“The Deer Hunter” is the only movie Alex and Nick share in their top 10 films of all time. In this episode, the guys discuss Michael Cimino, blue-collar towns, the wedding scene, post-Vietnam America, responding to active trauma, fractured masculinity, Vilmos Zsigmond, De Niro, Walken, Cazale, Streep, and much more.
Follow @WAYW_Podcast on Twitter and Instagram and Letterboxd.
Watch Alex's films at http://alexwithrow.com/
Watch Nick's films at https://www.nicholasdostal.com/
Send us mailbag questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, everyone. Welcome to. What are you watching? I'm Alex with throw on. I'm joined by my best man, Nick Dell. So how are you doing there? Stash Stash. Oh, you son of a bitch had the corsage. Yeah, of course I had to. I thought you went with Nick, because my name is Nick. I should have tried to pronounce his real name or like his name. His character name in the movie. Like, it's so long. Yeah. This is a big one today, because this is the first time we've been able to do a deep dive on the only movie that we shared. Yeah, and our top ten films of all time. That's crazy. That's a big deal. And we've circled this one for a long time. We didn't really know the best way. Really? Do we do a full Cimino? Do we just do Deer Hunter? Do we do a commentary? And we're like, No, we're just going to open it up, dive right into this movie, this movie that we love so much that we both have a long history with. And yeah, I'm really excited about this one because this is a this is a damn intense movie and it's one of my absolute favorites ever made. I've long said it's one, if not as far as my childhood goes. This is the most disturbing movie I saw in my childhood. It disturbed me in ways that have just never been replicated. I have seen more thematically disturbing movies in this, I think irreversible is a more disturbing movie. But the emotion that The Deer Hunter put into me at such a young age, it was terrifying, but it's so well-made that I wanted to go back to it. Oh, I love this movie. And I'm assuming that, you know, like the main thing that we're talking about when we're talking about the disturbing nature of it is the is the the Russian roulette scene. Yeah. That that actually isn't that that wasn't what disturbed me so much. No, no, no. When I was a kid, what disturbed me so much was we assume, for these deep dive episodes that you've seen the movie, or if not, you don't mind, you know, spoilers. So, yeah, just a fair warning that we're going to be talking about the entirety of The Deer Hunter. It was the end. It was how everything resolved. Yeah. I was so disturbed at seeing someone mentally break like that and to have such a break from reality that they no longer recognize their best friend so completely and utterly gone that they have no way out. And then when it clicks in for him, you know, one shot shot and he dies. Anyway, it was just so disturbing to me because you went you did this like you signed up, you went to war and it it let you down and you couldn't bounce back. I'm I'm speaking specifically about the walk in character, Nick. But yeah, that's what was so disturbing that this was all for not going to say it was all for nothing, but it's just it was just so tragic. Yeah. This is what happens when you go off to war. We're going to talk a lot about that kind of most of my notes about this movie are grounded in how it is a brilliant portrayal of how people react to trauma, act of trauma, fight or flight. What do you do in the actual moment and then what do you do after? Because we still have to pick up all these pieces. That is why I love this movie. That is also why I thought and still think it is profoundly disturbing yet profoundly moving, because I've watched this a number of times in my life, certainly, and in leading up to this podcast, just watching it despite it in 4K for cable, it's fucking great. And then for 4K, this is it's right up there with one of my best 4K buys yet like it is. The older I go with the movie, the more impressed I am. Double Indemnity. I mean, everything's great Pulp. We just talked about that on the Malcolm X part, but it looks so great. And yet I returned to it over and over and I always find myself weeping at God Bless America. And I'm not the most patriotic guy you're, you know, loyal podcast host Yeah, it's okay. But I think it's so profoundly moving. And I would venture to guess because I feel the same way, is that the reason that I'm moved by that? It's not because of the song? No, no, no, no. It's it's, it's the act of what they're doing. Yes. We don't know where we're going to go. We don't know what's going to happen next. We're in mourning. All we really have right now is each other in this moment. That's it. And if we're going to sing, then, you know, I mean, I don't know. Sometimes I kind of think that like, I don't know about you, but I've often found that when I've been in large groups of, you know, I'm not talking like, you know, like when like when I was a kid and I would go to church, like you'd sing there because, like, that's what everyone does. Like, you start singing like, you know, you open up the thing and everyone's got like that really awful. I'm sorry. But like, that, that very awful religious. Yeah, of course. Of course. Like the in unison chorus type thing when I, when my parents would take me to church as a kid, I would distract myself by trying to memorize every best best picture winner in order. Oh, that's amazing. That's. That's. That's. That