DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA
ZOETROPE STUDIOS/ UNITED ARTISTS
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA
ZOETROPE STUDIOS/ UNITED ARTISTS
Information From IMdb
Vietnam, 1969. Burnt out Special Forces officer Captain Willard is sent into the jungle with top-secret orders to find and kill renegade Colonel Kurtz who has set up his own army within the jungle. As Willard descends into the jungle, he is slowly over taken by the jungle's mesmerizing powers and battles the insanity which surrounds him. His boat crew succumbs to drugs and is slowly killed off one by one. As Willard continues his journey he becomes more and more like the man he was sent to kill.
Written by Michael Arndt
Marlon Brando ... Colonel Walter E. Kurtz
Martin Sheen ... Captain Benjamin L. Willard
Robert Duvall ... Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore
Frederic Forrest ... Jay 'Chef' Hicks
Sam Bottoms ... Lance B. Johnson
Laurence Fishburne ... Tyrone 'Clean' Miller (as Larry Fishburne)
Albert Hall ... Chief Phillips
Harrison Ford ... Colonel Lucas
Dennis Hopper ... Photojournalist
G.D. Spradlin ... General Corman
Jerry Ziesmer ... Jerry, Civilian
Scott Glenn ... Lieutenant Richard M. Colby
Bo Byers ... MP Sergeant #1
James Keane ... Kilgore's Gunner
Kerry Rossall ... Mike from San Diego
Ron McQueen ... Injured Soldier
Tom Mason ... Supply Sergeant
Cynthia Wood ... Playmate of the Year
Colleen Camp ... Playmate, Miss May
Linda Carpenter ... Playmate
Jack Thibeau ... Soldier in Trench
Glenn Walken ... Lieutenant Carlsen
George Cantero ... Soldier with Suitcase
Damien Leake ... Machine Gunner
Herb Rice ... Roach
William Upton ... Spotter
Larry Carney ... MP Sergeant #2
Marc Coppola ... AFRS Announcer
Daniel Kiewit ... Major from New Jersey
Father Elias ... Catholic Priest
Bill Graham ... Agent
Hattie James ... Mrs. Miller, Clean's Mother (voice)
Jerry Ross ... Johnny from Malibu / Mike from San Diego
Dick White ... Helicopter Pilot
Christian Marquand ... Hubert de Marais (Redux version only)
Aurore Clément ... Roxanne Sarrault (Redux version only)
Michel Pitton ... Philippe de Marais (Redux version only)
Franck Villard ... Gaston de Marais (Redux version only)
David Olivier ... Christian de Marais (Redux version only)
Chrystel Le Pelletier ... Claudine (Redux version only)
Robert Julian ... The Tutor (Redux version only)
Yvon LeSeaux ... Sergeant Le Fevre (Redux version only)
Roman Coppola ... Francis de Marais (Redux version only)
Gian-Carlo Coppola ... Gilles de Marais (Redux version only)
Henri Sadardeil ... French Soldier #1 (Redux version only) (as Henri Sadardiel)
Gilbert Renkens ... French Soldier #2 (Redux version only)
Don Gordon Bell ... Soldier (uncredited)
Francis Ford Coppola ... Director of TV Crew (uncredited)
R. Lee Ermey ... Eagle Thrust Seven Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Jim Gaines ... Extra (uncredited)
Evan A. Lottman ... Soldier (uncredited)
Nick Nicholson ... Soldier (uncredited)
Linn Phillips III ... Guitarist in Band (uncredited)
Pierre Segui ... French Soldier (Redux version only) (uncredited)
Vittorio Storaro ... TV Photographer (uncredited)
Henry Strzalkowski ... Bit part (uncredited)
Joseph Conrad (novel "Heart of Darkness") uncredited
John Milius (screenplay) and
Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay)
Michael Herr (narration)
John Ashley .... associate producer
Kim Aubry .... producer (version "Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)")
Francis Ford Coppola .... producer (as Francis Coppola)
Gray Frederickson .... co-producer
Shannon Lail .... co-producer (version "Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)")
Eddie Romero .... associate producer
Fred Roos .... co-producer
Mona Skager .... associate producer
Tom Sternberg .... co-producer
Francis Ford Coppola (as Francis Coppola)
* Steve McQueen was the first to turn down the role of Captain Willard.
