From Saving Private Ryan to Das Boot, there have been many amazing war films over the years. In any list of the best war films, Apocalypse Now is always mentioned. Directed, produced, and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola, this 1979 epic stars such talent as Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford, and Dennis Hopper.
The movie focuses mostly on the character of Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Sheen), who has been sent on a secret mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Brando), passing from South Vietnam into Cambodia along the way. It was loosely based on the classic 19th-century novel, Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad.
The movie premiered at the famous Cannes Film Festival, winning the prestigious Palme d’Or prize in an unfinished state before being released in 1979 to widespread critical and commercial success. It won two Oscars (Best Cinematography, Best Sound) six other nominations and often featuring in critics’ best film lists.
Let’s take a look at behind-the-scenes facts, the production and inspiration of the movie, and the various key players who brought it all to life.