Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film set during the Vietnam War, directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. The central character is US Army special operations officer Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen), of MACV-SOG, an assassin sent to kill the renegade and presumed insane Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando).

The screenplay by John Milius and Coppola came from Milius's idea of adapting Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness into the Vietnam War era. It also draws from Michael Herr's Dispatches, the film version of Conrad's Lord Jim (which shares the same character of Marlow with Heart of Darkness), and Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). The film drew attention for its lengthy and troubled production. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse documented Brando's showing up on the set overweight, Sheen's heart attack, and extreme weather destroying several expensive sets. The film's release was postponed several times while Coppola edited millions of feet of footage.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Apocalypse Now has a 99% "Certified Fresh" rating and was received with critical acclaim. Its cultural impact and its philosophical themes have been extensively discussed. Honored with the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the film was also deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation by the National Film Registry in 2001.

Awards and honors

Wins

Academy Award

  • Best Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro)
  • Best Sound (Walter Murch, Mark Berger, Richard Beggs, Nathan Boxer)

Cannes Film Festival

  • Palme d'Or

Golden Globe Award

  • Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)
  • Best Original Score (Carmine Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola)

National Society of Film Critics Award

  • Best Supporting Actor (Frederic Forrest)

David di Donatello Award

  • Best Director, Foreign Film (Migliore Regista Straniero) (Francis Ford Coppola)

American Movie Award

  • Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)

BAFTA Award

  • Best Direction (Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)

In 2000, Apocalypse Now was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Nominations

Academy Award

  • Best Picture (Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Gray Frederickson and Tom Sternberg)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)
  • Best Art Direction — Set Decoration (Dean Tavoularis, Angelo P. Graham and George R. Nelson)
  • Directing (Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Film Editing (Richard Marks, Walter Murch, Gerald B. Greenberg and Lisa Fruchtman)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola)

DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Francis Ford Coppola)

WGA Award for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen (John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola)

Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama (Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Gray Frederickson and Tom Sternberg)

Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture (Carmine Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola)

César Award for Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger) (Francis Ford Coppola)

American Movie Award for Best Actor (Martin Sheen)

BAFTA Award

  • Best Film Music (Carmine Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Best Actor (Martin Sheen)

American Film Institute Lists

  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies - #28
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains: Colonel Walter E. Kurtz - Nominated Villain
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs: The End - Nominated
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." - #12
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - #30
  • AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Epic film

Marlon Brando was also ranked #4 of the Top 25 American male screen legends.

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