might be the most Alex thing I've ever heard. I did the Internet or anything. I would just sit there, try to remember the dates, and I'd be there and I'd be like, 48, 40 Hamlet. Oh, yeah. So I, I can only really recall, like, a few moments in my life where I've been in, like, a social situation that wasn't it. Like a concert where we've all broken out into song about something. Mm hmm. I remember them that they were that meaningful. We're here together, and. And. And song is just how this is coming out. Mm hmm. Yes. Patriotism, I think, is a part of it. It's honestly, it's probably actually a good question to ask that in the midst of everything that this movie presents, can you still be patriotic? Is it? Oh, well, this was like I mean, we're literally jumping. We really jump into the end is hugely controversial, like people that split, people who even loved the movie, they didn't know how to react to that. Some people, it's crazy to go back and read some reviews, like 1978, 79 reviews for this movie. And some really notable critics think that they're being sarcastic in God Bless America, that that read on it. It's like crazy to me. I've only ever found it is just profoundly moving. And like you're saying, it's about us being together. It's not about necessarily the song. It's just us sharing this moment together. Yeah, that's why it hits the Deer Hunter. We got to we got to go way, way back. Because I want to know your relationship with it. Mine. I want to know the first time you saw it. I want to know when it crept into your top ten. I'll go first. Quickly. This is a ten year old movie. Like I watched it when I was ten. This is us. I'm ten now. I'm watching this movie, so watch it. And I was ten years old. It's big, big year. Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, very, very telling that those are all still in my top. Yeah, of all time. Yeah. This is what I saw. It didn't understand a lot of it did not understand a whole hell of a lot of it. This is another movie that I've talked with my dad about so much. He and I had a great conversation two nights ago because I told him we were recording this. It was something that I understood oddly, like right away. But I really I will never forget being so fascinated by that fight or flight thing and why they were acting different. And then I was also fascinated with this, isn't it is a Vietnam movie. It is about Vietnam, but not a lot of it takes place in country for three hour movie. Not really like there are sequences that are, you know, just so long, like the wedding, the wedding sequence. The opening sequence is like 58 minutes. Yeah, that's way longer than that. Yeah. Because that core Vietnam sequence is about 42 minutes. So the wedding stuff is way longer. And I remember thinking and sitting there being like, What is this? Why do I care about this wedding? This is obviously not an original thought. A lot of people, probably everyone watching this, like what's going on? And now, now I find myself waiting for those the most like waiting for those scenes when they're all back at the bar after they hunt. We just go off the Malcolm X podcast and it's another one that I've had an equally long relationship for, even though those movies were made years apart, I saw them at around the same time. So they all have the same amount of influence and impact on me in The Deer Hunter. Yeah, it was one that I saw very young, and when I was done with it, I had convinced myself that I didn't like it because I was so disturbed that I didn't. And then I heard directors talking about it and I really like this was two or three years later. I went back and revisited it. And from that viewing, it's like 1213 now. It has been in my top ten and it stayed ever since. And I was a kid. My parents got a few calls for movies like this from Friends who had come over to my house for a sleepover, shown the tiger to watch the Deer Hunter. Oh, watch. Whatever, man. You got to see this new thing I just watch. Here it is. We watch it. They go home, tell Mommy and Daddy. They watch a movie called The Deer Hunter. Oh, my parents would get the call. My child is not allowed to watch the Deer Hunter. Oops. I did know. Hey, whatever. We're all. I think we're all fine. Hey, that. That's actually like, if I was a parent and I was getting a call about my kid, and it's like, you know what your kid did? Oh, God. What? He showed my kid the Deer Hunter. Okay, I can. I can tell you, my mother got those calls on, like like biweekly, like every other week. She was getting calls. I mean, I had a small group of friends, but there were some like then it got to the point where before they came over, there were limitations. Like my the parents would have a call before they came, a brief before they came to be like, Here's what they can watch this. They can't PG 13 only that's hilarious. I loved it. I loved it. But what about you? Your relationship like, Yeah, this is a movie I've been horrified by. The first time I saw it really came around to it. Love every aspect of it. I'm obsessed with the making of it, obsessed with Cimino and all the stuff surrounding him. Just love all the war behind the movie. Oh, yeah, Because it's in my top ten. It is my. It's just one way to say it. It's my favorite movie it's ever won. Best picture. Yeah, my favorite best picture winner ever. I mean, yeah, I'd have to. Yeah, because I don't think any of mine did either. Cuckoo's Nest for you. Oh, yeah. Kookaburras. Yep. Yeah. Which is fair, But, you