Apocalypse Now Redux DVD
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Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Produced in 1979
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
Francis Ford Coppola's epic, drawing parallels between Conrad's 'Heart Of Darkness' and the horrors of the Vietnam War, is here presented anew with an extra 49 minutes of footage. This includes a further encounter between Kurtz (Brando) and Willard (Sheen), Willard stealing Colonel Kilgore's surfboard, more Bunny Girl footage, and a haunting French plantation sequence which provides a colonial context for the conflict.
The Vietnam War rages and US Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent on a mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a renegade American officer who has set up his own kingdom in the heart of the jungle. His journey begins with a devastating aerial assault on a small Vietnamese village, the attacking helicopters booming Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyrie' out of their speakers, and becomes progressively more deranged as it moves up the river.
Length: 194 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 widescreen
Cat No: OPTD2341
Format: DVD Colour
by Mike McCahill on 3rd February 2002
One of the last great masterpieces of madness the American cinema produced, Apocalypse Now in any form has enough going on in almost every frame to make it worth anoth... Read on
One of the last great masterpieces of madness the American cinema produced, Apocalypse Now in any form has enough going on in almost every frame to make it worth another look. Indeed, such is the film’s status in eccentric cinematic folklore that a version with more sex than, and the same level of violence as, that granted an 18 certificate on its 70mm re-release in 1992 here gets, ten years down the line, a 15 certificate. Frankly, if you’re under eighteen but over fifteen and still haven’t seen it, you have no longer an excuse.
For the record, Redux contains extended sequences with Kilgore and the Playmates which humanise Martin Sheen’s Willard and make the other people on the boat more than just vivid character sketches. The most prominent extra is a sequence in and around a French plantation which rises out of the fog as the soldiers approach Kurtz and Cambodia, and on which, eerily, life appears to have been going on as usual for years and perhaps even decades or centuries. Though this sequence contains a lot of vital contextualising politics (in one long dinner party scene, whose only contemporary equivalent is the collectivism debate in the middle of Ken Loach’s Land And Freedom, we learn that Americans have only themselves to blame for insurgent forces) and allows Willard to cop off with the landowner’s pretty wife (Aurore Clement), the plantation business slows the momentum of the film as it moves closer to the river’s mythical source. The extra scenes with Brando only serve to point up how the film’s last forty minutes unravel into rambling self-indulgence, but no insurance company or studio head would allow an overweight and under-prepared Brando, a screwy Dennis Hopper and a live animal sacrifice onto a comparative set today.
The Ride of the Valkyries looks and sounds as good as it ever did in a widescreen print and with Dolby stereo sound, but there are details to be spotted, too: a human body, lashed as a makeshift crucifix to the front of a Viet Cong cathedral; the fire and smoke reflecting in Kilgore’s aviator-style sunglasses; and the keyboardist at the Playboy event, ducking under a departing helicopter and continuing to bash away at his synths. To put it another way: it’s unlikely you’ll be sitting down (or that you’ll *want* to sit down) in twenty-five years’ time to watch a Redux version of Pearl Harbor, Behind Enemy Lines or Black Hawk Down.