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The Deer Hunter Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, The Deer Hunter is simultaneously an audacious directorial conceit and one of the greatest films ever made about friendship and the personal impact of war. Like Apocalypse Now, it's hardly a conventional battle film--the soldier's experience was handled with greater authenticity in Platoon--but its depiction of war on an intimate scale packs a devastatingly dramatic punch. Director Michael Cimino may be manipulating our emotions with masterful skill, but he does it in a way that stirs the soul and pinches our collective nerves with graphic, high-intensity scenes of men under life-threatening duress. Although Russian-roulette gambling games were not a common occurrence during the Vietnam war, they're used here as a metaphor for the futility of the war itself. To the viewer, they become unforgettably intense rites of passage for the best friends--Pennsylvania steelworkers played by Robert De Niro, John Savage, and Oscar winner Christopher Walken--who may survive or perish during their tour through a tropical landscape of hell. Back home, their loved ones must cope with the war's domestic impact, and in doing so they allow The Deer Hunter to achieve a rare combination of epic storytelling and intimate, heart-rending drama.

Academy Awards

The Deer Hunter received Academy Awards for Best Picture (Barry Spikings - Producer, Michael Deeley - Producer, Michael Cimino - Producer, John Peverall - Producer), Supporting Actor (Christopher Walken), Directing (Michael Cimino), Film Editing (Peter Zinner), and Sound (Richard Portman, William McCaughey, Aaron Rochin, Darin Knight). The Deer Hunter also received Academy Awards nominations for Actor (Robert De Niro), Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep), Writing (Best Screenplay written directly for the screen; Michael Cimino, Deric Washburn, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker), and Cinematography (Vilmos Zsigmond).

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Your Memories Shared!

"Rarely has a more devastating, unflinching and brutal film ever beaten with the rhythm of such a warm heart. Utterly compelling, spectacuarly crafted and epic are just some of the words to describe it. The beaufitul and haunting score really translates the heartache of the film and speaks volumes about the tragedy of war."

--The Doe Pursuer

"I just saw the film, "Deer Hunter," in full. Until now I have seen only bits and pieces, but not a coherent whole. I found the scenes involving the Russian Roulette very disturbing, made most dramatic by the fact that dialogues in Vietnamese were not translated. I never understood the ending, however. I couldn't figure out why the character played by Christopher Walken remained in Vietnam and continued his deadly pursuit of the game."


"Deer Hunter was the best movie I've ever seen, it almost made me cry."




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Michael Cimino

Stars: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, George Dzundza

Released: December 15, 1978

Availability: DVD VHS CD

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