know, you know, you made me think about something as you were talking about how, like, you saw this when you were ten, which is crazy. It's hilarious. For some reason. There's something about seeing this movie at that age that even even I am like, Oh, wow, You saw Deer Hunter at 1010. For some reason it's like it's a double figure. And I guess something clicked in my parents head where they're like, He's clearly watching these somehow. Like I wasn't I mean, I was sometimes a sneak. There were definitely some times when they left the house to go to dinner and they had read something that I wasn't on watch. And of course I watch it, but it was fine. I'm not. Yeah, you're not crazy. I was just I was a nuts nutso kid, as my dad said on the Place and Son podcast, like you were obsessed with every aspect of cinema, not just just the content actor is what it is. Yeah. So and then by ten, I think they figured I was a very well-behaved kid. So it's like, let's just let him have this. Yeah. And it wasn't totally free rein, sexually explicit stuff, you know, I had to discover the erotic thrillers on my own. I had to get through on my own. I wasn't allowed to watch those. Those had to be snuck, sneaked, snuck out. Anyway, back to Deer Hunter. Yeah. Yeah. Ten years old. Very influential on my movie. Demme You you actually just made me have to. You know, I've had a big problem with this ever since I this is a complete side tangent, but like, I took Pulp Fiction out of my top ten a while ago to fit in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. So a Quentin for a Quentin. But that's never sat well with me because I remember that when I saw Pulp Fiction for the first time, there was a very real moment of like, I've there's no going back from here. Like, I've seen something now that I have to recognize. There was life before this, and now life is after this and I'll never be the same. And I've had that feeling about the Deer Hunter in a different way, because Pulp Fiction is such a entertaining type of movie in its way where Deer Hunter is not necessarily entertaining, but it is powerful. So I might have to put Pulp Fiction back in there. You're me. Me. You made me really kind of think about this. Yeah. My rule. Like, I wouldn't I wouldn't give you shit about it. But the recency bias thing, which I, as a rule, would not have in my top ten of all time, I would never have a movie on there that came out less than ten years ago. And that's just me. That's me because I want to give it like that long really, to see like how it sits, how it adjusts within everything, you know, the context of it. And that's why I'm saying if the deer hunter's been in my it was really my top five four since I was, you know, 12. I'm far older than that now. Yeah. Speaks a lot for the movie. This isn't some you know I take these less seriously like this isn't something I just blindly put there and then watch the movie every ten years. No, like I watched this movie. I'm not going to say every year, but very, very often I've seen this movie a great deal of times as have I. And I first saw this movie, that college era of mine, where I was really starting to find these movies for the first time. It's funny, you were talking to your dad. I was just talking to my mom. And I remember I was telling her I was like, oh, we're we're doing a pod this Saturday. And she goes, Oh, what movies are you doing? And that mentioned The Deer Hunter, and she just goes, That's a good movie. Yeah. And I go, What? And she goes, Oh, she's got. It's been a long time since I've seen it, but she's like, powerful. That's a that's a very, very impactful movie. And I'm like, Damn right. I've never heard you talk about The Deer Hunter and what can a So I remember when I watched this, this was one of those things where I had started it and I started from the beginning the same feeling you did about the wedding scene where it does dawn on you after a while because there's almost no dialog for a lot of it's very sparse. And when there is, it's it's barely audible in a lot of the times because there's the party going on. But I remember at one point, like I really had settled into it and I was perplexed by how long the scene was going, and we hadn't even left the wedding yet. It occurred to me, I go, This is really important. When he gets into it, you realize why. And then and the movie was over. I just remember I was like, Life is not the same after this. And ever since then, this movie has always been the the movie as I was going on through life where sort of like almost how my mom said it, where it's like it's like it's undeniable. Like this is just one of the most powerful movies you'll ever see. And I have been experiencing it and re-experiencing it every time I've watched it. And I'm always getting something new, but I'm always getting the same. I'm always reminded of what I think the point of this movie in a lot of ways is What do we mean to each other? Like, what do people mean to each other? And I think that's sort of what this movie orbits around throughout everything it goes through it. We just go into some very, very intense examples of what it means to be to for us to be with each other. Yes. Yes. And there are a lot of reasons for this. And I could do my God, I could do a whole podcast episode on Michael Cimino, just one of the most strong willed, crazy ass Hollywood filmmakers to ever do it. I'll touch briefly as we go about his career, but he had written a few scripts and had produced screenplays, but