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American Film Institute included the film as #79 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies, #30 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills, and #53 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition).
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.
The Region 2 version of The Deer Hunter, released in the UK and Japan, features a commentary track from director Michael Cimino.
In between the nicely judged Pennsylvania sections of the film is a passage detailing the horrors of Vietnam, in which Michael, Nicky and Steven are beaten, held captive in rat-infested water and forced to participate against one another in rounds of Russian roulette. This is the most problematic sequence in the entire picture, and the one which attracted accusations of xenophobia. (Identical charges were leveled against Cimino after the release of his 1985 thriller Year of the Dragon.)
Heart-on-sleeve stuff that works despite some of its more egregious impulses.
Chakrabarti told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “I live in a nice big house and eat nice food, and my neighbours are homeless and go to food banks. Does that make me a hypocrite, or does it make me someone who is trying to do best, not just for my own family, but for other people’s families, too?”
Art is long, we Cimino champions go on hopefully asserting. Life and injustice are short.
The sound of the rhythmic whirring of approaching chopper blades in the green jungles of Vietnam intrudes and segues into the next major portion of the film.
Then Vietnam occupies the screen, suddenly, with a wall of noise, and the second movement of the film is about the experiences that three of the friends (Robert De Niro, John Savage and Christopher Walken) have there. At the film's center comes one of the most horrifying sequences ever created in fiction, as the three are taken prisoner and forced to play Russian roulette while their captors gamble on who will, or will not, blow out his brains.
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In trying to measure the devastating impact of Vietnam on the lives of three American soldiers, Cimino brings home the true horror of that senseless conflict in a way that the 6 O'Clock News never could.
The Deer Hunter has twice been released on DVD in America. The first 1998 issue was by Universal, with no extra features and a non-anamorphic transfer, and has since been discontinued. A second version, part of the "Legacy Series", was released as a two-disc set on September 6, 2005, with an anamorphic transfer of the film. The set features a cinematographer's commentary by Vilmos Zsigmond, deleted and extended scenes, and production notes.
Because Deeley was busy overseeing in the production of Sam Peckinpah's Convoy (1978), he hired John Peverall to oversee Cimino's shoot. Peverall's expertise with budgeting and scheduling made him a natural successor to Relyea, and Peverall knew enough about the picture to be elevated to producer status. "John is a straightforward Cornishman who had worked his way up to become a production supervisor," wrote Deeley, "and we employed him as EMI's watchman on certain pictures."
A look at this year's competition for Best Actress.
The daughter of Bengali immigrants, Chakrabarti was born and brought up in the outer-London borough of Harrow, where she attended a comprehensive school before studying law at the London School of Economics. Her background was a great strength of her campaigning, and during the most authoritarian years of New Labour government she burnished her reputation.
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Michael Cimino, and Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Walken, and was named by the American Film Institute as the 53rd greatest American film of all time in the 10th Anniversary Edition of the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.
Those are sun dogs...It means a blessing on the hunter sent by the Great Wolf to his children...It's an old Indian thing.
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Nick acts as a mediator, bringing peace between the two quarrelsome antagonists by offering Michael's extra pair of boots to Stan.
"The Deer Hunter" is said to be about many subjects: About male bonding, about mindless patriotism, about the dehumanizing effects of war, about Nixon's "silent majority." It is about any of those things that you choose, if you choose, but more than anything else, it is a heartbreakingly effective fictional machine that evokes the agony of the Vietnam time.
Cimino's bold, powerful 'Nam epic goes from blue-collar macho rituals to a fiery, South East Asian hell and back to a ragged singalong of America the Beautiful[sic]. De Niro holds it together, but Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep and John Savage are unforgettable.
In the parking lot, Michael looks up at a halo around the sun and reverentially explains its auspicious significance as a good omen for the day - and for a hunting trip:
The De Niro character is the one who somehow finds the strength to keep going and to keep Savage and Walken going. He survives the prison camp and helps the others. Then, finally home from Vietnam, he is surrounded by a silence we can never quite penetrate. He is touched vaguely by desire for the girl that more than one of them left behind, but does not act decisively. He is a "hero," greeted shyly, awkwardly by the hometown people.
This article first appeared in the 20 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Brothers in blood
Is it as good as its advance word and nine Academy Award nominations suggest? Yes.
In the opulent Russian Orthodox Church, the groom's old-fashioned, first-generation immigrant Russian mother (Shirley Stoler) expresses exasperation, despair and upset to the consoling priest about losing her son - in two ways:
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Then, on 4 August, it was revealed that Chakrabarti was the sole Labour appointment to the House of Lords in David Cameron’s resignation honours. Both Chakrabarti and Corbyn have denied that the peerage was discussed during the anti-Semitism inquiry. But critics suggested that her acceptance undermined the report and its independence.
The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
I still do not believe this. My own boy with a strange girl and not so thin, if you understand my meaning...The next thing you know, he goes to Vietnam...I do not understand, Father. I understand nothing anymore, nothing...Can you explain? Can anyone explain?
The soundtrack to The Deer Hunter was released on audio CD on October 25, 1990.
The much-lauded, powerful and haunting 'buddy' war film, from a screenplay by Deric Washburn, was released in the same year as three other Vietnam War films:
If, as Dante maintained, hell is composed of seven levels, we have just slipped down several stages at once.
The Deer Hunter is a rich and powerful picture that without a trace of patronisation or the slightest touch of cultural superiority, speaks eloquently for the inarticulate.
And, famously, there is the sudden jolt into Vietnam. The hunting buddies, exhausted and exhilarated from a successful trip, come to rest around a piano played by George Dzunda's loveable bar owner; dimly, the rhythm of what sound like rotor blades underscore the pretty melody. Without warning we are in another world, helicopters rain napalm down on a green forest.
The back-slapping, affectionate, uncomplicated friends meet up with a sixth friend - bar owner John (George Dzundza), and then drink lots of beer at his place, and boisterously kid with each other. Nick bets on pool shots and makes an additional $100 bet - for his favored Pittsburgh Steelers team (playing the Eagles) while they're watching a pro football game on television.
Fast-forward to 13 September 2016, when Chakrabarti made her House of Lords debut as a Labour peer. Baroness Chakrabarti of Kennington wore a sombre expression and a rope of pearls looped round her throat beneath her ermine robe. It was hard to recognise the civil liberties campaigner who was once called “an anarchist in a barrister’s wig” by Loaded magazine.
Cimino still gave his cast room for manoeuvre, especially John Cazale, whose character, Stan, became “an outgrowth of who and what John is as a person,” in Cimino’s words. During shooting, Cimino said: “John has a marvelous effect on the other actors. He’s given Stan a mystery that wasn’t there before.”