Apocalypse Now: The Complete Dossier
“Terminate...with extreme prejudice.” Right from the beginning, the ominous opening credits backed by The Doors’ “The End,” Apocalypse Now is one of the most powerful films from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1970s maverick period. It features seminal performances from Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen as well as flawless cinematography from Vittorio Storaro and a genius adaptation, by John Milius and Coppola, of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. What makes this particular DVD set great is some more unused footage—the lost “monkey sampan” scene, Marlon Brando’s complete reading of TS Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” and 12 never-before-seen segments from the cutting room floor—and the first appearance of the original theatrical cut to DVD. The downside, however, is the missing documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse by Eleanor Coppola, which stands as one the finest documentaries ever made about filmmaking. Even worse is splitting both cuts over two discs instead of one cut per disc! With the advent of DVD’s four-hour capability, this is a needless pain in the ass. But bitch as collectors will, this is as close as fans are likely to get to a definitive version from Coppola’s original six-hour cut.