he only had one movie before This Thunderbolt and Lightfoot starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges. I mean, 1972, really good movie, really fun, just like Robbers on the run, Buddy buddy movie, Buddy Thief movie. It's really well done. And it has these, like this amazing landscape photography. Like the whole time you're watching it, you're like, Jesus, this is way more elevated than a road movie. Kind of like Thelma and Louise for Thelma and Louise, like, wow, you really, like, captured here. Whoever made this really has an eye for cinema and for the lens, and he wants to make his next movie. So he finds this. There's so much lore behind this, but he basically finds a spec script that is about like two guys playing Russian roulette and Las Vegas, and he, like, buys that and just takes the Russian roulette stuff, goes off, writes the script. There were a lot of like credit issues for the Deer Hunter script, but he writes it. And what I want to put in the context for this film because like the whole time, you know, they're making it, they cast De Niro really early on and he's helping like scout locations. He's meeting with the real people. He wants to know how this all is. But there's something that my dad reminded me of that is really important to put into context with The Deer Hunter. No one had seen a movie like this before. It had not been made. The Deer Hunter is the first major movie about Vietnam. Yeah, about the Vietnam War that takes place in Vietnam. So the Vietnam War begins in 1954, and by 63 America is involved. But after Kennedy is assassinated and Johnson takes over, America becomes very heavily involved in the Vietnam War. They fight more or less for a decade. The U.S. leaves Vietnam in 1973, Saigon Falls in 1975. The Deer Hunter is released in 1978. So the legacy of Vietnam is very long and very complicated because many of the veterans who came back found themselves ostracized by society, many of whom were staunchly opposed to the war and veterans also found themselves somewhat forgotten by the U.S. government. And veteran benefits were very hard to come by. If you've seen Oliver Stone's born on the 4th of July, there's some really horrific scenes of him in a deplorable VA setting, scenarios where they are understaffed. I mean, it's really it's kind of grotesque. And a lot of the Vietnam veterans who came back had very serious drug problems, very serious psychological problems. And the military infrastructure, by and large, didn't seem to give a shit as a result. The Vietnam War in America, post-Vietnam becomes something that is not talked about. Yeah, it is not discussed. It was on TV every day. That's how the news started. At night. It's over. We lost. We need to move on. I am not trying to generalize the mood of an entire nation, but by and large, this was not a conflict. People were celebrating. Now, Hollywood certainly no stranger to horror themselves. Whenever they can make a buck. They didn't even cash in on Vietnam. There were early movies as like cheesy, early old Hollywood bravado pictures like the Green Berets with John Wayne, which came out in 68. There are interior dramatic readings like Elia Kazan's The Visitors, which is more about soldiers coming home from war and confronting those demons. None of it takes place in Vietnam. The Deer Hunter really was. First, it may not be the most literal, accurate representation of the Vietnam conflict, like the encounter free stuff. That was criticized a lot. But it is a perfect representation of the horror that is inflicted on people in war. But it really was first. So I just want to point that out to anyone who has seen it, who maybe they've lost sight of that. I, I knew that The Deer Hunter was the first the first major movie to talk about the Vietnam War. I didn't really realize that people were like not really talking about this war in general. And then this thing comes up and it's like, Hey, whoa. So it was a huge announcement. This movie was a big, big deal. Very controversial, like extremely, you know, And that's and that's a very, very, very important thing, too. And, you know, I even sometimes forget about that because I think the thing that I think about with this movie, with the war part of it, is it has always been fairly obvious to me that the Vietnam stuff in this movie, like if you if you really think about it, there's only really one action civil War type sequence and that's when we first thing. Yeah, well, not even that though, because if oh if you if you think about Oh right, you're right. That's, that's more like a POV P.O.W. Yeah, it's a prisoner of war. So you're talking about the flame, the flame thrower. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're right. You're right. Really, the only actual Vietnam War type action we get. And it's like under 3 minutes, maybe, like from the from a jump cut from from home to the jungle. We get some exteriors, and then we see De Niro just out, like. Like, like on top of it. This is what's so cool. Yeah. Because he is like, when he comes to it's foreshadowing walking at the end. Yes. Because he does not recognize walking there like. Mike. Yeah. Mike And yeah, he has to be startled. Yeah. Like he just basically jumps right into action mode because that's, it's the fight or flight and he's fighting and then Yeah, and then really the end, if you really boil it down, it's kind of funny that you mentioned that he only took the, the Russian roulette scene from a Vegas script because the big