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I grew up at the back-end of this era, but I know quite a few people from that time. This movie has so many conflicting themes which in itself, is exactly what that time was like. Anyway, certainly enough ink has been spilled over this flick. I doubt I can add any new revelation as to plot etc. So I will just that part alone.
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Good flick – a worthy watch for anyone. It might appear clumsy at first, but it is one you want to stick with. It never gets crazy as in the super-duper SFX stuff that is so prevalent today, but it talks a lot about life – not just back in the 70s , but beyond. You can extrapolate the differences.
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Btw…all these movies that do the “one shot / one kill” thing. Well they are copycats. The Deerhunter is where it (sort of) comes from………and “one shot / one kill” is not what this movie is even about. In fact, it is the opposite.
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Oh…and fwiw…this runs about 3 hrs…. well worth the time spent. Watch a bit…take a break…watch a bit more…repeat etc. It is not about war…..it is about people. Heck…watch an hour…take a day off. Come back to it the next day. It still works.
This fil simply stayed great. A must see top class classic :D

I think every 11-bang Vet. has mixed feelings about this movie. Leaving your family and loved ones to go do what your told is right. God forbid loosing close friends. We watched this and platoon at reception battalion and I didnt appreciate it untill years later. 10/10

A film which gave us some of the best performances of the decade, and the actors involved careers. A brutal honest portrait of the sad reality of war.
The Deer Hunter has great performances, a solid story, and some very powerful moments. It has all the makings of a great movie, yet it falls short.

I'll start off with the weaknesses. It might sound weird if you haven't seen it, but the transition from life in America to the war in Vietnam is way too abrupt, so much so that you feel like you accidentally skipped a couple scenes. I also thought it tried too hard to relate to the "common man", it kind of felt insulting, as if the director (Michael Climino) thought that all working class Vietnam era solders were all loud-mouthed drunks. Although that's not half as bad as the way the Vietnamese are portrayed: violent and ultra-sadistic. Because of this there are some parts of the movie that are hard to believe. And although the message is very one dimensional it's also very effective, especially the ending. It's one of the best movie endings I've seen, but at three hours and four minutes you'll wish it had come sooner. There is no reason for this movie to be so long. All in all, the quality of the performances really carry the movie beyond the faults.


