The Deer Hunter (1978)

R   |    |  Drama, War

The Deer Hunter (1978) Poster

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

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  • Robert De Niro and Michael Cimino in The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Robert De Niro and John Savage in The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Meryl Streep in The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Robert De Niro and Wynn Hammer in The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter (1978)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

25 May 2004 | Wolfman613
Real look at Life for some...
The Deer Hunter is a masterpiece of life among a community before and after three friends get drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. The tragic events that take place in the jungles and the adjustment back into the drinking and hunting life of steel workers in Pittsburgh shook my life forever. Bobby, Chris, and John all give fine performances with an outstanding supporting cast comprised of George Dzunda(Crimson Tide, The Limbic Region) Meryl Streep(Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa) and of course the late John Cazale(The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon). The scenes are lavishly created to pull us into the magic and to strike horror into our dreams. The themes of a powerful movie such as this applies across all generations even to now with all that is happening with our soldiers in the Middle East. If you only have "one shot" to see an outstanding movie that will make your heart sing and make your soul weep, make it this movie.

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Did You Know?


Michael Cimino worked for six weeks with Deric Washburn on the script. Cimino and Washburn had previously collaborated with Steven Bochco on the screenplay for Silent Running (1972). According to Producer Barry Spikings, Cimino said he wanted to work again with Washburn. According to Michael Deeley, he only heard from office rumor that Washburn was contracted by Cimino to work on the script. "Whether Cimino hired Washburn as his sub-contractor, or as a co-writer, was constantly being obfuscated", wrote Deeley, "and there were some harsh words between them later on, or so I was told."


Michael: Hey, watch out, Axel. We'll be calling him old fireballs after tonight.
Axel: Fuckin' A.
Michael: Not bad.


When Michael goes back to Vietnam to find Nick, it is obviously in April 1975 as the fall of Saigon is depicted. At Nick's funeral, Angela's son is no more than 2 years old, yet Angela had yet to give birth when Mike, Nick and Steven left for Vietnam. That would mean they went to Vietnam in 1973...however, all American troops were withdrawn from Vietnam by March, 1973 let alone engaging in combat missions and being as prevalent as shown in the film.

Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of our Thai crew in the production of "The Deer Hunter"

Alternate Versions

The Region 2 Spain DVD is cut for violence.


Memory Eternal (Vechnaya Pamyat)
Traditional Russian song
Adapted and Arranged by
Ken Kovach
Sung after the funeral

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