1 Year, 100 Movies: #30 Apocalypse Now (1979)


For 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!

Francis Ford Coppola’s film, “Apocalypse Now” is a vision that shows us the fear, absurdity and insanity that was a part of the Vietnam War, and how it seeps into the psyche of a soldier.

Capt. Benjamin Williard (Martin Sheen) is given the mission of finding and killing Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has built an army of AWOL soldiers, as well as indigenous Vietnamese and Cambodians. He travels to find him up river to Cambodia on a Navy patrol boat which escorted by an Air Calvary Unit let by the Lt. Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall). Williard begins to doubt the rules he must follow, and must resolve his own internal conflict and choose between carrying out his mission or refusing it. When he makes it to Kurtz’s camp he is imprisoned, and a photojournalist (Dennis Hopper), who has taken up with Kurtz, gives us a clue about the idea behind the camp. He gestures around at the people and grass huts that surround them as how it all ends. Kurtz’s civilization is a final outcome, a hell on Earth. It is an apocalypse now, and it appears that Willard has been called to tell the story.

Of all the war movies I’ve seen- which are plenty- this is one of my least favorite. I’ve met many Vietnam war vets, and having talked with lots of them, do not get the idea that they would be broken so much as to accept Kurtz’s ideas.

In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns:



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