.


Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You scene (in blue?)

Stanley Myers's "Cavatina", performed by John Williams.

God Bless America coda
posted by growabrain (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
John Gazele's 5 feature films
posted by growabrain at 10:15 AM on November 5, 2015

Walken's performance in this is really extraordinary. It was ranked as the 88th (I think -- I can't look at the actual list because our work firewall won't let me) best film performance of all time, but I'd actually put it way higher than that, like in the top 20 or 30.
posted by holborne at 10:46 AM on November 5, 2015

I watched this movie with some anticipation based on how high it's lauded and came away somewhat disappointed and nonplussed. I always found Walken's character's journey kind of over the top, which meant the ending just didn't really work for me. A lot like Freedom Rider, the movie felt like a movie made in a certain time (and possibly, past it's time), that should have resonated a lot more than it did.
posted by Atreides at 1:18 PM on November 5, 2015

This movie... about 60 or 70% of it is among my favorite movies of all time, like top 5, and the other third of it makes me reluctant to show it to anyone. Par for the course with Cimino, I guess, because Heaven's Gate is the same way. The Vietnam part is underresearched, implausible (given the criticisms of vets at the time), and racist even by old war movie standards; it's an impressionistic, metaphorical (Russian roulette) take on the war, but we already have that in Apocalypse Now, and the racism here is too much for me to get into in a short comment on FanFare.

But, man, the Pennsylvania stuff. This movie feels lived-in. Once in a while when I want to feel like I've just gone to a wedding I take it out and watch those scenes.
posted by thetortoise at 6:55 PM on November 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

Clairton's still having a kind of rough time.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:44 AM on November 11, 2015

I just realized that this is actually my second post about this movie!
Which bring me to question, what is the difference between these 2 types of posts, and where shall we post links to outstanding films?
For example, last month I posted this about Tarsem's The Fall - Since then, I discovered this here Fanfare sub-set, so now I am going to share some of my favorite cinematic experiences here.
posted by growabrain at 12:14 PM on November 20, 2015

« Older Supernatural: Thin Lizzie...   |  Star Wars Rebels: Brothers of ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments