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Purchase Apocalypse Now (1979) Movie Online and Download - Francis Ford Coppola 🎥
Drama, Action, History, War
IMDB rating:
Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando as Kurtz
Martin Sheen as Marlow
Robert Duvall as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore
Frederic Forrest as Jay 'Chef' Hicks
Sam Bottoms as Lance B. Johnson
Laurence Fishburne as Tyrone 'Clean' Miller
Albert Hall as Chief Phillips
Harrison Ford as Colonel Lucas
Dennis Hopper as Photojournalist
G.D. Spradlin as General Corman
Jerry Ziesmer as Jerry, Civilian
Scott Glenn as Lieutenant Richard M. Colby
Bo Byers as MP Sergeant #1
James Keane as Kilgore's Gunner
Storyline: It is the height of the war in Vietnam, and U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent by Colonel Lucas and a General to carry out a mission that, officially, 'does not exist - nor will it ever exist'. The mission: To seek out a mysterious Green Beret Colonel, Walter Kurtz, whose army has crossed the border into Cambodia and is conducting hit-and-run missions against the Viet Cong and NVA. The army believes Kurtz has gone completely insane and Willard's job is to eliminate him! Willard, sent up the Nung River on a U.S. Navy patrol boat, discovers that his target is one of the most decorated officers in the U.S. Army. His crew meets up with surfer-type Lt-Colonel Kilgore, head of a U.S Army helicopter cavalry group which eliminates a Viet Cong outpost to provide an entry point into the Nung River. After some hair-raising encounters, in which some of his crew are killed, Willard, Lance and Chef reach Colonel Kurtz's outpost, beyond the Do Lung Bridge. Now, after becoming prisoners of Kurtz, will...
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The REDUX version…
'This is the end' sings Jim Morrison as choppers criss-cross the screen. No, Jim, it's just the beginning. The beginning of a 202-minute, drug-fuelled Vietnam war epic that follows a group of US soldiers upriver, deep into enemy territory, where they witness madness, come to realise the futility of their conflict, and are reminded of the heart of darkness that beats in all men. And like their mission, it's extremely hard going at times.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this wild '70s classic starts off brilliantly, with war weary Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) being sent on a covert mission to assassinate renegade Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), whose behaviour and methods are proving an embarrassment to the US army. An early set-piece—an air attack on a Vietcong village to the strains of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries—is hugely impressive, boding well for the rest of the film. The genius continues with Robert Duvall's unforgettable performance as bonkers Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, while a jungle encounter with a tiger, and a visit by some Playboy playmates to boost moral only add to the fun.

Unfortunately, once the group of soldiers arrive at a French plantation, Apocalypse Now Redux becomes as bloated and unintelligible as its out-of-shape, mumbling star Brando: the action slows down to a snail's pace, and the vast amount of narcotics consumed by cast and crew becomes more than evident, the film turning into a dull psychedelic haze of drug-fuelled weirdness. Dennis Hopper, as a crazed photo journalist, is particularly spaced out, acting like he's single-handedly snorted the entire cocaine supply of the Philippines. This half of the film, as Hopper might say, is a real drag, man.

If I ever decide to watch Apocalypse Now again, which I think is unlikely, I'll be sure to watch the original theatrical version. Many think it is better; even if that isn't the case, it's definitely shorter.

7.5/10 for everything that happens before the plantation scene; 2.5/10 for the rest. So that's an average of 5/10.
the horror, the horror...
So just how insane is 'Apocalypse Now'? Well, let's say that it is the kind of film that makes you want to bang your head against the wall. The beginning has no credits or titles; nothing. The whole film seems like it's taking place on a different world, and as the story moves on, sanity itself is shed. There was a French plantation scene that got cut out, and an alternate ending that would have had a massive battle scene outside Kurtz's compound.

'Apocalypse Now' is not a realistic film in the sense that the presentation of the Vietnam War is far from correct: helicopters going in BEFORE the napalm strikes, a USO show in the jungle at night, and the final bridge all lit-up like a Christmas tree. (for more realistic 'Nam War movies, try 'The Deer Hunter' or 'Platoon')

But what 'Apocalypse Now' lacks in historical accuracy, it makes up in artistic and dramatic scripting. Some of the best photography and lighting ever can be found here.

