The Deer Hunter (1978)
You have to think about one shot. One shot is what it’s all about. The deer has to be taken with one shot. I try to tell people that - they don’t listen.
– Michael Vronsky
Damn, what a movie. All of the acting performances were amazing and the whole thing just felt so natural and emotionally real. The movie spends such a long time on a wedding at the start but it never feels boring because you are getting so invested in the characters, and then you are just plunged into the violence of the war and the movie doesn’t let go from there. Cinematography was outstanding as well. Gave me a lot of similar vibes of dread like Apocalypse Now does, showing the insanity and brutality of the Vietnam War.
Definitely recommend, especially if you like war movies, DeNiro, and Walken. Meryl Streep was great too, as was John Cazale, who is a great actor who died quite young of lung cancer:
Cazale appeared in five films over seven years, all of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), The Godfather Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and The Deer Hunter (1978), with the two Godfather films and The Deer Hunter winning.
This was his last movie:
All scenes involving Cazale, who had terminal cancer, were filmed first. Because of his illness, the studio initially wanted to fire him, but Streep, with whom he was in a relationship, and Cimino threatened to walk away if they did. He was also uninsurable, and according to Streep, De Niro paid for his insurance because he wanted Cazale in the film. This was Cazale’s last film, as he died shortly after filming wrapped. Cazale never saw the finished film.
The cinematography for this was fantastic as well, so many great shots, of the factory in town, the mountains, the war, everything. Brilliant, go watch it now.