The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978)

  • 18 Aug 11:32
  • 12 lists

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Rusyn American steel worker friends and their infantry service in the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, John Cazale, and George Dzundza. The story takes place in Clairton, a small working class town on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh and then in Vietnam, somewhere in the woodland and in Saigon, during the Vietnam War.

The Deer Hunter contemplates the moral and mental consequences of battle as well as the effects of politically-manipulated patriotism upon common values (friendship, honor, family) in a tightly-knit community. It deals with such controversial issues as suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, infidelity and mental illness. The scenes of Russian roulette, while highly controversial on release, have been viewed as a metaphor for the Vietnam War itself. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director and was named by the American Film Institute as the 53rd Greatest Movie of All Time on the 10th Anniversary Edition of the AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies list.

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