i love the smell of napalm in the morning.
during the on-going vietnam war, captain willard is sent on a dangerous mission into cambodia to assassinate a renegade green beret who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.
drama / war / vietnam / drugs
dir.: francis ford coppola
marlon brando / martin sheen / robert duvall
- while in pre-production, director francis ford coppola consulted his friend and mentor roger corman for advice about shooting in the phillipines. corman’s advice: “don’t go.”
- francis ford coppola spent days reading joseph conrad’s source novel “heart of darkness” out loud to marlon brando on the set. brando eventually turned up late, drunk, 40kg overweight, and admitted he hadn’t read the script or even “heart of darkness”, the book it was based on. he read coppola’s script, and refused to do it.
- the scene at the beginning with captain willard alone in his hotel room was completely unscripted. martin sheen told the shooting crew to just let the cameras roll. sheen was actually drunk in the scene and punched the mirror which was real glass. sheen also began sobbing and tried to attack francis ford coppola. the crew was so disturbed by his actions that they wanted to stop shooting, but coppola wanted to keep the cameras going.
- martin sheen had a heart attack during the filming and some shots of willard’s back are of doubles, including sheen’s brother joe esteves who was flown out specially. coppola was so worried that backing would be withdrawn by the studio and distributor if news of sheen’s heart attack leaked out, that he kept it quiet, even to the extent of explaining sheen’s hospitalization as being due to “heat exhaustion” in the official shoot schedule.
- originally scheduled to be shot over 6 weeks, ended up taking 16 months.
- a typhoon destroyed sets, causing a delay of several months.
- the water buffalo (carabao in filipino) that was slaughtered, was real.
- sam bottoms was on speed, lsd, and marijuana during the shooting of parts of the movie.
- the first film to use the 70mm dolby stereo surround sound system.
- while in the movie the main character is sent to kill kurtz, in the source novel (‘heart of darkness’), the main character is sent to rescue him.
- the letter martin sheen is reading in the deleted scene “letter from mrs. kurtz” is actually a poem by jim morrison.