The Deer Hunter review

Über-critic David Thomson  described Michael Cimino’s troubling masterpiece as “great enough to carry its flaws”, and he was right. Following three Pennsylvanian steel workers (Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage) dropped into the furnace of Vietnam, it’s an American tragedy indebted to Russian literature, alive with detail and ritual and embedding viewers in the souls of men, the heart of a community and the spilled guts of a nation.

Lambasted for its fictionalised Russian roulette scenes, it won five Oscars and afforded Cimino the freedom to make Heaven’s Gate , a commercial failure that called time on New Hollywood.


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