Co-starring John Cazale
Released: Nine months after death
At the time of John Cazale's death he had only been a supporting actor in five films—all of which went on to become Best Picture nominees, if not winners (The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather: Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter). Even though he personally received only one nomination, for a Golden Globe, the man was clearly an immense talent who brought the best out of his generation's finest actors.
The Robert De Niro classic The Deer Hunter, which Cazale completed alongside his real-life love, Meryl Streep, before succumbing to lung cancer, is no exception. The film offers a stunningly realistic, unflinching look into the lives and psyches of war veterans and though Cazale never saw the film, his golden touch persevered, blessing Christopher Walken with his first Academy Award.