dramatic scene sequence of the movie is the Russian roulette scene. But if outside of the fact that you've placed it in Vietnam, you could probably really set that scene anywhere. And it'll still have the effect that it might have in terms of just beat for beat. But because we are now in a P.O.W. situation, which could happen in any war, you know, I mean, really what we're actually watching is humanity at its most intense and most depraved. Yeah, most depraved, most degrading. Yeah. Because that is these people are being forced to do it. They have no money to game. They're living like if you do this, you die. If you don't do it, you die. Yeah. You're just doing this for us to make money and pass the time to pass the time that is as low as it gets. As low as it gets. So I mean, really, that itself doesn't have to do with Vietnam. It's not like like Vietnam had they had a monopoly on Russian roulette and that kind of. Well, that's yeah, that's part of the controversy of the film is that apparently this just didn't go on in Vietnam and there's no historical references of it. To which I say I do not care. No. Yeah, that's not the point. Yeah, he's he's you just touch on exactly what the scene is supposed to convey. Yeah. Which is human degradation. That's exactly everything collapsing. Yeah. So? So my stepdad is he's a veteran and he has his fair share of baggage that has come from his time in the war. To me, what I think is the most and what you just said in the introduction of that, people did not see a movie like this. It's not even the Vietnam stuff. It's the it's the way that the soldiers were treated on the way out. Exactly. Basically walk in to just kind of be forgotten about, like not taking care of to Steve, who, you know, is in the veteran's hospital. And you know, that's they're playing bingo in there. And he's actually quite happy. But I mean, he doesn't even want to leave. He's happy because he's avoiding real life. Exactly. That's like, yeah, I'm I'm staying here. I'm not that's that's why you know exactly this. He doesn't know that his wife is catatonic. And then you get De Niro who comes back. And to me, this is the most interesting will always be to me, the most thought provoking aspect of the movie is coming back after you've been through what you've been through and realizing that you just can't sit like that. The stuff that and he's a guy that does not like he's kind of this that not stereotype, but it is in a way of just that guy who does not talk about things. Yeah, he's very closed off. Yeah. And he was like, yeah, before the war. In light of the way you were talking about what your dad said about the movie, thinking about how there was never a movie, probably this portrayed made where this was what was happening to soldiers in a time where America decided to just close the book, move on, not talk about the fact that some soldiers were coming back and wanting to stay in these VA hospitals because they couldn't face going back to real life, the ones who could come back to real life but couldn't handle it, and then the ones that never, never came back. And so this movie kind of touches on those elements of reality that people probably did not want to deal with. Yeah, and it was definitely one of the very first to do that, because when I'm asked, like, what's your favorite war movie, your favorite Vietnam movie, I will say, you know, the Deer Hunter doesn't have a lot of scenes in country in conflict yet, but The Deer Hunter is the best movie ever made about coming home. Yes, from war. Yeah. Having to deal with that. Which is ironic because also this year, 1978, Hal Ashby made a movie called Coming Home, starring John Voight as a soldier, coming home from war that was running neck and neck with the Deer Hunter for Oscars. And Jon Voight won best Actor, which was I'm not mad at it, but I would have wished that would have been De Niro much more. But that's okay. But still, even then, this this notion of coming home and like not knowing how to deal one of the most tragic aspects of this movie, one of the most tragic scenes to me is when it comes home and he's in that cab, he sees that big banner like Welcome home, Michael. And he's like, Just keep driving. Just take me to a hotel. Like, he can't even he can't even take it. Like, I don't I don't want to be whatever it is. I don't want to be celebrated. I don't want to see all these damn people again, Just want to go see Meryl on my own. And when I'm ready to see the guys, I'll surprise them at work like it's got to. I'm just not feeling it. And that's like I remember at a young age, seeing that and being like, Oh, I get it. Oh wow, I get this. Yeah, I get why he doesn't want to go in. Like, he's probably just, like, mortified, like how the fuck. And these people, number one, there's so much employment. Number one, how can these people understand what the hell he just went through? Yeah. Are they going have questions about Walken? I don't know where the hell he is. Yeah, no clue. Yeah. How are you supposed to answer anything? Right? You know, and that's what's so great is like, you know, you see, like these townee guys when I like, I love that one scene where it's like that one extra. He's in the supermarket. He was the guy in the wedding that had is that was groping the girl. Yeah. He was like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The master of ceremonies. Yeah. Like because Meryl Streep basically forces Mike to come Robert De Niro's character Mike to come into the