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Apocalypse Now
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Apocalypse Now

Warning: Plot details follow.

Apocalypse Now is a film by Francis Ford Coppola, based loosely on Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness but set in the Vietnam War, in which a taciturn American soldier is sent to kill (or rather "terminate with extreme prejudice") a rogue US special forces colonel.

The colonel, once considered a model officer and future general, has gone insane from the horror and the pointlessness of the war. In his personal compound deep in the Cambodian jungle, he has turned to cannibalism and murder and is worshipped by the natives.

The film features performances by Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Marlow, in the novel), Marlon Brando as Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, and Dennis Hopper as a possibly insane photojournalist (the harlequin).

The film deviates extensively from the book, for example in that Captain Willard is not sent to investigate, but to kill, and that Colonel Kurtz does not die a natural, though mysterious, death; also Marlow is sent to Cambodia, not the land of the Congo River.

Filmed in the Philippines, the film went extremely over budget and over schedule, partly due to a typhoon, but also due to the excesses of Coppola and others. The film was originally six hours long and had to be severely edited, with the result that some of the symbolism was lost in the original theatrical release. Coppola re-released the film in 2001 under the title Apocalypse Now Redux, featuring over an hour of restored footage. For background information on the film, see Eleanor Coppola's documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, released in 1991.

Several other actors who were, or became, prominent stars, were in the movie, including Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford, and Laurence Fishburne.

Apocalypse Now won the 1979 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm, the highest prize) at the Cannes Film Festival. It was the first and remains the only film to win this prize before the film was actually completed.

It also won two Academy Awards in 1980:

Other nominations were: In 2000 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Table of contents
1 Cast
2 Characteristic lines
3 External links


Characteristic lines


Col. Kilgore


Minor characters

External links