in about 100 words or less
USA 182m, Colour
Director: Michael Cimino; Cast: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, Meryl Streep
The Deer Hunter ranks with All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and Grand Illusion (1937) as one of the finest anti-war movies ever made. Despite the controversy surrounding the unsubstantiated use of “Russian Roulette” and its stereotypical portrayal of North Vietnamese soldiers as sadistic killers, the film explores the consequences of war and patriotism on the lives of the soldiers, their families and friends living in small town America near the end of the Vietnam War. Despite the explicit and graphic nature of the violence, which is often difficult to watch, the heartbreaking performances by De Niro, Walken, Savage and Steep rank amongst some of cinema’s finest ensemble performances (Klaus Ming September 2010).