The film also raises some severe philosophical issues, and gives us entirely new ones. When the movie begins, the war is raging around us. It is chaotic and nerve-racking, yet still rational. When we finally get to Kurtz's base, the action has died down, but rational thinking has long since been vanquished to the point of total lunacy. This shows us the truth about men of war in times of war and peace. The voyage down the river has a sense of time travel (a sense that would have been much more apparent had the French Plantation scene remained.) And when you get to the end, keep in mind the old phrase: The King is dead... Long live the king.

Is Kurtz insane? Or are we not yet ready to understand him? These questions and more are up to you as 'Apocalypse Now has no easy answers.
The last great Hollywood film

I first saw AN on TV while I was in high school. Then, I found it interesting and compelling,but the obtuse plot confused me and prompted me to venture into the kitchen for snacks a few times & I fell asleep before it ended. Although greater maturity may have given me new perspective, the added scenes are pivotal to the movie's themes & are crucial to understanding the film. Now, seeing this re-edited version on the big screen some 15 or so years later I realize what a masterpiece it is. Back then, I watched it to gain an understanding of Vietnam/war. Now, Armed with more knowledge of US (military) history (but not having read anything about the making of AN or "The Heart of Darkness", the book on which it was based), I realize that the movie wasn't really about Vietnam....or war, for that matter. The Vietnam War is really just the background/setting for the movie. "War is hell" is a rather cliche plot for war movies (and not really much of a plot in & of itself). AN avoids the cliche because it is really a study in human behaviour & social organization under duress. The film reveals how ritual makes or breaks individuals under duress. Take the early scene with the helicopters lifting off. Chef asks one soldier why he sits on his helmet, to which the soldier replies "to protect my balls". When Chef takes off his helmet & sits on it too, we see how ritual is born of superstition. Sitting on his helmet may not make him any safer, but the feeling of control over the situation helps them to survive (ease his nervousness & focus his attention on the matter at hand) while under attack. On first viewing, I had also assumed that Willard was the central character of the story. But he's not, he's the narrator & his fate is sealed in order to tell the "story" to its end. So not only is his cool, detached demeanor essential to his survival, it's also a literary device that's essential for the telling of the story. As a result, his behaviour is the least interesting of all the characters in the movie. He's a "special forces" man because he does what he's told & performs his duty to its end. Hence, his character does not develop in the film. *Spoilers* By contrast, the most interesting characters to watch are Lance & Chef. Only one of the two survives to the very end, and the reason why lies in the ability of his character to adapt to his environs. This is why the addition of the scenes contrasting the two of them with the Playboy bunnies really helps to make more sense of the subject matter. These scenes, which were not in the original, are the pivotal moment at which the characters' raison d'etre is put to the tests (& ironically it's not in war that this occurs). Chef takes the opportunity to play out the same fantasy he had before he came to Vietnam, having sex with Miss March. Lance, on the other hand, becomes more playful in the scene, plays with the bunny's make-up & in the process creates his own new ritual. Chef's inability to consumate a sexual relation with the Playboy bunny is unsatisfying/empty because he can't accomplish his goal given the circumstances. Lance, on the other hand, isn't remotely concerned with conquest & instead has entered a new world/frame of mind. From this point on, Lance cultivates this ritual (the scene with him applying camouflage while looking into the bunny's compact is particularly memorable). His behaviour may seem odd to the rest of the soldiers, but his previous (American) personality (as a California surfing stud) becomes more hidden behind the mask. Hence, he's able to "go native" and mingle with the inhabitants of the primitive society at the end of the river unmolested. Willard also survives because he is the chosen one, the white god they were expecting. He comes from the same clan ("special forces") as Kurtz & was chosen to replace him, however he had not shed is previous (American) skin & so he (unlike Lance) must be initiated with his own rite of passage (hence the mud bath to darken his skin & then being imprisoned) before being allowed in (which Lance does not have to go through). Chef, on the other hand, is still fighting the war by the time they reach The End, his character hasn't changed; hence, he becomes The Other/enemy to this primitive society and must be eliminated. *End Spoilers* The addition of the scenes of the french outpost were also a welcome addition, since they helped to develop the contrast between "civilized" society & primitive. However, the inclusion of the romance/sex scenes (from the end of the dinner til the widow & Willard are in bed) detracted from the movie because they were really out of character for Willard. However, the scenes up to the end of dinner illustrated effectively how "civilized" society copes in the face of adversity, with its private & emotional acts of violence, it's need to intellectually justify it's actions (in order to successfully ignore what is actually happening). The political diatribes at the dinner table felt a bit heavy-handed while watching them. However, in retrospect, they were a fairly accurate portrait of French-US encounters at that time. Outside of Willard's sex scene, the only other scene that felt completely out of place in this re-edit was the scene where they open their mail. Where did this mail come from? The scene definitely felt out of place because it was used (the playing of the tape from home) to heighten the dramatic effect of war while providing an explanation for how Willard got his updated information on Kurtz. The only thing bad one can say about this movie is that it magnifies how awful Hollywood films have become. Only a handful have been worth watching (LA Confidential, American Beauty, The Man Who Wasn't There) & only 1 (Brazil, which probably wasn't even a Hollywood studio) film over the past 25 years has been able to match it in quality/complexity/development/cinematography/etc.
The best movie I've ever seen?
Well maybe not the best movie I have seen but it's in my Top 10 for sure. I think it's one of those rare films that is better then the book (Heart of Darkness which is of course different). A lot of people debate whether it's a "war movie" I take the position that it's a war movie but that's only part of it. I think calling it only a "war movie" is taking away from how great this movie is. It doesn't just have the simple "war is hell" message that many war films have. It asks more piercing questions about human nature and character. It is drama, war, action, art, and manages to be entertaining as well as thought provoking. Even if the ideas don't grab you there are 3 things you cannot deny of this movie. 1)the acting is all top-notch 2)the cinematography is some of the best ever 3)it is well written. If you didn't like it or think you "got it" the first time, go back again it's well worth another trip up the river. Afterall this film's quality pretty much terminates all others...with extreme prejudice.

