The Deer Hunter

1978

Action / Drama / History / War

131
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86% · 132 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91% · 100K ratings
IMDb Rating 8.1/10 10 365005 365K

Director

Top cast

Robert De Niro as Michael
Meryl Streep as Linda
John Cazale as Stan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 2160p.BLU.x265
690.97 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
3 hr 3 min
Seeds 42
2.92 GB
1904*816
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
3 hr 3 min
Seeds 91
8.21 GB
3840*1636
English 5.1
NR
24 fps
3 hr 3 min
Seeds 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Danherb 9 / 10

Touching drama about the ruin of a group of men's friendship by war

"The Deer Hunter" is not a film about the Vietnam war, as it is wrongly said in many cases.

"The Deer Hunter" is a film tells the story of 3 friends within about 5-6 years, during which their friendship is repeatedly put to the test.

It is primarily a picture of the contemporary life of a group of people around 30 living in a small American town during the Vietnam war.

The first hour of the film portrays the every day life of three friends Mike (De Niro), Steven (Savage) and Nick (Walken), who look forward to Steve's wedding but at the same time have to prepare for their commitment in Vietnam. The main actors (above all De Niro and Walken) perfectly picture the character's inner conflict between their easygoing home town life and the forthcoming assignment in Vietnam. Despite this conflict the characters don't show their concerns to their environment.

Particularly Nick is worried about him and his friends leaving his home town and perhaps never coming back, but he only tells his best friend Mike of his thoughts, who is much more resolute and sees their engagement as a strong masculine act.

Cimino manages to show the simple irrationality of young men, going to a senseless war from which they might never return for the only purpose of glory and approval, and abandoning their settled and happy life for it. The spectator just can't understand why those young men voluntarily sign for the army and give up everything they have. The passage from the small-town-idyll to the war cruelty is greatly pictured. Cimino does not show the three friends' way to Vietnam or the training, he immediately switches from a happy get-together to the cruel war captivity of the Vietcong. This passage perfectly underlines the contrast and the inexplicability of the three men's actions.

Although the passage that is set in Vietnam is only about one third of the whole film long, the war is omnipresent at any time, which is probably the best benefit of the whole film, Cimino does not need to bomb the spectator with pictures of crying children, mutilated soldiers or desert battlefields in order to illustrate the cruelty of war. Far from it! The changed behavior of all characters after the friends' returns tell more about wars' capability of changing someone's life, than anything else.

And the fact that the many dreams that these three friends had before they went to Vietnam didn't come true, because of their longing for recognition by becoming an acclaimed veteran can even pluck your heartstrings.

Cimino's great directing and the cast's awesome acting provide for a touching and honest drama about the friendship of a group of young men, that is destroyed by the Vietnam war.

Reviewed by gab-14712 9 / 10

Hard to Watch At Times!

1978's The Deer Hunter is one of the more polarizing movies to come out during the 1970's. It was the first movie with the deeply controversial subject of the Vietnam War to both become a critical and commercial success. However, there were several people who expressed dissent ranging from its portrayal of the Vietnam War to the controversial involvement of Russian roulette to the singing of "God Bless America." I remember not being too impressed with the film the first time I viewed it. I felt it was too long and violent. Years later, I am singing a different tune. It's a difficult film to sit through because of its violence and the effects of PTSD (post-trauma syndrome). But it is a highly engaging and effective film and I regard it as one of the more influential American movies of the 1970's. Not the best, but the most influential because there will be more successful films tackling the Vietnam War on the horizon.

You can call this movie a symphony of some sort. I sort this film into three major segments. The first segment is the longest because of its lengthy and effective characterization. We meet three Pennsylvania factory workers: Michael (Robert De Niro), Steven (John Savage), and Nick (Christopher Walken). They enlisted in the army to serve in Vietnam. Steven decides to marry before going off to war and this wedding also serves as the farewell party. This section is eerily reminiscent of the opening act of The Godfather. There is lots of partying and dancing. And we essentially get to know these characters. These men are hard workers who get drunk at the party because they deserve a night for themselves. After the party, the trio of friends along with another friend Stan (John Cazale) go into the mountains to hunt for deer for one last trip. Hence the title of the movie. I found this section to be incredibly effective in character-building. Director Michael Cimino took his time with his part because it was important to understand these men before they go into the horrors of war.

The second movement of our symphony is the actual war. Just like that with a loud noise, the film instantly changes its tone. From the foggy mountains of Pennsylvania to the tropical war zone of Vietnam we go. In one of the most terrifying sequences ever made, the three men are taken prisoner and are forced to play Russian roulette while their captors are betting who will win and who will die. Just seeing the men's faces as they are waiting their turn in the rat-infested cages are undeniably scary. One of the film's controversies is that roulette was not actually played in Vietnam. According to Cimino, he read articles saying they did play roulette although any of this has not been confirmed. But it's one hell of a way to add tension to the movie. You can also take this as a symbol for the war overall. Roger Ebert puts it perfectly in his review, "Anything you can believe about the game, about it's deliberately random violence, about how it touches the sanity of men forced to play it, will apply it to the war as a whole." Essentially, this violence stands for the war itself and what these men face.

