1978 **** 184 mins.
When I began watching this film, I was thoroughly engaged in it. The pacing of the first half is incredible. For nearly an hour, we are enveloped in the lives of our main characters. We learn all there is to know about them as one of them gets married. The men are all steel workers who are about to be shipped off to Vietnam. Suddenly, we're in Vietnam, participating in some of the most intense scenes of Russian Roulette ever committed to film. The second half of the film seems to lose focus, though, the pacing becomes too rapid, and the heart just doesn't seem to be in it any longer. The ending scene also leaves a bad taste in my mouth; it seems to be forcibly trying to make a point, an anti-climax. It's worth one viewing, for the true cinephile.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Panavision)
Michael Cimino & Ddaric Washburn and Louis Garfinkle & Quinn K. Redeker