An in-depth examination of the way that the Vietnam war affects the lives of people in a small industrial town in the USA.
Release Year: 1978
Rating: 8.2/10 (118,480 voted)
Critic's Score: 73/100
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Michael, Steven and Nick are young factory workers from Pennsylvania who enlist into the Army to fight in Vietnam. Before they go, Steven marries the pregnant Angela and their wedding-party is also the men's farewell party. After some time and many horrors the three friends fall in the hands of the Vietcong and are brought to a prison camp in which they are forced to play Russian roulette against each other. Michael makes it possible for them to escape, but they soon get separated again.
Writers: Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn
Robert De Niro
Mary Ann Haenel
One of the most important and powerful films of all time!
Release Date: 23 February 1979
Filming Locations: 993 N. 7th Street, Steubenville, Ohio, USA
Box Office Details
(31 December 1982)
Did You Know?
In the USA, theatrical posters contained the following warning at the bottom: "Warning: Due to the mature nature of this film, under 17 requires accompanying Parent or Adult guardian. (There will be strict adherence to this policy)"
In the scene at the VFW hall where they are playing bingo, the guy calling out the numbers on the winning card calls B-15, but when the board comes into view showing the numbers that had been called, B-15 is not lit up.
Hey, watch out, Axel. We'll be calling him old fireballs after tonight.
It's about character development
A comment re the other comments: A lot of the comments criticize the
first half hour as being too long. In my opinion, these comments miss
the point of the movie.
Of course many of the scenes in the first hour don't advance the
narrative. They're not supposed to; they're for character development.
The whole point of the movie is to show us how the various characters
were affected by the war. It wouldn't have worked nearly as powerfully
as it does had the first hour been trimmed down. We have to sense the
careless and frat-boy-like immaturity of these young men. That's why
the scenes all revolve around frivolity and seemingly senseless boyish
behavior; it creates such a stark contrast to the devastated characters
of the three who went to war (and the relatively unaffected
personalities of those who stayed behind, like Stanley).
The strong points of the film are the outstanding performances of
nearly every actor in the movie. Yes, there are technical deficiencies
in the sound, but it hardly matters. This is nitpicking compared to the
overall construction of the film.