The Deer Hunter


Few dramas can claim the enduring cultural impact of Michael Cimino’s 1978 ’Nam epic. The infamous Russian roulette sequences, now established in cinema’s pantheon of iconic images, latterly won the movie an unparalleled seal of popular approval by spawning cult boozing game The Beer Hunter, in which blindfolded opponents test their mettle by cracking open agitated lager cans against their heads.

However, as blue-collar buddies Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage go to POW hell accompanied by Stanley Myers’ melancholic score, things are anything but frothy. Cimino’s daring elegy to a war-torn community may be a long haul, but the extravagant running time is a small price to pay for such gut-wrenching performances and Vilmos Zsigmond’s rich cinematography.

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