Apocalypse Now (1979)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Screenwriters: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Herr
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, Albert Hall, Harrison Ford
Most war movies aim to immerse viewers in the violence and brutality of combat; Francis Ford Coppola's hypnotic and devastating Apocalypse Now, on the other hand, eschews traditional ideals about the realistic objectivity of the war picture.
Staged with the hallucinogenic power of an acid trip, the iconic filmmaker's adaptation of Joseph Conrad's classic story Heart Of Darkness wraps its camouflage-paint-covered paws around your brain and drops visual grenades—ritualistic animal slaughter, a young fighter's death as a tape-recorded greeting from his mother plays, nighttime bombings that light up the sky like fireworks.
Its reputation as one of the most haunting and punishing examinations of man's dark side ever put to film is wholly earned. —MB