Saigon. Shit. Few movies could pull off..." /> Apocalypse Now: Redux (1979/2001) - War Movie Blog


1970s Apocalypse Now: Redux (1979/2001)

Published on January 31st, 2007 | by Chris

2

Apocalypse Now: Redux (1979/2001)

War Movie by:
Francis Ford Coppola

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On January 31, 2007
Last modified:October 4, 2012

Summary:

A lot of times the "director's cut" of a film rings truer to the original "vision" of a film. If that's the case here, then its probably for the best that these scenes were dropped.

Saigon.

Shit.

Few movies could pull off opening with those two words. Apocalypse Now *is* that movie. Period.

Apocalypse Now:Redux is a "director's cut" of sorts which puts back several scenes / episodes into the film that were dropped from its initial 1979 release. Additionally it puts back the original ending.

A.N. is the story of one already-unstable Captain Willard (played by Martin Sheen) and his top-secret mission to "terminate the command" of one Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has gone stark raving mad and disappeared into the jungles of Cambodia.

Of course most of the film isn't so much about that, as it is about getting there, and how Willard prepares himself (and events prepare *him*) to meet this madman.

Along the way we're exposed to a lot of general madness. A gung-ho surfer-dude Colonel in search of the perfect break, tigers in the bush, Playboy bunnies, the battle for a bridge that has gone completely out of control, what should be a routine riverboat insepction, native spear and arrow attacks...

... and in this release a couple of other deviations, namely the re-appearance of the aforementioned bunnies at a more-or-less abandoned "wild west" station, and the discovery of a group of French colonials defending their "plantation" in the midst of the war, complete with proper table settings.

I'm not sure putting these scenes back in was a good idea. A lot of times the "director's cut" of a film rings truer to the original "vision" of a film. If that's the case here, then its probably for the best that these scenes were dropped. While the original "episodes" served to illustrate the madness of war, and prepare Willard somewhat for his final encounter, these two additions just don't make much sense at all. The re-visited bunnies scene just comes across as twisted and morbid, and the French colonials just a boring sidestep. I can somewhat understand the reasoning behind that bit being filmed, but the first? It's just too "out there", even for this movie.

Of course eventually he and the remaining personnel on board "PBR Streetgang" finally meet up with Kurtz, and the journey towards madness is complete. For both Kurtz and Willard. The insanity of Kurtz is played brilliantly by Brando here. And if nothing else, Dennis Hopper's short performance as the just-plain-weird photographer under Kurtz's spell is nothing short of genius.

I'm not going to spoil the ending, but the superimposition of the native's sacrifice with Willard's execution of his duties gets the message across. Loud and clear.

The "fixing" of the final scenes in this version also tells us what happened to Willard. The original it wasn't quite clear if he made it out before... well, I guess you'll have to see both to find out.


Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier (Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now Redux) Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier (Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now Redux)
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Description

I love the smell of a collector's edition in the morning. Everyone's favorite Joseph Conrad adaptation gets the fancy packaging and extras treatment with this release of Apocalypse Now - The Complete Dossier...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: BRANDO,MARLON
Manufacturer: Paramount
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Martin Sheen
  • Marlon Brando
  • Robert Duvall
  • Frederic Forrest
  • Laurence Fishburne

Reviews

Customer reviews
Average Customer Review

138 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a Vietnam Vet. 1st Marine Division 65-66 ..., January 8, 2017
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I am a Vietnam Vet. 1st Marine Division 65-66. I had to watch this film because I was watching another war film and it seemed so out of touch. I still see a VA shrink even today. Nam left a big impression on me. This film let me feel the intensity of the dark side of it which actually was very comforting in a sense. I have been told by different therapists to bring it all to the surface so I could deal with it but it is buried so deep that no one should have to hear about the dead and dying, besides they would not understand. I am actually wring this for me and if you care to disbelieve, then so be it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “Apocalypse Now” is an Epic Vietnam War Film, featuring a Gripping and Emotional Story Line, and Outstanding Acting Performances, June 19, 2017
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“Apocalypse Now” is an epic 1979 film by Francis Ford Coppola, which is considered to be the quintessential Vietnam War movie, and one of the greatest films of all time. Its story line is essentially an adaptation of the Joseph Conrad novella “Heart of Darkness,” and it depicts the mission of a United States Army Special Forces Captain to locate and terminate a renegade Special Forces Colonel, who has established his own breakaway colony, deep in the jungle. This Special Forces Captain embarks on a perilous and increasingly hallucinatory journey upriver, to track down the unstable Colonel, and prevent further insurrection. The acting performances are absolutely outstanding, and the stellar cast includes such luminaries as Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Scott Glenn, G.D. Spradlin, a young Harrison Ford, and an even younger Laurence Fishburne, to name a few. “Apocalypse Now” delivers a decidedly haunting and... Read more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic and surreal, May 11, 2013
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This review is from: Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier (Apocalypse Now / Apocalypse Now Redux) (DVD)
I saw this movie for the first time over 30 years after it was released. Films about war tend to age well and this movie feels like it could have been released this year.

Unfortunately, I saw the Redux version first because I thought the director's cut after all this time would be better. I thought Coppola could reflect on the film and release an improved version with the extra footage. This was not the case. While I really liked Redux, I absolutely loved the original version. I think it's a shame that Redux destroyed the pacing of the original.

I don't think Redux is worth your time. Some people will say you should watch both or treat them as independent movies. I found that the parts that I liked in Redux were from the original version and the parts that I didn't like were only in Redux. Why bother? I suggest spending 2 hours watching a different movie. If you haven't seen Coppola's The Conversation or of course The Godfather series, I suggest... Read more
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Apocalypse Now: Redux (1979/2001) Chris

Summary: A lot of times the "director's cut" of a film rings truer to the original "vision" of a film. If that's the case here, then its probably for the best that these scenes were dropped.

4.0


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



2 Responses to Apocalypse Now: Redux (1979/2001)

  1. Rescue Dawn is a based on the true story of Navy pilot Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a Navy pilot who gets shot down over Laos during the early part of the Vietnam War on his first combat mission.  He’s taken prisoner, and eventually escapes.&nbsp

  2. As is usually the case for a Memorial Day Weekend, several cable/satellite networks will be chock full of classic war movies this coming weekend. Namely Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel, and AMC. I’m sure there are many more but these are “The B

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