* Harvey Keitel was then cast as Willard. Two weeks into shooting, director Francis Ford Coppola replaced him with Martin Sheen.
* George Lucas was originally set to direct "Apocalypse Now" from a screenplay by John Milius. Lucas' initial plan was to shoot the movie as a faux documentary on location in South Vietnam while the war was still in progress. Francis Ford Coppola, who was to be the executive producer, tried to get the film made as part of a production deal with Warner Bros. The deal fell through, and Coppola went on to direct The Godfather (1972). By the time both men were powerful enough to get the film made, Saigon had fallen and Lucas was busy making Star Wars (1977). Milius had no interest in directing the film. Lucas gave Coppola his blessing to direct the film himself.
* Cameo: [Dean Tavoularis] the production designer is filming a war documentary.
* Cameo: [Vittorio Storaro] the cinematographer is filming a war documentary
* Director Cameo: [Francis Ford Coppola] filming a war documentary.
* While in pre-production, director Francis Ford Coppola consulted his friend and mentor Roger Corman for advice about shooting in the Phillipines. Corman's advice: "Don't go."
* The boat's name is "Erebus," seen on the transom. The back of the seat in the forward turret of the PBR (Lance's position) has the words "God's country" written on it. The steel shield protecting the turret on the back of the boat is imprinted with the words "Canned Heat".
* Francis Ford Coppola believed that Marlon Brando was familiar with Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and had prepared for the role before the legendary actor arrived on the set. When Brando did come out, Coppola was horrified to find that Brando had never read "Heart of Darkness", did not know his lines, and had become extremely fat (Kurtz had always been written as a tall but starvingly-thin man). After some panicking, Coppola decided to film the 5'10" Brando as if he was a massively built, 6'5" brute (to explain Brando's size) and steered the camera clear of Brando's huge belly.
* Francis Ford Coppola spent days reading Joseph Conrad's source novel "Heart of Darkness" out loud to Marlon Brando on the set.
* Willard tells Kurtz that he is from Ohio, Martin Sheen is actually from Ohio.
* Martin Sheen was actually drunk in the scene where Willard is drunk alone in his hotel room. All of Sheen's actions in that scene were a result of his real intoxication. When Sheen punched the mirror (which was real glass), he really did cut his hand as shown in the film. While drunk, Sheen also began sobbing and tried to attack Francis Ford Coppola.
* When Francis Ford Coppola asked Al Pacino to play Willard, Pacino turned him down saying, "I know what this is going to be like. You're going to be up there in a helicopter telling me what to do, and I'm gonna be down there in a swamp for five months." The shoot actually lasted 16 months.
* Marlon Brando so angered Francis Ford Coppola that the director turned over the filming of Brando's scenes to Jerry Ziesmer, the assistant director.
* Francis Ford Coppola lost 100 pounds while filming.
* Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming and some shots of Willard's back are of doubles, including Sheen's brother who was flown out specially. Coppola was so worried that backing would be withdrawn by the studio and distributor if news of Sheen's heart attack leaked out, that he kept it quiet, even to the extent of explaining Sheen's hospitalization as being due to "heat exhaustion" in the official Shoot Schedule.
* Filmed in 1976.
* Scenes featuring Aurore Clément as the owner of a French plantation were filmed but cut from the finished picture. They were replaced in the 2001 "Redux" edition.
* Coppola shot nearly 200 hours of footage for this film.
* During some sequences, the sound of the helicopters was created on a synthesizer to blend in with the music.
* Originally scheduled to be shot over six weeks, ended up taking 16 months.
* A typhoon destroyed sets, causing a delay of several months.