supermarket to say hi to people. He's just kind of being gracious. There's happy to see him. But the DJ guy goes, he goes, We really won over there, didn't we? Mike? We really got him, you know, like no one knows what to say. And then when you really get the reality, it's like, I don't know where my two best friends are. Mm hmm. From Robert De Niro's perspective, take away Walken and and John Savage's characters. What am I supposed to do? I supposed to go back to work? Like, am I going back to the fucking steel factory? Like, what am I doing? Yeah, Yeah. And to DeNiro's credit, like his character's credit, he is the most adjusted in it in terms of what he was went through to come back. Like he's got the fortitude mentally to be able to, you know, quote unquote, be okay. Mm hmm. But that's what's so great about this movie is like trying to wrap your head around. All of this is damn near impossible, but it's all understandable. It's all digestible. It's all something that there is no answer to. That's kind of what I like to live in when I watch it is just this fuck. How do you do this? I actually counted something. I didn't count them all, but I never realized it. Damn near all the dialog that that De Niro has when he comes back from war is he's just asking people how they're doing. Oh yeah, that's a really common deflection. Really common tactic when you don't want to reveal information about yourself. It's just me. Well, how have you been helpful? Yeah, you know, and Gazelle get more ass in the toilet seat. Like what? Yeah. Oh, of course. Yeah, I guess so. Oh, God. I love you, John. Love you, John Cazale. It's just a complete kind of, like, repetitive how you do it, how you do it. And then they say how they're doing and then there's nowhere to go. There's like nowhere to go in conversation from there. And he, he is adjusting to best. If we're just looking at those three, he's adjusting. But then there are cracks because let's remember. Oh, yeah, just blows John Basil's fucking head off stage. His head off it could he had a one in six chance right there because he pulls that trigger. Well we're going to get there. We're getting a head butt almost. Yeah. That's such an intense scene. It's like, Oh, well, do things a little differently. I'm going to mention the main players, the main cast upfront, because we get to talk about all these people along the way. We have Robert De Niro playing, Michael, Christopher Walken playing Nick, and John Savage is Stevie. Oh, these are three guys. Three friends are going off to Vietnam. They're going to go very shortly after and slash Stevie Gets Married. And that's how the movie begins with these guys knocking off a work at the steel factory. And then they go, Oh, we'll get to that in a second. ROOT Tanya Alda as Angela Stevens bride. The last few times I watch it for this episode that somewhat I never give enough credit to, and I really paid attention her man. We're going to talk about her. Of course, we have Meryl Streep as Linda. Her first really big performance in movie John Cazale is Stanley slash Stan slash stache. George Dunder is that you say it or I don't know yeah George Sunday as John Chuck asked Bergen as Axel I love that guy because he was really just a factory worker and they found him scouting locations and he just essentially played a version of himself. It's the only performance. He's done these great John and stars. Those are an axel. Those are the friends who stay behind. They're staying in town. They're not going to war. Those are our main players, really. Joe Griffiths, he was the bandleader, I guess we could call him, not the deejay. Yeah, they're not like spinning any discs, but. Yeah, yeah, that's your. I love that you just grabbed your. It's just God. But yeah, we're getting introduced to these people. That's how the movie begins, of course, with these gorgeous set ups by Vilmos Zsigmond, one of the best cinematographers who's ever lived. He's such an integral part to the look of this movie. And again, I will just never forget seeing this movie for the first time being like, Who the fuck are these guys? They're like, Yeah, they get off work at sunrise to speed, race to the bar that their buddy owns and they start drinking like, I don't know, seven, eight in the morning and they're getting shitty drunk dirt. It's like throwing it on Steve's there too. He's getting married in a little bit. His mom played by Shirley Shirley Stoller, who was in the Honeymoon Killers, an actress I love. She shows up, grabs his ass out. I just love that. It's like if you actually do the timeline, like, I guess they went to work at, like, I don't know, 11 p.m. knock off at like 7 a.m. eight. Go start drinking. Go start, get ready for the wedding, Go to the wedding, get annihilated, hammered, drunk. One of them goes out running, streaking in town, and they all hop in a car and go deer hunting. It's like, What the fuck do these guys sleep? It's just like blue collar American life. Like, this is how they're living. They're living, having fun. And another reason that I'm so drawn to this movie and this is what he'll always say when he references this movie. My dad grew up in a town exactly like the one that is depicted in this film. They had a glass factory. They had a lot of factors that a glass factory that he worked at for a few summers in between college. It's like that's what they did after the midnight shift. You got off seven, eight in the morning and you went and drank. Then you went home, had some dinner