Apocalypse Now (Redux)

“Saigon. Shit. I’m only still in Saigon.” There was a time when I knew almost every line of dialogue in Apocalypse Now but it’s been a few years since I last watched it. The director’s cut currently on Max is NOT the best version. It’s larded down with two extended scenes that were mercifully cut from the theatrical release and make you wonder how, in a movie this great, these scenes could ever have been valued. But even if you have to grab the remote and FF a few times after the Do Lung Bridge (don’t be ashamed – just pretend you’re a studio Exec – “No Francis. The movie is better shorter!”), joining Willard on his journey into the heart of darkness is never a mistake. Beautiful, haunting, powerful, evocative, and incredibly quotable. From the opening line through the smell of napalm in the morning to “the Horror” whispered at the end, Apocalypse Now captures the spiritual essence of the American experience in Vietnam including our mad and schizophrenic reaction to that experience. (Max)

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