The Deer Hunter

The Deer Hunter

Michael Cimino (1) (1978)

X Certificate


Our Score
This multi-Oscar winner from Michael Cimino remains one of the finest and most controversial movies about the Vietnam War, notably for the harrowing sequence in which American PoWs are forced by their Vietcong captors to play Russian roulette, a compelling if historically dubious metaphor for the war. Running for three hours, it begins, Godfather-style, with a long wedding party at which a group of Russian emigrant steelworkers get drunk and then hunt deer before boarding their plane for the heart of darkness. Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage and John Cazale, this is a modern version of the Second World War drama The Best Years of Our Lives, showing how men and America itself cope with the horrors of war and its aftermath. It is a story of reconciliation and national renewal, by turns shocking and moving, which won the best picture Oscar as well as statuettes for Walken and director Cimino. There were also nominations for De Niro and Meryl Streep, in her first major role. With its mournful guitar theme, this intense drama lingers long in the memory and elevated Cimino to the front rank of American directors. But his next film was the notorious flop Heaven's Gate, and he only worked occasionally until his death in 2016.


The lives of three American steelworkers and their families are torn apart in the wake of the Vietnam War. After enduring horrific treatment in a prison camp during the conflict, the three friends return to their homes but struggle to readjust to normal life. Oscar-winning drama, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage and John Cazale in his last film role.

Cast & Crew

Michael Vronsky Robert De Niro
Stan, "Stosh" John Cazale
Steven John Savage
Nick Christopher Walken
Linda Meryl Streep
John George Dzundza
Axel Chuck Aspegren
Steven's mother Shirley Stoler
Angela Rutanya Alda
Julien Pierre Segui
Axel's girl Mady Kaplan
Bridesmaid Amy Wright
Director Michael Cimino (1)
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Park CircusGuidance: Violence and swearing. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 4 Jul 2018