Learning Beyond the Classics: Hollywood In and Out of Vietnam
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
With Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall
Rated R, 183 minutes, DCP
In English and French and Vietnamese with English subtitles
Loosely based on Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now transitioned the novella about the inherent corruption in colonialism from Africa to the Vietnam War. The film's famously imperiled production, itself chronicled in Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse a decade later, led to a very polarized reception that included a Palme d'Or despite being screened without being finished — which led to multiple edits including this 2019 version preferred by Coppola. American Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) is assigned to track down and kill Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has reportedly massacred hundreds of innocent people and set up his own fiefdom in the jungle. Willard and his crew encounter strange sights and people on their surreal journey.
Co-presented by the Department of American Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, and the David A. Heskin and Marilou Brill Endowment for Excellence.