* The water buffalo (carabao in Filipino) that was slaughtered was real.
* Marlon Brando was paid $1 million in advance. He threatened to quit and keep the advance. Coppola told his agent that he didn't care, and if they couldn't get Brando, they would try Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and then Al Pacino. Brando eventually turned up late, drunk, 40kg overweight, and admitted he hadn't read the script or even "Heart of Darkness", the book it was based on. He read Coppola's script, and refused to do it. After days of arguments over single lines of dialogue, an ad-lib style script was agreed upon, and this was shot according to Brando's stipulations that he appears in shadows.
* Sam Bottoms was on speed, LSD, and marijuana during the shooting of parts of the movie.
* There are three different treatments of the ending and credits. In the 35mm version, the credits roll over surrealistic explosions and burning jungle as the air strike occurs. The 70mm version has none of this, no credits, nothing but a one-line copyright notice at the end. Both versions are available on video. The 70mm version has been letterboxed. A third version has the credits rolling over a black background.
* There are no opening credits or titles. The title of the movie appears as graffiti late in the film, which reads, "Our motto: Apocalypse Now". This was done simply so the film could be copyrighted, since it could not be copyrighted as "Apocalypse Now" unless the title was seen in the film.
* Randy Thom, one of the film's sound mixers, said that the sound mix took over nine months to complete.
* Most of the dialogue was added in post-production, as extraneous noise (such as helicopters) left many scenes with unusable audio.
* According to his book "In the Blink of an Eye", Walter Murch took nearly two years to edit the movie, with an average of 1.47 cuts a day.
* Some of the photographs in the dossier on Col. Kurtz are taken from Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) in which Marlon Brando played an Army officer.
* Michael Herr also wrote the narration for Francis Ford Coppola's film The Rainmaker (1997).
* The character played by Harrison Ford wears a name badge that reads "Lucas". George Lucas directed Ford in American Graffiti (1973) and Star Wars (1977), two films which made Ford famous. G.D. Spradlin's character is named "R. Corman", after producer Roger Corman.
* Martin Sheen's character name combines the names of the two eldest sons of Harrison Ford, Benjamin and Willard.
* In May 1979 this became the first film to be awarded the Palme D'Or at The Cannes Film Festival before it had actually been completed. Because the Cannes jury was unable to come to a unanimous vote, this film shared the Best Picture prize with Blechtrommel, Die (1979) ("The Tin Drum").
* Laurence Fishburne lied about his age (he was 14 at the time) when production began in 1976.
* The photojournalist quotes two T.S. Eliot poems. In a late scene in the film, a slow pan over a table in Kurtz's room shows a copy of "From Ritual to Romance", a book by Jessie Weston that inspired Eliot's poem "The Wasteland".
* Kurtz reads from the T.S. Eliot poem "The Hollow Men". Eliot was inspired to write this poem by "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad, the book on which this movie was loosely based. The first line of the poem reads, "Mistah Kurtz - he dead". Kurtz leaves this line and the following line out when he reads. Also, the photojournalist says "This is the way the f***ing world ends. Look at this f***in' sh*t we're in, man. Not with a bang, but with a whimper, and with a whimper, I'm f***ing splitting, Jack." This is taken from the same poem's famous last two lines, "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper."
* Eleanor Coppola filmed and recorded the making of this film, leading to Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991).
* The character of the photojournalist (Dennis Hopper) was reportedly inspired by legendary photographer Tim Page, author of "Nam" and "Derailed in Uncle Ho's Victory Garden", among others.
* In the theatrical version of the film, 'Robert Duvall (I)' and Dennis Hopper leave the exact same way: by standing up from a squatting position and walking out of the frame to the right. However, this changes in the "Redux" version of the film which features a few extra minutes with Duvall's character.
* "Dennis Gassner" is the author of one of the articles about Kurtz in the dossier given to Willard. Dennis Gassner designed the dossier information for the movie and later became a noted production designer.