and went to bed. That's life. That's what you did. And he says he's he loves this movie for a lot of reasons. But for that, it's like this is just the perfect depiction of the town I grew up in. Like, exactly like it. Everyone's in everyone's shit, gossip all around. Like, is the bride is that really his baby or is it, you know, all that shit's going on. It's and I love that. You know, it ties me to it a little more, too. Well, and I think that's the I don't know if there's actually a movie that I can think of that really kind of captures the specificity of its environment as well as this. Because, yeah, we should all say they're like orthodox Russian Americans. So that's like a huge part of the movie and of their culture and their names and how long the ceremony is going to take in. This is something I knew absolutely nothing about when I was watching it at such a young age that I was just my mind was like blown. And all this, the ceremony, I loved it. I still love it. The camera is just another person in this town. Oh, yeah, it for this for the for the beginning of this. So, like, when you're watching everyone leave the factory, the way everyone's talking to each other, the way that they are with each other, you just understand it. Or if you. Okay, let's say you're not someone who grew up in a town like that. You don't need to have all this and just kind of be like, okay, that's how these guys are. And but if you if you've been a part of any blue collar American town, like this is what it is. And I think the movie sets it up so well by the tiny little off scenes, like when we see the priest and and the nun and she's just crying. Yeah. You know, we see the other old ladies of the town. They're getting ready for the wedding. So they got the cake. They got the cake like everyone's involved and everyone knows it's a whole entire thing. And then like to even bring up the Angela for the first time, you know, we see that she's getting ready. She's the bride, and then she just starts to cry. And all we can really, really ascertain for ourselves that, oh, she doesn't want to even get married. And then we learn a little bit more. But like, what we're learning, like, like, like you pick up on all these things that are just so specific to this town that don't really mean much to the plot. No, it's all character. It's all Cimino wants us by the end of this movie, when we see these characters go through human degradation, he wants us to care. Yes, and we do. And we do. Yep. And we do. And I don't see some of the drama that's a part of this movie like her. Not wanting to get married, but going through with it. Then as the reveal happens, like and it's so smart to reveal that it's not even Steve's kid until I got to put my my hand up here for a second because memories of fucking funny thing man. Like this is one of my favorite movies. I put this on last week. I did not remember that. I did not remember that. That's not his baby. I don't know. I've known that in points in my life. Yeah. I went back and looked at stuff. I had written about this on my blog and I had written that into like reviews or different things. I just forgotten. So that's why she's trying to be partly in it. And yeah, the way they reveal it is. So I just wanted to call myself out there and be like, Holy shit, I can't believe I forgot that. So literally watching it this time, I, it was like watching it for the first time going, That's right, Yeah. Oh, yeah. I don't know. There's something that's so. I don't know, man. There's just something about that. This is the way that people actually live. Like this is. This is a very, very real common thing that happens in parts of America. And that's. And that's all that we learn. That's it. Like, like we just figure this piece of information out and then movie keeps on rolling, like we're just, you know, like Christopher Walken scat, like that great moment where it seems like he didn't even know. Oh, yeah. Because like John Savage basically, like, comes to him and it's like in a moment, you know, he's embarrassed. Like, we get the idea that John said, John, it's tough. I keep switching actor names. We get the the idea that and Angela we come to learn they've never even been together before. Which leads me to believe that Stevie has never had sex yet, and he knows that it's not his baby obviously. And it does look like Nick's last. Christopher Walken is learning this for the first time, too, and he's like, Hey, it's fine. Yeah, it's good. It's good. It's what it's supposed to be. But he does seem surprised. Whereas like the town fucking coos stash here seems to know all this. You know, he seems to be walking around, not even knows. He seems to be, like, a little bit antagonizing. Oh, yeah, about it. And every little, like, cut away. We have to gazelle. He's always like, Did you hear about Angela? Did you hear what she did? Yes. Always do with this. Yeah. But again, we're getting to meet everyone. And just because when I say Cimino wants us to care doesn't mean we have to, like. Yeah, it doesn't mean we have to love everyone. It means we have to understand who they are. I agree with every choice that everyone makes in this movie. That doesn't matter. I understand why they make them, but we've all had a friend like stars. We've all had like, sash in our life. We have one right now. His name's fucking Danny. Sure. We've all had we've all had that friend. And it's so relatable to watch that It's just their whole dynamic, you know? And this is a funny