The Deer Hunter

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Released 1978

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The Deer Hunter

Movie Summary

Director:
Michael Cimino (I)
Released:
1978
Rating:
R
The Deer Hunter is a drama about the effects of the Vietnam War on a group of friends from a small town in Pennsylvania. The film opens with the wedding of Steven (John Savage) and Angela (Rutanya Alda). Steven and two friends, Michael (Robert De Niro) and Nick (Christopher Walken) are scheduled to ship off to Vietnam shortly after the wedding. When they arrive there, they are quickly captured by the North Vietnamese and forced to play a game of Russian roulette. They are eventually able to escape but become separated; each thinking the others are dead. When Michael gets back home to the States, he learns that Steven is alive but lost both of his legs during the escape back in Vietnam. He also learns that a mysterious benefactor has been sending money to Steven from southeast Asia. Michael goes there to determine who the benefactor may be, and is shocked when he discovers the truth. As The Deer Hunter shows us, even when a war is over it remains forever with those who participated in it.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    A big, awkward, crazily ambitious, sometimes breathtaking motion picture that comes as close to being a popular epic as any movie about this country since "The Godfather."

  • 90

    Variety

    Among the considerable achievements of Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter is the fact that the film remains intense, powerful and fascinating for more than three hours.

  • 90

    TV Guide

    Brutally memorable, The Deer Hunter is an emotionally draining production that draws a vivid portrait of its characters and their milieu--and succeeds in showing the devastating ef...

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    Themes

    Classics, Military & War