* Writer Michael Herr was called in to write much of Willard's voice-over dialogue and a few scenes. The scene where Roach uses a grenade launcher to kill the NVA soldier in the wire during the scene at the Do Long bridge is taken directly from "Dispatches," Herr's memoir of the year (1967-'68) he spent in-country as a journalist accredited to Esquire magazine during the war.
* Besides being a straightforward pun, Col. Kilgore's name is also the name of the hometown of a gung-ho helicopter door gunner described by writer Michael Herr in his book "Dispatches".
* Shown - again - as an "official selection" though not part of competition at Cannes Film Festival, May 2001.
* The famous line "terminate... with extreme prejudice" is spoken by Jerry Ziesmer, who also served as the film's Assistant Director.
* Carmine Coppola (director's father) wrote the score for this film.
* In addition to the other T.S. Eliot references, one book shown at the Kurtz compound is "The Golden Bough", one that Eliot said, along with "From Ritual to Romance", his "Waste Land" was largely based.
* John Milius originally wrote the script in 1969. It was then known as "The Psychedelic Soldier".
* Was voted "Best Picture of the last 25 years" by the Dutch movie magazine 'Skrien' on December 3rd 2002.
* The first film to use the 70mm Dolby Stereo surround sound system.
* The canteen scene with Lt. Col. Kilgore and the wounded Viet Cong is based on an actual incident. The real-life army officer really did say, "Any man brave enough to fight with his guts strapped to him can drink from my canteen any day".
* The poem quoted by The Photojournalist (Dennis Hopper) (the line about "a pair of ragged claws") is from the poem "The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot.
* In the original script and the shooting of some scenes, Colonel Kurtz was originally to be called Colonel "Leevy". When Harrison Ford says the line "pick up Colonel Kurtz path at Nue ma bow", you can see his mouth doesn't match the word "Kurtz" (indicating it was re-dubbed). (see the Alternate Versions)
* 'James Caan' was the director's first choice to play Col. Lucas. Caan, however, wanted too much money for what was considered a minor part in the movie. Harrison Ford was eventually cast in the role.
* "The Golden Bough", by James Frazer, is one of the books on Kurtz's night table. It is an anthropological study of rites in several cultures in which a young usurper ritually kills an aging king and inherits his throne.
* One of the sequences cut from the original release version but added to the "Redux" version is a sequence featuring the soldiers making out with two Playboy playmates. Colleen Camp was the playmate surrounded by birds. Camp said her character trained birds at Busch Gardens; Camp actually did this in real life.
* During the USO-type show with the Playboy bunnies, Burt Young is visible briefly in one shot as the camera pans from right to left, pointed at the front row of the audience.
* The people on the riverboat were actual Vietnamese refugees who had come to the Philippines less than six weeks earlier.
* When the photographer (Dennis Hopper) is babbling about the religious fervor of Kurtz, he babbles out portions of the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling.
* The movie's line "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." was voted as the #12 movie quote by the American Film Institute
* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #30 Greatest Movie of All Time.
* The movie's line "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning." was voted as the #45 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* The movie's line "The horror... the horror..." was voted as the #66 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
* Voted No.1 in Film4's "50 Films To See Before You Die".
* Military sets for the movie were nearly destroyed by a hurricane during filming. Instead of breaking them down and starting over, the partially-destroyed sets were used to create new scenes in the movie (including the scene in "Redux" where the playmates are stranded at the deserted military base).
* Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos agreed to let his army supply the helicopters and pilots used in the film. The Marcos government was also fighting rebels in the area where filming was taking place, and sometimes withdrew the helicopters and pilots when they were needed in battle, replacing them with pilots who weren't familiar with the filming, which caused some problems.
* It took Francis Ford Coppola nearly three years to edit the footage. While working on his final edit, it became apparent to him that Martin Sheen would be needed to tape a number of additional narrative voice-overs. Coppola soon discovered that Sheen was busy and unable to perform these voice-overs. He then called in Sheen's brother, Joe Estevez, whose voice sounds nearly identical to Sheen's, to perform the new narrative tracks. Estevez was also used as a stand-in/double for Sheen when Sheen suffered a heart attack during the shoot in 1976. Estevez was not credited for his work as a stand-in or for his voice-over work.