An unfocused trip
It took me a bit to nail down the reason for my less-than-fawning reaction to "Apocalypse Now" - after all, this movie's so damn revered - but, surprisingly, it's Martin Sheen's voyage up-river (which is really the bulk of the movie). I'm surprised as anyone, seeing as I generally dig his stuff. But his journey into Cambodia just tends to meander through the film. Sure, there are firefights mixed in, but none of this is ever as exciting or mysterious as the film's two most winning features: Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando. And they're only present for such a short time. Duvall is just such a larger than life sociopath; it doesn't hurt that he's at the forefront of the movie's wildest set piece, but he owns the screen. I'm fairly certain the man's ruined "Ride of the Valkyries" for me (hijacked, not soured). And Brando looms so large over the entire movie that, you're left wondering what kind of answers are coming when Sheen finally tracks him down. And it's a hallucinatory payoff, to be sure.

A marvelous bit of surrealist movie-making...
This film is arguably one of the most important cinematic achievements of the 20th century. Based on the book "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad this movie is a provocative display of the Vietnam War and the surreal, yet utterly human experiences of its combatants. In the story, Lieutenant Willard (Martin Sheen) travels down a river to seek and assassinate the crazed Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has isolated himself from U.S. forces in a remote outpost. As Willard gets closer and closer to his prey though, he finds himself idolizing and obsessing over the invisible, god-like figure of Kurtz rather than preparing to kill him.

What sets this movie apart from other war movies is not its "hell no, we won't go," theme that appears in films such as Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," nor its "no guts, no glory" theme that appears in movies such as "Patton." Instead, it is its dreamlike portrayal of war as an experience which brings out our most savage, yet undeniably, our most natural tendencies. Everything from the soundtrack, to the screenplay, to the acting furthers the notion that every person who spends time in a war begins to understand the most basic of human desires, and learns to eliminate their consciences. And this, evidently, is "the horror" that Willard refers to throughout the film.

The sweeping scenes of the blazing jungle, and the incessant whir of helicopter blades, are mere supplements to the brilliant performances of Brando, Sheen, Robert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper among others. This movie in itself is a dangerous odyssey, for it takes more than a clever film critic to truly understand its importance. The message is hidden deep in the jungle and takes a keen eye to divulge and appreciate. This is a movie about escape from civility, "the end of our elaborate plan," and a descent into chaos and madness, the only question is, are you ready for the Apocalypse?
Pretentious twaddle
During the Vietnam era, you were either a "square" or "hip" -- with "hip" meaning pro-communist, anti-capitalist, pro-sexual-revolution, anti-mainstream American values. Hollywood directors generally chose to be "hip." The significance of this fact should become apparent in due course.

