Apocalypse Now

In Cinemas Now

The horror... the horror...

Capping director Francis Ford Coppola's golden decade (after, amongst others, The Godfather I and II and The Conversation), Apocalypse Now is his hallucinogenic Vietnam War epic following Martin Sheen's mission to terminate Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz. Co-stars Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper. Winner of multiple awards, including the Palme d'Or, the film is also famed for its intense, four-year production in Manila which involved the director nearly losing his mind, a Martin Sheen heart attack, a difficult Brando and wild weather that destroyed expensive sets.

Based on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, an exploration of humans' capacity for violence and savagery, of racism and colonialism. Screenwriters Coppola and John Milius change the African setting to the U.S.'s invasion of Vietnam in the 1960s/70s. Captain Benjamin Willard (Sheen) is sent on a dangerous mission that, officially, "does not exist, nor will it ever exist." His goal is to locate and eliminate a mysterious Green Beret Colonel named Walter Kurtz (Brando) who has been leading his personal army on illegal guerrilla missions into enemy territory.

Trailers

Awards

Palme d'Or and FIPRESCI Prize winner at Cannes Film Festival 1979. Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Duvall), BAFTA Awards 1980. Best Cinematography and Sound, Academy Awards 1980. Best Director, Supporting Actor (Duvall) and Score, Golden Globes 1980.

Written by

Drama, War, Classic

202mins

Rating: R18+ Medium level violence, Adult themes

USA

Official Site

BBC

press

The power of this film cannot be denied, and once seen, it is not easily forgotten.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

The film has one of the most haunting endings in cinema, a poetic evocation of what Kurtz has discovered, and what we hope not to discover for ourselves.

Empire (UK)

press

This disturbing vision of the harrowing effects of war and violence continues to shock and haunt audiences.

Guardian (UK)

press

Not merely the greatest film to come out of the Vietnam experience but one of the great works about the madness of our times.

New York Times

press

As technically complex and masterful as any war film I can remember.

Time Out London

press

A film of pure sensation, dazzling audiences with light and noise, laying bare the stark horror - and unimaginable thrill - of combat.

Total Film (UK)

press

The hallucinogenic results justified the means, Martin Sheen’s mission to terminate Marlon Brando’s crazy Colonel Kurtz becoming an awe-inspiring journey into war’s primeval heart of darkness.

Variety (USA)

press

Alternately a brilliant and bizarre film, Francis Coppola's four year 'work in progress' offers the definitive validation to the old saw, 'war is hell.'