The Deer Hunter

Deer Hunter
Drama
, War

1978

Director: Michael Cimino Cast: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, George Dzundzu, Chuck Aspegren, Rutanya Alda, Pierre Segui

Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Christopher Walken); Best Director (Michael Cimino); Best Sound; Best Film Editing

Also Nominated For: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert De Niro); Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Meryl Streep); Best Original Screenplay (Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker); Best Cinematography

I First Saw In: c. 2009

Synopsis: An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Did You Know? The scene where John Savage’s character, Steven, gets thrown into the pit, he yells, “Michael, there’s rats in here, Michael.” Savage has a fear of rats, and he was actually yelling at director Michael Cimino. Because of his authentic reaction, they kept it in the final production.

Quotables: MICHAEL: You wanna play games? All right, I’ll play your fucking games.

And now a Word from the Guise:
The Deer Hunter is one of the most honest depictions of life before, during, and after war. At the beginning, our heroes are carefree young man, jocular and frivolous. They see the war through rose-coloured glasses, imagining glory and honour. But their time in Vietnam exposes them to what war is really like. Some of them return, but some of them don’t. Those that do, can’t bear to be around each other anymore, because seeing each other is a painful reminder of what they lost. But they can’t be around their friends and family at home, because none of them has been to war. So they don’t understand what they’ve been through, and they’re still the same people they were when they, our heroes, left home.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233