* Francis Ford Coppola was unable to find a satisfactory way of ending the film until his wife, Eleanor Coppola, witnessed the Ifugao tribesmen employed as extras performing an animal sacrifice.
* Francis Ford Coppola invested several million dollars of his own money in the film after it went severely over budget.
* Francis Ford Coppola threatened suicide several times during the making of the film.
* The film was originally supposed to be scored by Francis Ford Coppola mainstay David Shire. His score was not used, however, in favor of Carmine Coppola and Mickey Hart's synth and percussion score.
* The document that Willard skims through near the film's conclusion, on which "DROP THE BOMB. EXTERMINATE THEM ALL" is scrawled, is entitled "The Role of Democratic Force in the Underdeveloped World, by Walter E. Kurtz, Colonel USSF" and is "Commissioned by The Center For Democratic Studies, Santa Barbara, California". This is taken directly from Joseph Conrad's novella, where a report written for "the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs" by Kurtz is also graffitied with a similar message: "Exterminate all the brutes!"
* When Steve McQueen was being pursued for the role of Willard, the script was called "Apocalypse Three" as it featured three main characters, including a helicopter pilot. Gene Hackman reportedly was considered for the role of the pilot, as it was Francis Ford Coppola's idea initially to cast the three roles with stars.
* Francis Ford Coppola, who considered offering the role of Willard to Al Pacino, said that Pacino would probably have played the role if they could have filmed the movie in his New York City apartment. Jack Nicholson also was offered the role but turned it down.
* The original script by John Milius climaxes with Kurtz fighting off an attack by U.S. Army helicopters, firing a machine gun, while exclaiming to Willard, "I can feel the power in my loins!" Francis Ford Coppola thought this was absurd.
* The emcee accompanying the Playboy Bunnies is rock concert producer Bill Graham.
* One of the photos Willard studies in the dossier shows Kurtz in a line of soldiers being decorated by Gen. William C. Westmoreland.
* The scene at the beginning with Captain Willard alone in his hotel room was completely unscripted. It was the last scene to be shot, and Martin Sheen told the shooting crew to just let the cameras roll. The crew was so disturbed by his actions, such as punching the mirror, then rubbing the fresh blood on his face that they wanted to stop shooting, but director Francis Ford Coppola wanted to keep the cameras going.
* Jim Morrison sings his song "The End" during opening credits.
* The visit by the Playboy Playmates was based on an actual visit by 1965 Playmate of the Year Jo Collins. She was so popular with the troops that she was made an honorary GI. The Playmate of the Year character in the movie was played by 'Cyndi Wood (I)', who was herself Playmate of the Year in 1974.
* One of Francis Ford Coppola's top five favorite films of his own.
* Continuity: The blades of the Huey helicopter when the Playmate of the Year arrives.
* Crew or equipment visible: When pulling out from the Dulong bridge you can see the wake caused by the camera boat when the camera shows the boat pulling away.
* Continuity: Thickness of pages when Willard flips through Kurtz's manuscripts after he is killed.
* Factual errors: The maximum gross weight of a Huey helicopter is 10,500 pounds. It would be impossible for such an aircraft to lift a Patrol Boat, Riverine (PBR) which weighs anywhere between 15,000 and 19,000 pounds.
* Continuity: After the canopy of the boat is destroyed and is replaced by giant leaves, the canopy reappears while they are at the bridge. In subsequent shots after, the canopy is gone again and replaced by the leaves.
* Continuity: At times during the arrow/spear attack, with the crew at the gun positions and the Chief leaving the boat's wheelhouse to confront Willard, an extra crewman appears at the helm for a few seconds.
