Monday 31 July 2023

The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie Review

Reviewing "The Deer Hunter" (1978) - An Eye-Opening Portrayal of War and its Effects

The Deer Hunter Movie Cover

The Plot

"The Deer Hunter" is a movie that depicts the effects of the Vietnam War on a small Pennsylvania town and its people. The story revolves around three steelworker friends, Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), and Steven (John Savage), who are headed off to fight in the war. The movie follows their journey through the war, the torture that they endure as prisoners of war, and their return home to their devastated town and families.

The Cast and Performance

The cast of "The Deer Hunter" is nothing short of incredible. Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep all put on a performance of a lifetime, immersing themselves in the characters and emotions that come with the story. The depiction of the pain and trauma that they go through is so realistic that it leaves the viewers stunned.

The Impact

"The Deer Hunter" was not only a well-made movie, but it also brought a lot of social awareness of the post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness that the soldiers were facing as they returned home from the Vietnam War. The story is not only applicable to the war veterans, but also for anyone who has suffered from the pain of losing a loved one or going through any kind of trauma.

Final Thoughts

"The Deer Hunter" is a piece of art that shows the raw and emotional aftermath of war. A war movie that is not just about soldiers fighting on the front lines, but it also explores the human dimension of the conflict and the relationships they share off of the battlefield. It's a movie that will leave a profound effect on you long after the credits roll.

Plot Summary Review: The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter is a 1978 movie directed by Michael Cimino. It portrays the lives of three steelworkers from Pennsylvania who are sent to fight in the Vietnam War. The movie is divided into three parts – before, during, and after the war.

The first part introduces the three main characters, Mike (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), and Steven (John Savage). They are preparing for Nick's wedding while also hunting for deer. The second part takes place in Vietnam, where they are captured by the Viet Cong and forced to participate in a brutal game of Russian Roulette. The third part shows their return to the United States and how they cope with their experiences in the war.

The Deer Hunter is a powerful movie that explores the effects of war on soldiers and their loved ones. It highlights the physical and emotional toll of combat and the struggles faced by those trying to re-enter society after being traumatized by violence. The performances of De Niro, Walken, and Savage are outstanding, and the cinematography is beautiful.

However, the movie is also controversial for its portrayal of Vietnamese people, who are depicted mainly as villains and objects of violence. Critics have argued that the movie perpetuates harmful stereotypes and inaccurately represents the Vietnam War. Despite this, The Deer Hunter remains a classic movie that offers a poignant and thought-provoking examination of the human cost of war.

Characters and their backgrounds Review The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

characters and their backgrounds review the deer hunter 1978 movie

The Characters:

The Deer Hunter (1978) movie is a powerful drama about the lives of three steel factory workers from Pennsylvania. The story follows them before, during, and after their deployment to Vietnam. The three main characters, Michael, Steven, and Nick, are well-developed and complex, with their own unique personalities, backgrounds, and struggles.

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Michael, played by Robert De Niro, is the group’s leader who is tough and stoic on the outside, but deeply caring for his friends. Steven, played by John Savage, is the sensitive and na├»ve member who is also a newlywed. Nick, played by Christopher Walken, struggles with PTSD after being captured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

The Background:

The film portrays the working-class town where the men come from, as well as the poverty and bleakness they experience before their deployment. It also shows the harsh realities of the Vietnam War, particularly through Nick’s PTSD struggle and the effects it has on his relationships with his friends and loved ones.


The Deer Hunter (1978) effectively shows the strong bonds of friendship and the toll of war. The character development and background settings make the audience feel for the characters and be invested in their stories. It’s a must-watch film for anyone who values character-driven stories and powerful performances.

Setting and Location Review for The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter Movie

The Deer Hunter is an intense drama movie released in 1978, directed by Michael Cimino. The setting of the movie takes place in the mountains of Pennsylvania before and after the Vietnam War. The magnificent scenery of the mountain range provides an incredible backdrop that adds to the melancholy of the story. The production designers did an amazing job with recreating this location, making it feel authentic and picturesque.

The movie presents several moments of serenity and beauty surrounded by mountains, lakes, and forests, acting as a stark contrast to the heart-wrenching and violent scenes that follow. The director creates a powerful atmosphere in the film by using these stunning backdrops to evoke the feeling of nostalgia, grief, and loss of innocence.

The location of the movie shifts from the mountainous scenes to the deadly warzone in Vietnam, where the main characters are forced to confront the reality of the war. The use of these two locations as parallel images effectively showcases the duality of the human experience - the beauty of life, and the brutality of war.