Now our final act of the symphony is what happens after the horrors of the prison camp. Michael becomes a prominent character here as he returns home and is welcomed as a hero by his townsfolk and his girlfriend Linda (Meryl Streep). But Michael does not feel like a hero. Steven is in the hospital after losing his legs and Nick is somewhere in Vietnam still. Michael eventually goes back to find Nick who happened to take his roulette experiences to heart by playing this game professionally. This section is incredibly sad and moving as here we see what exactly war can do to strong-willed men. It was horrible to watch this transformation on screen. To see these characters we got to laugh with in the first part to seeing them play with death in the final act is sad to see. We also get to see an act of patriotism (or is it?) when the survivors join in a ragged rendition of "God Bless America" in the very end.

This movie has a very strong cast, although the only star at the time was Robert De Niro. De Niro instantly became the film's leader and he played Michael very well. He became a bona fide star after his work in The Godfather: Part Two, and he put that stardom to work here. Christopher Walken had some of the strongest scenes in the movie because of his involvement with the deadly game of Russian roulette. Meryl Streep is one of the greatest actresses ever to grace our screens, and this was one of her first big roles. We end this paragraph with a sad note. This would be the last movie John Cazale would play because he was suffering from terminal cancer and he died before the film was released. He was very good as Stan, but you can tell in the movie that he was really sick.

Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter is a incredible movie about the horror of wars and it effective covers themes ranging from PTSD to male bonding and friendship. It was one of the first movies to successfully cover the Vietnam War, although I'd say this film may not be the most accurate regarding the actual war. I do commend its effort on conveying the themes of general war though. This film was nominated for nine Oscars and it won five of them including Best Picture. Walken took home the statue for his amazing and tense performance as Nick. The film may be controversial and it may be hard to watch, but it's one you'll remember forever.

My Grade: A-

Reviewed by MartinHafer 9 / 10

An exceptional film...and with some indications of Cimino's later undoing...

THE DEER HUNTER is an extraordinary film--there's no denying that. However, I looked at this film from a slightly different perspective than many, as I first had a chance to watch director Cimino's mega-epic, HEAVEN'S GATE (one of Hollywood's biggest money-losers ever). I am glad I saw this later film first, as it forced me to look for the seeds of the director's downfall--even in his greatest triumph, the five-time Oscar winner, THE DEER HUNTER. Despite THE DEER HUNTER being considered a classic and one of the great films of the 1970s, it was not without minor faults--faults that would become much, much more apparent later in HEAVEN'S GATE.

The biggest problem was pacing and editing but the film was so good that you could excuse it. Some parts of the film were long and brilliantly done. The scenes in Vietnam were, if anything, too short--but very, very compelling. The scenes leading up to Vietnam (such as the wedding), however, went on way too long--seeming to place about equal emphasis on this rather banal and unimportant part of the film as the later and much more important part. Editing down the first hour a bit and perhaps even adding some more footage of Vietnam (or leaving it as it was) instead would have been a good thing. Additionally, having the characters act LESS like obnoxious jerks at the beginning would have helped as well--the characters didn't grab you right out of the gate. Both problems were significantly worse in HEAVEN'S GATE--the prologue went on for what seems like days and the characters were even more obnoxious! And, while THE DEER HUNTER comes in at a hefty 182 minutes, this long and slow pacing became interminably long in the followup film--clocking in at an astronomical 219 minutes!! In other words, Cimino only followed his own pattern from THE DEER HUNTER in the next film but expanded it even further--probably the result of his own success he felt he was onto something. However, these complaints do NOT say I am knocking THE DEER HUNTER--I am just saying that these tiny complaints became serious problems in HEAVEN'S GATE.

As far as the good in the THE DEER HUNTER goes, the acting is amazing, the direction (though slow) was very good, the music terrific and moving and the film grabs your attention. While I was not quite as bowled over by it as some, you cannot reasonably deny it is a standout film--even with pacing issues and any complaints about the ubiquity of Russian Roulette in Vietnam (geez...what are the chances of TWO games like this or a Russian Roulette league--especially since many doubt that such goings on ever happened in the first place) or there being an elk in Pennsylvania (which, by the way, looks like the Rocky Mountains--which it actually is and 2500 miles from where the hunt in the film was supposed to be). A must-see for anyone who considers themselves to be a film aficionado. Just be aware that the violence is intense and disturbing and the language is amazingly spicy for a 1970s film.

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