This website attempts to gather as much information about the movie Apocalypse Now as possible. This will be a ongoing project, and therefore this website is still very much a work in progress.
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film set during the Vietnam War. The plot revolves around two US Army special operations officers, one of whom, Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) of MACV-SOG, is sent into the jungle to assassinate the other, the rogue and presumably insane Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) of Special Forces. The film was produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola from a script by Coppola and John Milius. The script is based on Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness, and also draws elements from Michael Herr's Dispatches, the film version of Conrad's Lord Jim (which shares the same character of Marlow with Heart of Darkness), and Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972).
The film became notorious in the entertainment press due to its lengthy and troubled production, as documented in Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. Marlon Brando showed up to the set overweight and Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack. The production was also beset by extreme weather that destroyed several expensive sets. In addition, the release date of the film was delayed several times as Coppola struggled to come up with an ending and to edit the millions of feet of footage that he had shot. The film won the Palme d'Or at Cannes and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama.
Today, the film is widely regarded as a masterpiece of the New Hollywood era. It is on the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies list at number 28, but it dropped two spots to number 30 on their 10th anniversary list. Kilgore's quote "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" (written by Milius) was number 12 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list.
In 2002, Sight and Sound magazine polled several critics to name the best film of the last 25 years and Apocalypse Now was named number one. It was also listed as the second best war film by viewers on Channel 4's 100 Greatest War Films, and ranked number 1 on Channel 4's 50 Films To See Before You Die. In a 2004 poll of UK film fans, Blockbuster listed Kilgore's eulogy to napalm as the best movie speech. The helicopter attack to Ride of the Valkyries was chosen as the most memorable film scene ever by the Empire magazine.
In 2009, the London Film Critics' Circle voted Apocalypse Now the best movie of the last 30 years.
The film – particularly the helicopter attack scene – is referenced in many works of popular culture, including James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar.