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The Deer Hunter

The Deer HunterStill of Meryl Streep in The Deer HunterStill of Robert De Niro in The Deer HunterStill of Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken in The Deer HunterStill of Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep in The Deer HunterStill of Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter


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

Michael Cimino

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


John Cazale


John Savage


Christopher Walken


Meryl Streep


George Dzundza


Chuck Aspegren


Shirley Stoler

Steven's Mother

Rutanya Alda


Pierre Segui


Mady Kaplan

Axel's Girl

Amy Wright


Mary Ann Haenel

Stan's Girl

Richard Kuss

Linda's Father

Joe Grifasi


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

Budget: $15,000,000


Gross: $50,000,000
(31 December 1982)

Technical Specs


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.


[first lines]

Hey, watch out, Axel. We'll be calling him old fireballs after tonight.

Fuckin' A.

Not bad.

User Review

It's about character development

Rating: 10/10

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.