HPPUB MOVIE REVIEW of Apocalyse Now: Redux


Title: Apocalypse Now: Redux

Release Date:  2001 (orig. 1979)

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: about 185 Minutes

MPAA Rating:  R

Distributor and Production Company: (Disney/Buena Vista) Miramax

Director; Writer: Francis Ford Coppola


Cast: Martin Sheen; Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Lawrence (Larry) Fishburne, Dennis Hopper, G. D. Spradlin, Harrison Ford, Scott Glenn, Tom Mason, Colleen Camp, 

Technical: Technovision, sound remastered as digital

Relevance to HPPUB site: Vietnam war

Review: Let me put in a hearty recommendation for the reworked Apocalypse Now Redux, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 masterpiece (Wagner and all) re-released by Miramax with about 50 minutes of new footage (about 20 minutes of the old footage trimmed down and removed) for about a 185 minute film. But it keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story, based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness,  turns into a horror thriller as the patrol boat , with the Army intelligence agent played by Martin Sheen, move off the edge of the world (Vietnam’s Mekong Delta)  into the abyss (Cambodia), a Jonestown led by renegade Col. Kurtz played by a chilling Marlon Brando. His last words are “the horror.”  The reissue adds a lot of politics, particularly the mealtime scenes (two of them) with the dichotomy between playing warrior and expressing one’s own ego, by serving the absent politicians. I recall the line, “terminate – with extreme prejudice.”


The music score is famous, with effective use of Wagner in the famous helicopter attack scene.


I had an impromptu chat with a precocious high school senior about the Vietnam era and the draft (and the ‘cannon fodder  and deferment issue, as well as the domino theory) in the theater auditorium just before the show started. This was three weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks.   


There is a lot more to say about Vietnam in the movies. Recall Oliver Stone’s Platoon   (1987) with that horrifying scene where a platoon leader notices that his arm has been shot off above the elbow. Or The Killing Fields (1984). About Pol Pot’s Cambodia. Not in this class was The Green Berets (1968).    


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Email me at Jboushka@aol.com