* Continuity: When attacking the village, Kilgore's helicopter has rocket pods on each side and no surfboards. When it lands it has surfboards on each side and no rocket pods.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: As Willard flips through Kurtz's dossier, the voiceover says, "Third generation West Point, top of his class" while the dossier clearly reads, "Graduates West Point; second in class." Second is still reasonably considered "top of the class."
* Revealing mistakes: The tape player that "Clean" picks up to play his mother's taped letter has no batteries in the bottom.
* Revealing mistakes: When Willard kicks The Chef's severed head off his legs his neck can be seen breathing in and out.
* Revealing mistakes: As Willard reads the newspaper articles about Kurtz, the text of one article is about West German, Iranian & US discussions about nuclear energy. It has nothing to do with Kurtz.
* Anachronisms: In Kurtz's dossier the cover letter in one section is a commendation to Col Kurtz for arranging a fly-by of Cobra gunships for a celebration or parade on "30 Aug 65." The first prototype of the Cobra gunship didn't fly until 7 Sep 65.
* Continuity: The length of Willard's cigarette while he is trapped in the bamboo cage, talking to the freelance photographer.
* Continuity: Willard's band-aid on his face appears out of nowhere during the battle scene with Kilgore, a few moments after their helicopter lands.
* Continuity: Broken radar dome on the boat reappears later in the film.
* Continuity: After Clean is shot, blood spatters on boat panel disappear and reappear.
* Continuity: When attacking the village, the helicopters alternate from flying at high altitude to sea level several times.
* Crew or equipment visible: Shadow of dolly and crew just before the scene with the news crew.
* Continuity: When Willard grabs the sergeant to get fuel for his boat (just before the scene where the playmates dance for the soldiers) his cigarette disappears and reappears between shots.
* Boom mic visible: When the Kilgore character is first introduced getting off a chopper you can see a reflection of a boom mike in his glasses.
* Crew or equipment visible: When the Playboy chopper takes off with the two men holding on you can see a safety wire holding the man who partially drops when the pants of the other man partially give way.
* Revealing mistakes: When Willard looks thru Kurtz' book at the end, two of the pages are identical.
* Continuity: When Roxanne Sarrault smokes a cigar during dinner, when only she, her father and Willard are present at the table. At the same time we see the arm of the man who earlier sat next to her, but in the next shot he is gone again.
* Crew or equipment visible: When Willard and his crew meet Kilgore and the cavalry for the first time and walk onto the beach, long shadows (caused by the setting sun) of the camera and its crew are visible where the soldiers walk.
* Continuity: After the massacre on the sampan, Mr. Clean is seen opening and closing the breech on the M-60 machine gun twice.
* Continuity: When Kilgore calls for an air strike, the number of planes attacking varies between four and five in different shots.
* Continuity: In the opening montage two different ceiling fans are seen. One is light colored with a louvered housing on the motor. The other is black with no visible motor housing, and is spinning counterclockwise.
* Audio/visual unsynchronized: During Willard's briefing in Nha Trang, every time someone mentions the name "Kurtz" on the soundtrack, on screen they are mouthing "Lieghley", the original name of Col. Kurtz's character in the script during the early part of the shooting.
* Revealing mistakes: When Kilgore calls for the soldier to start The Ride of the Valkyries, the soldier starts the reel-to-reel tape. Unfortunately, none of the tape actually touches a playback head. Instead the tape is wound underneath a tension bar and on to the take-up reel.
* Continuity: When the photojournalist welcomes Willard, his bandana is clearly rolled. A few shots later it appears flat on his forehead, and in the next shot it is back rolled again.
* Continuity: Near the end when Willard gets of the boat to kill Kurtz, he doesn't wear camouflage make-up on his face. When he emerges from the water, he does.
* Factual errors: During the air-strike on the village, Kilgore calls for "20 mike-mike Vulcan" to be shot from the Huey gunship. The UH-1 Huey does not carry an M-61A1 20mm Vulcan cannon. The Gatling gun which that is shown being shot is a Minigun, which shoots a 7.62mm NATO (.308 cal. Winchester) cartridge.
