The Deer Hunter (1978) Movie Review

The Deer Hunter (1978)
Martin Cid
Martin Cid

The Deer Hunter is a film starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep. It is directed by Michael Cimino.

I remember being impressed watching it as a kid. Now, less of a kid, I still love it.


Several friends celebrate a wedding before going off to the Vietnam War. When they return, nothing is the same.

The Deer Hunter (1978)
The Deer Hunter (1978)

The Movie. Review

One of the best war movies I’ve ever seen? Yes, it uses zoom (not a cardinal sin in another era) and there are no war scenes, and it’s not even about the war or its causes, it’s directly about ordinary gentlemen who go to war, come back, and don’t mention the president once. Then there’s the final chant with God Bless America and a feeling, like a narrative leitmotif that runs through the entire movie: we’ve been screwed.

It’s a movie that says just that, in an artful, accurate and even brutal way (we all know the famous Russian roulette scene), but it does it straightforward and without too many concessions. The message is crystal clear and free of political entailments. We’ve been screwed, end of discussion (the colonel in one scene puts it another way, exclusively with the word “shit”).

Wonderful performances, great beyond-extraordinary actors in one of the best films (perhaps) in the History of Cinema. If you haven’t watched it (it could be) give it a shot. It is cinema from another era, when watching a movie implied to expect “something else” from it and that something else, although well told might be bitter, terrible, and, even so, it stayed with you forever.

The Deer Hunter (1978)
The Deer Hunter (1978)

Our Opinion

A film you can’t escape from.

A marvel (and I know not everyone agrees).

A marvel and already a classic. One of the first to say something coherent: we’ve been screwed.

And boy, we have!

Movie Reviews

“Its view is limited and its narrative at times sketchy (…) Both deeply troubling and troublesome (…) but its feelings for time, place and blue-collar people are genuine” Vincent Canby: The New York Times

“This bravely innovative, kingsized movie (…) enables one to fully understand why this particular war not only destroyed the hopes and dreams of America’s young men, but why it left so many of them permanently shattered and alienated from society.” Kathleen Carroll: New York Daily News 

Movie Trailer

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