Now, a little boring history for those who can stomach it: U.S. troops were present in large numbers in South Vietnam from roughly 1962 to 1972. U.S. troops came home in '72, having successfully strengthened the South Vietnamese army (ARVN) so that it could defend South Vietnam from invasion by the North Vietnamese communists and from subversion by the South Vietnamese communist Viet Cong.

The ARVN did, in fact, successfully defend South Vietnam for almost three years. Then, a Democrat-controlled Congress cut off funding to the South Vietnamese in the wake of Republican President Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal. The North Vietnamese invaded, and South Vietnam fell.

Soon thereafter, the Communist Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia and tortured and murdered some two million innocent men, women and children. This is the true tragedy of the Vietnam war -- something that no Hollywood director to my knowledge has touched ("The Killing Fields" is not accompanied by a political explanation of the Cambodian Holocaust.)

Four years after the fall of South Vietnam, and seven years after U.S. troops left the country, Francis Ford Coppola made "Apocalypse Now." He was one of a slew of Hollywood directors who sought to capitalize on the deep well of anti-war sentiment in the United States. Well, let's examine such anti-war sentiment for a minute. Being anti-war is fine, but those who are against war are called upon to offer alternatives that work -- and they never do. Instead, they hold up the UN as some sort of ideal -- a UN made up mostly of undemocratic countries with no respect for human rights.

In the end, the Vietnam War was but one of a series of proxy wars between the communist Soviet Union (at times allied with communist China) and the capitalist West. The Korean War was the first major battle in this rivalry, where both sides sought to extend their influence while bleeding and demoralizing the other side. These proxy wars were a substitute for all-out nuclear war. Terrible things were done by both sides in this conflict, but I believe that the U.S. cause was a noble one. And it largely succeeded, in that the Soviet Union collapsed and freedom and prosperity expanded into Eastern Europe.

But the conduct of the Vietnam War by U.S. politicians was terrible at best. U.S. soldiers never lost a battle in Vietnam. But politicians in Washington would not allow them to keep the territory they had won. They refused to follow Barry Goldwater's advice, which was to "Win, or get the hell out!" They failed to mine Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam to keep Soviet and communist Chinese supplies out of that country. They refused to invade Laos and Cambodia in order to close down the weapons supply line that ran along the Ho Chi Minh trail, ending only thirty miles from Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital.

In the meantime, Vietnam was the first televised war, and the U.S. media were largely left-wing (as they are today) and anti-war. During the Tet Offensive (a major defeat for the communists, and a major victory for the Americans), Walter Cronkite declared that America had "failed" in Vietnam. This was just one of many distortions by the media. The American public stopped supporting the war. And some celebrities -- like Jane Fonda -- actually rooted for victory by the communists.

What, then, do we see in "Apocalypse Now"? Nothing more than all the one-sidedly anti-American, anti-Vietnam-war stereotypes of the day: playing Wagner (subtle; I don't suppose that could be a suggestion that the Americans were the equivalent of Nazis?); showing a giggling soldier-moron in a helicopter randomly machine gunning innocent Vietnamese peasants (subtle; I don't suppose that could be a suggestion that the Americans were the equivalent of Nazis?); and so on and so forth.

Of course, Coppola wasn't satisfied addressing such "substantive" issues. His movie had to be a "grand vision" -- not unlike his "The Godfather." So he threw everything except the kitchen sink into this movie: the pretentious linkage he tried to make between his magnum opus and Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness" -- "Wow, man! That's heavy! Copolla is our Conrad!"; the psychedelic/surreal affectations (a first!); the "ironic" and "clever" juxtapositions (a battle mixed up with surfing); the "revelation" of "Ugly American" insensitivity; and so on.

Well, Copolla was preaching to the choir with this movie, and in this he was a great success. But there is no significance to this movie otherwise. If you really want to see enlightening scenes from Vietnam, rent the multi-disc documentary on the war (I forget the title; there are several.) One very moving scene shows U.S. soldiers singing "Silent Night" on the flare-lit battle-field on Christmas eve. Watching a documentary on the war might actually teach you something about that war -- a first! Otherwise, you're going to have to settle for Hollywood's version from the likes of Oliver Stone and Coppola.

The true subject of Coppola's movie, in my opinion, is Coppola's giant ego. The main secondary subject is the dumbing down of an American public that would uncritically eat up his "vision"; the exact same thing is true of Oliver Stone's various movies. Hollywood thinks that "Epatez les bourgeois!" is the last word in creativity, even when its arrows fall far short of the target.