Overall, the settings and locations used in The Deer Hunter create an integral part of the movie's storytelling, making it more emotional and relatable. The use of the mountains also serves as a visual metaphor for the difficulties of life. It is due to these elements that has made The Deer Hunter a critically acclaimed movie for years to come.

Cinematography and Visual Effects Review: The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

Cinematography and Visual Effects in The Deer Hunter


The Deer Hunter is a masterclass in cinematography that immerses the viewers in the world of the movie with its stunningly beautiful visuals. The camera work is absolutely breathtaking, and the use of lighting and shadows creates an atmosphere that is unparalleled. The movie's various locations are captured in a way that makes the viewers feel like they are right there with the characters. The cinematography of The Deer Hunter is an absolute masterpiece, and it's no surprise that it won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 1978.

Visual Effects

In terms of visual effects, The Deer Hunter is not a movie that relies heavily on special effects. However, the few visual effects that are used in the movie are seamlessly integrated into the story. The most notable visual effect in the movie is the use of slow-motion during the Russian Roulette scenes. This effect heightens the tension and gives the viewers a sense of the characters' emotions. The Deer Hunter's use of visual effects is understated and effective.

The Overall Impact

The Deer Hunter is a hauntingly beautiful movie that tackles tough themes with a sense of poignancy rarely seen in cinema. The combination of its stunning cinematography, understated visual effects, and masterful storytelling makes it an unforgettable experience that stays with the viewers long after the credits roll. The movie's use of cinematography and visuals is a testament to the power of the craft in creating unforgettable cinematic experiences.

In conclusion, The Deer Hunter is a movie that showcases the power of cinematography and visual effects in creating a moving and unforgettable movie-going experience. The movie's use of lighting, shadows, and camera work creates an atmosphere that is unmatched, and the slow-motion visual effect during the Russian Roulette scenes heightens the tension and gives viewers a sense of the characters' emotions. The Deer Hunter is a cinematic masterpiece that will leave you with a sense of poignancy that lasts long after the movie is over.

Sound and Music Review of The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter movie poster

The Deer Hunter, directed by Michael Cimino, is a masterpiece that explores themes of survival, friendship, and the effects of war on the human psyche. This film is also notable for its excellent use of sound and music. The score, composed by Stanley Myers, is haunting and beautiful. The use of traditional folk songs, such as "God Bless America," "The Star-Spangled Banner," and "Danny Boy," adds to the emotional impact of the film.

One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is the "Russian roulette" sequence, where American prisoners of war are forced to play the deadly game by their Vietnamese captors. The tension in this scene is expertly heightened by the use of sound. The sound of the gun clicking as the trigger is pulled creates a sense of dread and anticipation. This sequence is a powerful example of how sound can be used to create tension and suspense in a film.

Another scene that stands out for its use of music is the wedding scene. The use of the traditional Ukrainian folk song "The Cossack's Dream" adds to the authenticity of the setting and helps to establish the strong bond of friendship between the characters. The music in this scene is both joyful and melancholic, reflecting the bittersweet nature of life.

In conclusion, The Deer Hunter is a masterpiece of cinema that makes excellent use of sound and music. The haunting score and use of traditional folk songs add to the emotional impact of the film. The sound design in the "Russian roulette" sequence and the music in the wedding scene are particularly noteworthy examples of how sound and music can be used to enhance the storytelling in a movie.

Themes and Messages Conveyed in The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter movie poster

The Deer Hunter, directed by Michael Cimino, is a compelling movie that explores the complexities of friendship, love, and war. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the film takes a deep dive into the themes of patriotism, loyalty, trauma, and survival. The movie follows three friends—Michael, Nick, and Steven—from a small Pennsylvania steel town who enlist in the army and get sent to Vietnam.

The movie is not just about the war but rather how the characters’ experiences in Vietnam shape their lives. Through the depiction of the characters’ emotional struggles, the movie communicates several messages. The film shows how war can cause trauma that can only be healed through compassion, love, and forgiveness. Also, it highlights the importance of friendship and camaraderie in times of difficulty. The movie also stresses an unspoken message of anti-war sentiments while simultaneously showing support and respect towards the military.

The Deer Hunter is a beautiful amalgamation of themes that work together to create a story that rings true with audiences even today. It conveys a message about the futility of war and the impact it can have on individuals, families, and nations. The movie not only deals in aspects of reality, but it also showcases the disconnect that soldiers feel when returning home as not many can relate to their traumatic experience.

In conclusion, The Deer Hunter is a movie that is poignant, powerful, and relevant. It communicates complex themes about love, war, and survival that are still relevant today. The film tells a story that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. While it is not for the faint of heart due to its graphic nature, it's a must-watch for anyone who wants to get a glimpse into the reality of war and its impact on the human psyche.

