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.


8.1/10
305,092

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


31 January 2010 | abelardo64
10
| A War Like All Wars A Film Like No Other
"The Deer Hunter" is 32 years old. How extraordinary to sit through it now. Walking over the politics that divided , somehow, all of its admirers then. "Great film but..." How silly to think of it now. Michael (a sensational young Robert De Niro) is as extreme a character as Rocco was in "Rocco And His Brothers" His goodness, the one that was always there but that he discovers under the most horrendous circumstances, underlined by Stanley Mayers's "Cavatina" permeates the entire film. I remember thinking, when I saw the film for the first time, that I couldn't or wouldn't spend ten minutes with Michael and his friends, the ones we meet at the beginning of the film but by the end I thought of them as brothers and I loved them. I actually loved them. That in itself is a sort of film miracle. John Savage will break your heart, it certainly broke mine and Christopher Walken is absolutely riveting. How strange to tho think that Michael Cimino, still a young man, is nowhere to be seen. Is still a punishment for "Heaven's Gate" and "Indecent Exposure" or there is something else we don't know about. The Cimino behind "The Deer Hunter" is a true master.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is one of the earliest examples of successful 'Oscar baiting' in order to maximize box office performance. When the first test screening turned out disastrous, the studio was unsure how to market a movie with such grim and depressing subject matter. As a consultant, they hired veteran producer Allan Carr, who realized that the movie would only attract an audience if it received recognition from the Academy. He gave it a very limited release in two theaters near the end of the year, for an audience of critics and Academy members, and for the period that would qualify the film for Oscar eligibility. The film was then pulled from distribution, except for a few screenings on a cable network that catered to cinephiles. When The Deer Hunter received critical acclaim as well as nine Oscar nominations, it was given a wide release and a promotional campaign that underscored the artistic success, leading to a substantial box office success. Releasing high-profile films near the end of the year to increase their Oscar chances as well as their subsequent box office potential has become standard practice since.


Quotes

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


Goofs

The hairstyles the men wear in the first scenes in the film, which are set in 1967, are anachronistic for their location, occupation, and socio-political orientation. While male hippies and rock musicians famously had long hair in 1967, it was unheard-of for patriotic steelworkers in Pennsylvania to wear their hair that long. Hair for that set of people is perfect for 1975, when the last scenes are set, or 1977-78, when the movie was filmed, but not for 1967.


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.


Soundtracks

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

Details

Release Date:

23 February 1979

Language

English, Russian, Vietnamese, French, Cantonese


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Mingo Junction, Ohio, USA

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$48,979,328

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,074,243

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