Monday, November 11, 2013

Now on Amazon Prime: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Apocalypse Now (1979) – Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; Written by Francis Ford Coppola and John Milius; Cinematography by Vittorio Storraro; Starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, Scott Glenn, Albert Hall, Harrison Ford, G.D. Spradlin, Coleen Camp, Tom Mason and R. Lee Emery.

By Kenny Howell

Using Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness as inspiration, Francis Ford Coppola made his fourth masterpiece of the decade (after The Conversation and the two Godfather films).

This one is a journey into the heart of darkness as a burnout off an officer played by Martin Sheen is sent up river into Vietnam to track down and kill Col. Kurtz. Kurtz, portrayed by Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront), has gone crazy and taken over as leader of a group of natives.

The film doesn’t go many places but straight down. As the crew heads up river, the tone gets darker, and you know the film is headed toward a grisly ending for everyone involved.

Coppola is at the top of his game with stunning battle scenes, terrific use of music, and he gets great performances out of all the actors. Robert Duvall (Network) is memorable in a short part, one which spawned one of the most memorable lines in film history. Sheen, who had a heart attack during filming, portrays a man broken down by the horrors of war, then reborn into those same horrors perfectly. And Brando does what Brando does as the insane Kurtz. One of the greatest war films of all time. 

Apocalpyse Now is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: ****

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