I give The Deer Hunter 7/10 stars.
90 is a little low but pretty close. i would give it a 94. maybe a little long but very realistic and gut wrenching.
Roland Joffe's vietnam feature is sadly long forgotten amongst most reviewers. Not even 20,000 people have given it a rating on IMDB, and it's hard to see why. The director expertly spins us a new tale in the fiery war, where we see the reporters outlooks and experiences in a very dangerous war zone. Split in two parts, The Killing Fields looks at the bond and promises people make, and the pure compassion here is outstanding which is completely down to Waterston's and Ngor's vivid and believable performances. Joffe's realism is what makes this film so vivid, but the short running time restrains this epic from being perfect.The title 'The Killing Fields' relates to a number of sites in Cambodia where masses of people were murdered purely because they refused to be changed by the totalitarian communist khmer rouge regime and be 're-educated'. It looks very closely at 'year Zero' a time where cambodian history was to be erased and a new order took over to supposedly rewrite the mistakes their ancestors made. Part one of the feature observes the build up and danger that surrounds journalism in a war zone. Syndney Schanberg willfully presents his guide Dith Pang with an ultimatum. As the american troops have left the area, communism spreads and as everyone is evacuated he asks Pang if he would stay on with him. What ensues is a nerve-shredding suspense filled drama, with the two fleeing to a french embassy, but as Pang doesn't have a passport to stay on the ground, he is forced to leave and stay at a re-education camp, while Schanberg goes back to America to dwell on his mistakes. The second half deals with these horrific camps themselves, but Joffe never presents us enough detail to really shock us and show the full extent of such an awful war!Based on a fascinating true story, The Killing Fields capitalises on believability and truth with some very vivid characters. Sydney Schanberg is a great example of a journalist. But his compassion for his story would be nothing without guide/reporter friend Dith. Joffe's characters are lifelike, they are truthful and they stick firmly in a documentary style fashion which adds to the films respect and portrayl of Vietnam life.The film won the best supporting actor award for Haing Ngor's role as the struggling surivior of the Cambodian camps, as he tries to escape. It's a brave honest film that doesn't shy away from the state the american troops left the country in after they left.It is hard to believe that Joffe is the same director responsible for that wreck of a horror film 'Captivity'. His debut direction here is smart and broad allowing all the details to soak through. Building and depicting the towns, camps and life of these mainly peaceful people, and then shattering it all, with bleak desolate re-education camps, as well as showing the desperation and peril these people were in. He uses brief shocking violence at times to show how the relationship between life and death is much different in such a horrible war. Exceptional, though it is his fault the film is too short.The Killing Fields, loses the hollywood, big budget style that glossed over the cracks in films like Apocalypse Now, and The Deer Hunter. It is less theatrical and more realistic. It is a simple tale and look at Vietnam but Joffe manages to pull enough off, keeping some of the more mundane and less entertaining elements relevant and interesting. This combination of fact and fiction results in a diverse thoroughly harrowing account of a despicable time in history that shows a good unbiased balance of war. Ok the John Lennon 'Imagine' soundtrack at the end does grate with some people, but I felt it was a fitting way to end one of the most compassionate films ever made. Full of raw emotions The Killing Fields soundtrack emobodies the right sounds to facilitate the Vietnam feature, and it works for the most part. The Killing Fields is far from perfect, but despite its flaws in length and in missed opportunities to be epic it remains a gut-wrenching oscar worthy drama that shows the war from completely different perspectives. Though it will never be everyones favourite war film, it may well be mine.
Final Score: 81/100
One of the first, and one of the finest Vietnam films ever made. From the infamous russian roulette to that sombre and sad theme music, The Deer Hunter has a brilliant case, held together be De Niro, but powered by Christopher Walken. A very slow start cannot dim this films overall horrific viewpoint on a group of friends outcomes after the war. Ruining marriages, friendships and the will to live. Its ability to shock has not dimmed a day despite its 31 year old date. While it verges on over sentimentality at times, this plush Hollywood film ticks all the boxes to allow its drama to be captivating, harrowing and sad. Scoring five Academy awards (including best picture and director), The Deer Hunter competently wove both the drama and war genres seamlessly together, creating an unforgettable, and disturbing experience. While the film does dwell and at times rely on the power shots with the russian roulette there is more than enough here to warrant the films classic status. Split into three distinct parts The Deer Hunters overlong wedding sequence does drag and may cause some people to switch off to its charms, but the final two hours embody the true pitfalls and summarises the true cost of war. Russian American steel workers Michael, Steven and Nick decide to enlist in the Vietnam war, naive and unaware of the horrors they will face. Patiently at home sits Linda (Meryl Streep) with friends Stanley, John and Axel. The Deer Hunter observes these characters, carefully them building up so that wec are about what happens to them. While they aren't all perfect each adds a unique layer onto this poignant drama. Less Vietnam than you originally anticipate, The Deer Hunter never really focuses specifically on the cracking of everyday people in hard situations, and for that some people will feel deceived by its marketing. Christopher Walken is incredible here as the Steel worker who slowly loses all touch with reality after becoming obsessed with the game of russian roulette that ruined his life in the first place. Cimino has really got the best out of the cast here, and it shows! Whle Meryl Streep will never shift her drawl, her acting remains remarkable. Robert De Niro is on quiet understated form here, as the laid back, distant almost deer hunter who gels the film together. While this is nowhere near De Niro's best roles, he applies the right amount of understated acting that is appropriate to the character of Michael. Sadly Streep's fiance, John Cazale (star of The Godfather 1+2 as well as Dog Day Afternoon and The Conversation) had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, and while the studio wanted Cimino to recast, the director refused managing to shoot all of Cazale's scenes before he died in 1978 (before the film was finished). Cimino's realism often brushes with Hollywood palava, but with a cast so strong, and with tight direction (apart from the meandering beginning) Cimino's second feature is a marvel to watch and experience. He cranks up the suspense and the emotion to high levels, and while this lacks the compassion of The Killing Fields or the abstract journey that Apocalypse Now had, Cimino's Vietnam feature manages to be a darker more sombre film, that rarely shows a ray of sunlight. It's extremely epic and it doesn't always achieve its goals but The Deer Hunter remains a landmark in the modern war film genre. While the Hollywood gloss may shy away from the grim reality in the drama moments, Cimino does present a stark abrupt contrast with Vietnam itself, and for that the film deserves a higher score, despite being biased in the American favour.. The theme from The Deer Hunter is one of the most memorable in the history of film. The song 'Cavatina' performed by Stanley Myer's has texture and a heartfelt sorrow that surrounds the film. It's prefectly fitting and deserves full marks. Good old 1970's cinema never really disappoints and The Deer Hunter is no exception. While the slow pace drags the film down from a perfect score the sheer spectacle and excellent array of characters creates a fascinating insight into the Vietnam wars effect on one small community.
Final Score: 90/100
Two men (De Niro and Walken) get send to Vietnam and it doesn't end to well I can say. Great acting by classic actors. It shows what Vietnam can do with soldiers
As is well known to everyone that has seen it and many who are yet too, The Deer Hunter is a bloody long slog at over 3hrs and it seems to be a popular opinion that the film would have been better off if more heavily cut. However, strong performances from most involved, most notably Christopher Walken's Oscar winning role as Nick, kept me captivated for every minute for which I feel compensates for the excessive length.
One word...MAO!!!!
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