That is the reason why most "serious" Hollywood movies, in my opinion, are overblown failures. And Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" surely stands at the very front of the line of those failures.
I must be missing something...
Now, it would appear by judging the user and critic reviews that my opinion is in the minority. Nonetheless, I cannot for the life of me understand the extremely high ratings for this film. The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and Good Morning Vietnam all much more enjoyable. The cinematography of Apocalypse Now is very good at times, the opening scene being arguably my favourite part of the film as the music is perfect. However throughout the whole film I just felt an extreme lack of consistency with the storyline, too much confusion and jolting between themes. Whilst some of the action scenes were brilliant, I just felt a real lack of connection to the purpose. Now I won't spoil the ending but let's just say I really could not make heads or tail of the decisions made, all logic was out of the window. I am never usually critical of a film and this must be the highest rated picture that I really do not get on well with, for some reason I just expected a lot more and was very disappointed.
The horror has come true and yet we allow it to pass by us
Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now is a pure example of method filmmaking. It is the true craftmanship of an essential filmmaker. The art direction, editing and sound effects are partially a small fragment which makes this film classical and memorable. What drives the integrity and semblance of the film is the storyline, acting and inner message. The inner message evidently enough is that war is hell, or in other words, hell is war. Not many directors have the ambition or the true courage to establish such a well-defined piece of art. European filmmakers wouldn't have the slightest problem of directing the film or throw in their personal feelings about the war. What is most interesting is that an American filmmaker spoke his style and the style of the film's collaborators through the continuance of the film.

The plot is fairly simple and brief, adapted by Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness. Martin Sheen plays the role of Captain Willard, a war-torn character who does not see any hope in life or humanity anymore. He has a mission and it is to capture a presumed Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has fabricated an army of existensial soldiers on the outskirts of the Cambodian jungle. Throughout the film we encounter astonishing sequences. The most unforgettable is the dawn helicopter attacks. Robert Duvall's character Colonel Kilgore is a steady and firm example of the basic American army brain: to search and destroy and then destroy some more if it includes yourself. The children walk about the playground, oblivious to any danger. The helicopters come into view from the dawning sea; millions of sprinkle reflect from the water, we hear the helicopter's engines roar from the horizon and soon enough we are stuck in a messy attack. Throughout the sequence we hear Wagner's 'Ride Of The Valkyries'. It is method filmmaking. The starting sequence is as fascinating as the rest of the movie; a beautiful scene of palm trees blowing in the ragged wind and seconds away from being inflamed with a carpet bombing. Let's not forget the scene where the soldiers of the boat in which Sheen travels in, stop an innocent upcoming boat, suspecting them to be VietCongs and carrying artilleries. Then they spark off a heavy scene of shooting in which all of the passengers of the boat are pulverised to pieces with their crops and food savaged in the atrocity.

This film has its famous moment, some better to be kept quiet about until they come through the screen. It doesn't require any intellectual understanding, although the film is intellectually remarkable. The American soldiers in the Vietnam War jumped into the land of a fresh governmental country, aiming to protect themselves and in the end only received death and chaos for their troops and for the majority of the country they were fighting against. It was a war gone mad, like all other wars, without purpose or dignity. It was a pure act of humanity: to destroy and restore their own greedy needs. This is a film in which there is no saviour, where it is hardly possible to find hope in the gloomiest corners and where all surroundings are plagued with the infatuations of greed, anger, foolishness and egoism. As Coppola once said about the film: 'This film isn't about Vietnam. This film IS Vietnam'. He was right to the date. During the current situations of the world, where they are trying to protect their own skin, the world should try to analyse this film as much as possible and wonder about what it is trying to represent. It is a film which does not ask for applause or damnation. It asks for realism.


One of the best and most important movies ever
This movie changed the art of film making, telling a complex story in a powerful new way. The film mixes brutal realism with fantasy, intercutting a modern war with strange scenes full of technicolour smoke. The film uses music not as a score laid in later, but as a practical part of the scene playing from speakers, radios etc. Coppola uses a classic piece of literature as inspiration, taking scenes and characters, and putting them into entirely different surroundings. That is a tricky and brave thing to do. Then he takes a superstar, Brando, pays him a fortune, and films him so that you can barely see his face. The pure guts that such a move requires is astounding, and it works beautifully. This movie belongs in the top ten.
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