John Peverall

John Peverall

John Peverall Quick Links

Film Comments RSS

The Deer Hunter Review


Good
In his book Final Cut - the story of the infamous bomb Heaven's Gate and still the best book on Hollywood around - Steven Bach points out that Gate was so deeply reviled upon its release that the backlash extended even to Michael Cimino's previous film, The Deer Hunter. Critics stepped gingerly away from their initial high opinion of Hunter, as if Gate was so bad a movie that its taint made other movies bad too. It's rare to see film critics publicly change their opinion of any movie, but the revisionist history seemed especially odd in this case. Released in 1978 and featuring some stellar performances from Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken, it won a truckload of Oscars in 1979 and marked the arrival of a major filmmaker in Cimino. Yes, Cimino botched his career with Heaven's Gate, but that couldn't be The Deer Hunter's fault, right?

Right. But all the same, the critics were right the second time around. Time has eroded the chief power The Deer Hunter had in 1978, which was to speak to America's anxiety about itself in the wake of Watergate and Vietnam. Stripped of its '70s moment, it looks now like a film that strives for meaning but doesn't know what it wants to say. It gives us both small-town America and war-torn Vietnam, but neither convincingly. It confuses ambiguity with art, blood for drama. But before those flaws set in, it gives us the promise of a great movie about tested friendship. Set in the late '60s, the film opens on the day of a wedding in a Pennsylvania steel town, as the groom Steven (John Savage), Michael (De Niro), and Nick (Walken), all Russian-immigrant working-class stock, prepare to go to Vietnam for a tour of duty.

Continue reading: The Deer Hunter Review

John Peverall

John Peverall Quick Links

Film Comments RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

Kate Nash Stars In Wrestling Drama 'GLOW'

Kate Nash Stars In Wrestling Drama 'GLOW'

She's swapped the studio for a film set with new Netflix series.

The Very Best Set Numbers From Glastonbury Headliner Ed Sheeran

The Very Best Set Numbers From Glastonbury Headliner Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran performed a spectacular set on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday.

'Game Of Thones' Cast Singing 'I Will Survive' Is The Most Ironic Thing Ever

'Game Of Thones' Cast Singing 'I Will Survive' Is The Most Ironic Thing Ever

Viral video ties in 'GoT' soundbites to the lyrics of Gloria Gaynor classic.

Advertisement
Glastonbury 2017: Foo Fighters, Johnny Depp And The Killers Among The Highlights

Glastonbury 2017: Foo Fighters, Johnny Depp And The Killers Among The Highlights

Here are a few of the best moments over the Glastonbury weekend.

Netflix Original Comedy 'GLOW' Creators Discuss Series' First Season

Netflix Original Comedy 'GLOW' Creators Discuss Series' First Season

The wrestling series hit the streaming service earlier this week.

'Avengers: Infinity War' Will Be Final Chapter For Some Characters

'Avengers: Infinity War' Will Be Final Chapter For Some Characters

The Marvel Studios head was blunt in his answer.

Advertisement

John Peverall Movies

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.