* Anachronisms: Willard is reading info about Kurtz while eating a Hershey's bar that has a modern UPC bar code on it.
* Crew or equipment visible: In Cambodia, when the crew is reading mail, then coming under fire and escaping, spray from the camera boat can be seen twice.
* Continuity: LTC Kilgore's stetson hat has a rank insignia on it when he is first seen, but the rank is missing in the Ride of the Valkyries attack.
* Factual errors: The Viet Cong's tracer bullets, seen quite often throughout the film, notably when the PT boat is "sprayed" with enemy fire, appear to be red in color. In reality, the Viet Cong used green tracer ammunition while the American's used red tracer ammunition.
* Continuity: When the helicopter drops the PBR onto the water, the superstructure with the radar mast collapses, but in the next shot the boat is fine.
* Crew or equipment visible: When a helicopter is traveling over the hills in the distance after Willard's mission briefing from the high rankings, in the bottom right of the shot you can make out the shadow of another helicopter traveling away from Willard's one. This is possibly a camera helicopter.
* Factual errors: Many M16 rifles are shown with 30-round magazines installed. These were rarely used in Vietnam. The standard magazine of the Vietnam era was shorter, and held 20 rounds.
* Miscellaneous: When Willard is showing a map to LTC Kilger the night of the Huey attack, it is impossible for both to see the map because of the light angle caused by the fire. The map must have been completely dark from the actor’s point of view.
* Revealing mistakes: Kilgore's helicopter attack scene, according to the dialogue between him and Willard the previous night, states that the attack will take place at dawn. Yet most of the scene itself was clearly filmed at high noon.
* Factual errors: In the scene the morning after the Do Long bridge incident, following Lance's popping smoke ("purple haze," he calls it), Clean is shown about to listen to his tape and an M-60 is shown on the left with linked ammo dangling and draped over the boat's side panel. However, the ammo rounds are clearly blanks with the characteristic blunt bottle-nose tips, not real rounds.
* Continuity: After the helicopter carrying the wounded child leaves, Lance's clothing has changed from his Army fatigues to a pair of shorts (this is because of a scene cut from the original theatrical version in which Kilgore gives him a pair of shorts to surf in. The scene was restored in the Redux edition of the film.)
* Continuity: In the opening scene when Willard is in his apartment, before he punches the mirror there is already a blood stain on his sheets.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Willard is looking through the dossier at the times that Kurtz was denied a transfer to Special Forces ("jump school"), the reason for disapproval is written: "The Army feels, all maters of age and fitness aside..."; "matters" is misspelled.
* Continuity: When Johnson is painting the Playmate of the Year's face, you see a shot of her forehead already painted black. About a minute later, her forehead is clean and he is applying the black makeup, seemingly for the first time.
* Revealing mistakes: Much of the rockets and arms fire are represented by firecrackers. This can be most clearly seen by the highly curved paths they make.
* Incorrectly regarded as goofs: SPOILER: During Clean's funeral, the Chief folds the tattered American flag from the stars end to the stripes end. Even a Cub Scout knows you fold the flag from stripes to stars, leaving the blue field on the outside. A Navy Chief Petty Officer would certainly know this. This was almost certainly intentional on the director's part; it may symbolize the chief's disaffection with the war, or at least with his mission (similar to flying a flag upside-down as a sign of distress).
Baler Bay, Baler, Luzon, Philippines
(beach with soldiers surfing)
Baler, Luzon, Philippines
(Helicopter attack on village)
Chavon River, Dominican Republic
Iba, Luzon, Philippines
Laguna, Luzon, Philippines
Metro Manila, Luzon, Philippines
Napa Valley, California, USA
Pagsanjan River, Philippines
(Magdapio River - Do Long Bridge)
Pagsanjan, Laguna, Luzon, Philippines
(Do Long Bridge - Kurtz' Compound)
The post was edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().