Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam epic, loosely based on HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad, tells the story of Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a special agent sent into Cambodia to assassinate an errant American colonel (Marlon Brando). Willard is assigned a navy patrol boat operated by Chief (Albert Hall) and three hapless soldiers (Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, and Larry Fishburne). They are escorted on part of their journey by an air cavalry unit led by Lt. Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), a gung-ho commander with a love of Wagner, surfing, and napalm. After witnessing a surreal USO show featuring Playboy playmates and an anarchic battle with the Viet Cong at a bridge, Willard reaches Colonel Kurtz's compound. A crazed photo journalist and Kurtz groupie (Dennis Hopper) welcomes the crew, and Willard begins to question his orders to "terminate the colonel's command." The grueling production and Coppola's insistence on authenticity led to vast budget overruns and physical and emotional breakdowns. Considered to be one of the best war movies of all time, APOCALYPSE NOW features incredible performances and beautifully chaotic visuals that make it an absolute must-see.
In August 2001, a new version of the film, title APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX, was released. The new version includes 49 minutes of never-before-seen footage, a Technicolor enhancement, and a six-channel soundtrack.
Cannes Palme d'Or 1979
Academy Awards Best Cinematography 1979 Vittorio Storaro