Critical Reception and Reviews of "The Deer Hunter" (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter Movie Poster

"The Deer Hunter" is a 1978 war drama movie directed by Michael Cimino and starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep. It tells the story of three friends from a small town in Pennsylvania who are sent to fight in the Vietnam War. Upon its release, the movie received mixed reviews from critics.

Some critics praised the movie for its realistic portrayal of the effects of the war on soldiers and their families. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called it "one of the most emotionally shattering films ever made." Pauline Kael of The New Yorker wrote that it was "an epic that attempts to do what the American cinema has never really been able to do--to make a movie about the experience of America in Vietnam."

However, others criticized the movie for its lengthy running time and scenes of extreme violence. Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote that it was "a complete disaster" and "an insult to the audience and to the actors, who are wasted."

Despite the mixed reviews, "The Deer Hunter" went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for Walken's performance. It has since become a classic and widely regarded as one of the greatest war movies ever made.

Overall, "The Deer Hunter" is a powerful and emotional movie that is not without its flaws. It may not appeal to everyone, but it is certainly worth watching for its intense performances and poignant themes of friendship and the horrors of war.

Box Office Performance and Awards Won Review: The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter Movie Poster

The Deer Hunter, a 1978 movie directed by Michael Cimino, was a critical and commercial success. The movie had a budget of $15 million, and it grossed around $49 million at the box office. The success of the movie can be owed to its star-studded cast consisting of Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep, among others.

The Deer Hunter, which is set in the Vietnam War era, tells the story of three Pennsylvania steelworkers who are sent to fight in Vietnam. The movie was praised for its cinematography, direction, and acting. Moreover, the film's themes, such as the impact of war on individuals, were well-explored and well-executed.

The Deer Hunter won five Academy Awards in 1979, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Walken. This recognition further boosted the movie's popularity and cemented its place in cinematic history.

Overall, The Deer Hunter's box office performance and critical acclaim are testaments to its quality as a movie. Its exploration of war's impact on individuals is powerful and thought-provoking, which makes the movie worth watching even today.

Conclusion Review The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

The Deer Hunter movie review

The Deer Hunter (1978) is undoubtedly one of the greatest films ever made. It offers a brutally realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War and its impact on American soldiers. The story revolves around the lives of three best friends from Pennsylvania, who are deployed to Vietnam, and their experiences of the war zone. The movie captures the horror of war, not just through its action scenes, but also through its poignant and intimate moments.

The movie's exceptional scriptwriting by Deric Washburn brings together the storyline and the characters in perfect harmony. Each character is unique, and they are all dealt with realistically and respectably - a testament to the work put in by the entire cast. The performances of Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep as the three friends are outstanding. Indeed, Walken's performance as a POW is especially memorable.

One of the strengths of the film is its haunting soundtrack by Stanley Myers and John Williams. The movie's famous Russian roulette scene is an intense moment where the music adds depth and emphasis.

In conclusion, The Deer Hunter is a must-watch masterpiece that is a testament to the human condition. The film offers a thought-provoking perspective on the Vietnam War that showcases the impact of war not just on the battlefield but on the human psyche. It has a deep emotional resonance that lingers long after the credits have rolled. The Deer Hunter (1978) is a timeless classic that deserves to be in any movie buffs' collection.

Review: The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie

If you are a fan of classic movies or a lover of great cinema, then you must watch The Deer Hunter. This masterpiece was first released in 1978, and it has since gone on to become one of the most celebrated movies of all time. Directed by Michael Cimino, this movie stars some of the most talented actors of their generation including Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep.

The Deer Hunter is a movie that tells the story of three steelworkers who are from Pennsylvania. The movie follows their lives before, during, and after the Vietnam War. It is a haunting portrayal of the physical and psychological trauma that soldiers experience in combat. The movie is rich in symbolism, and it explores themes such as friendship, love, survival, and sacrifice.

The movie’s cinematography is breathtaking, and the music score is unforgettable. The scenes are vividly realistic, and they will transport you to a different time and place. The acting is superb, with each actor bringing their A-game to the screen. De Niro gives one of his best performances, and Walken delivers a poignant and unforgettable performance that won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Overall, The Deer Hunter is a must-watch for any movie lover. It is a powerful movie that will leave you emotionally drained but satisfied. It is a movie that tackles complex themes and does it in a compelling and respectful way. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported to a different world.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review. Please share this movie with your friends and family so that they too can enjoy it.

Until we meet again, happy watching!

Review The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie