Post-production on the movie lasted for a further two years, and the movie was finally released in August of 1979. The whole movie is a journey toward Willard's understanding of how Kurtz, one of the Army's best soldiers, penetrated the reality of war to such a depth that he could not look any longer without madness and despair. They are strangers in a strange land, yet they act as if they own it, staking out territory and firing without provocation. The 900-man cast and crew stood idle for weeks on end while Brando and Coppola struggled with the proper interpretation of his role. And helicopters are ideally suited to that, because they fly and move around and hover. As a Vietnam vet, he was one of maybe two or three people working on the movie who had actually been involved in the war.
More down time, which the crew put to good use. Worse, Coppola fired his leading man, Harvey Keitel, after two weeks, replacing him with Martin Sheen, who was then nursing private demons of his own, namely booze. The mother is not quite dead. This gave Coppola palpitations, as he had envisioned Kurtz as a lean and hungry warrior. His absence caused more delays in the filming schedule, which was now stretching out indefinitely. The jungle heat may have had something to do with his condition, but his drinking and the fact that he was woefully out of shape for such a demanding role can't have helped. The next day he appeared on set having shaved his head bald.
Sheen was off work for six weeks and was uneasy about returning. There wasn't an edge to his craziness at all. What is found at the end of the journey is not Kurtz so much as what Kurtz found: that all of our days and ways are a fragile structure perched uneasily atop the hungry jaws of nature that will thoughtlessly devour us. But how can a film, especially burdened by as much trouble as this one had to endure, be so monumental? When Clean is killed, Chief breaks down emotionally and becomes a changed man. John Milius, the writer of Apocalypse Now, is by. Doug Claybourne was brought in as production assistant. All of his costumes had to be scrapped because Coppola expected the actor to show up as an astute and fit Green Beret soldier.
. When Coppola heard the news, he had an epileptic fit of his own. We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little, we went insane. Chef enters the jungle, has a run-in with a tiger, and is no longer the same—his temper becomes shorter, and he withdraws further into drugs. The music underlines surrealistic moments, as when Lance , one of Willard's crew, water-skis behind the boat. President Marcos of the Philippines - from whose army they had been hired - needed their firepower to take out some real rebels on another island.
The conditions were that he was to lose weight for the part and also read Joseph Conrad's Africa-based novel, Heart Of Darkness, on which Apocalypse Now was loosely based for its themes and for the character of Kurtz. But a glance at the early rushes showed that Keitel was not the man for the job. There were people diving off the roofs, it was crazy. At first Kurtz's face is in complete darkness accept for a back light that illuminates the back of his shaved head. Coppola originally intended to show the movie as a 70mm roadshow with no credits they would be printed in a booklet.
Its dark-hearted tale is unsurpassed as over three epic and often gruelling hours it follows an undercover U. Inspired by Haskell Wexler's 1969 film Medium Cool, which had shot footage during the 1968 Democratic National Convention riot in Chicago and incorporated it into the plot, Milius wanted to shoot the movie on location in Vietnam while the war was still being fought. Pictures to produce films from new scripts. The inspired improvisation of a genius was how some admirers saw Coppola's performance as a director. When the Circle of London Film Critics began making annual awards back in 1980, they voted it their top film of that year. Things werenʼt improved by the typhoon that tore through the production destroying all the sets. At their hotel, hundreds of beer bottles were lined up around the swimming pool so no one had to waste time getting out of the water to go to the bar.
All the while, the cast and crew partied whenever they could. Willard can't stop him, so he joins him. The passports of the production team were temporarily confiscated and an army truck arrived to cart the bodies away. The cinematography reflects their impending madness by cloaking the journey in darkness and fog, creating an increasingly hallucinatory atmosphere. Original presentations of the movie came with a specially made program that included a full list of cast and crew to stand in for the credits, which Coppola of the film.
When he turned up on the set, he lied about having read the book but could not disguise his elephantine size. He was creating the very situation he was trying to expose. But the 35mm release would need end titles. Often they were handed schedules of the day's shooting that simply said 'Scenes unknown'. The film crew essentially converts the war into popular entertainment, much as actual footage of Vietnam once dominated the airwaves, exacerbating the antiwar movement. Another great example of low-key lighting is during Willard's scenes with Col. Helicopters can position themselves and swoop and go in circles; they are kind of circular beings.