I had a I had a brand new relationship to Meryl Streep's character in this movie that I've never had before, where, Oh, interesting. Like, I was getting mad at her. She's with Nick, but then like, when DeNiro, like, hits on her, like, as much as De Niro can at the wedding, she's like, amused. She's into smalltown living, baby. But that's exactly what it. Then she think about how many men her age she's met in her life up to that point. The series, if she had never left that town and you know these two are going away for she may never see them again. When Nick throws out that little impromptu proposal there on the dance floor and she's like, I mean, yeah, okay, Why not? I mean, so we've talked about this in the podcast. It was things are also different back then. It's like, yes, you meet, you meet a lady, you're going with her. If you got her into trouble, quote unquote, usually met you, married her or you just you know, she's going around. She's got two guys. They're friends. It's a little weird. But yeah, De Niro is loyal and wouldn't wouldn't act on it. With Walken still around, we're Where are we? We're all over the fucking place with. No, I'm keeping it together. I'm keeping it. We're still okay. All right. We're still at the wedding. The wedding? The wedding. So the wedding. The wedding where they were actually allowed to drink in real life. And they filmed it for a few days, so everyone was appropriately pissed, I'll put it that way. Everyone was really drunk and turn it on if they wanted to. God, there's so many other things talk about just right here. Like they have that great scene. I'm going to mention another name now of the cast, Paul D'Amato as the sergeant at the bar just keep saying fuck it. And that is such a good breakdown of kind of where we're heading in terms of how people react to different things because he's this green, you know, down there. What's it like over there? What's it like? You know, De Niro walk and everyone's kind of pestering, what's it like? And you just keep saying fuck it over and over and like doing a toast and whatever that means is what it means. And you see De Niro, who to me just looks completely hammered in like, Oh, you know, if he wasn't real life, but he's, he's like, Fuck who? And you see this like things start to happen where it could turn out, where it could spin out into something violent. And I love that that actors doesn't move. He's just sitting there like, kind of smiling like, Hey, here's a little insider's little preview of what you have coming for you boys. And it's not, you know, fuck it. It's not going to be all good. Yeah, far from it. Yeah. We're going here. So I hope they sent us where the bullets supply us. Right. Biden's the worst. Let's drive. Fucking fucking. We say fuck it. That's right. Yes. The reason why we spend so much time watching their customs and traditions and then being drunk and dancing is because we are never going to get this back. Right. This is and I think that's what dawns on you when you think to yourself, Why have I been watching this for so long? I can't even think about what it would mean today for a movie to do what this did. Like I'm sure there are some filmmakers that could make a movie and make a sequence like this, a 53 minute long intro scene that forwards nothing. Yeah, that. Yeah. That basically does nothing other than just shows us the people that we're here with. But there's something that I want to bring up in this scene there. I started noticing it the sound. Oh, yeah, The sound of this is amazing. I mean, it won the Oscar for best sound, rightly so. There's there's two scenes in particular where the sound does something that I just don't think that would be as meaningful if it was in any other way. And some of this has to do with this wedding sequences that you don't hear much dialog at all. Mm hmm. I just it was such a great choice to just have them. And even when we get to the telephone, pole De Niro's streaking collapses next to the telephone pole. And we've got one of the most meaningful scenes between our two main characters of Nick and Mike. Don't. Don't leave me over there. Yeah, don't leave me over there. Yeah. It's being said, when you can hear the work of the factory going on, it's so. Oh, yeah, it's louder than their voices. Any other movie would make the choice to take that sound of the work out and let it be what it needs to be said between these two characters. But not this. It's drowning out the meaning of it, but it's not. At the same time you're you're having to listen more. He's creating a whole world with sound or helping to create it. And that, like these guys don't ever escape this factory, even if, you know, they're getting drunk, it's still like, looming above them. Yeah, that's probably the time they'd be going to work. Now it is. You know, they're just sitting there at that telephone pole. Yeah. Make. Make sure I come back. I mean, it's a really haunting scene knowing where we're going to go because in the 53rd minute of this movie, they start their first deer hunting scene. I just love that it takes that long to get there. Oh, I love it. I refer to as that. This is this scene which is. Yeah, I mean, first the sequence begins with that hilarious car trick. I again, I remember watching that for the first time. It just laughing hysterically like hell. Many times they're going to do it and like, that's all one shot, like, yeah, it's got to take a leak. And then the car drives off. Then it reverses all the way that the Cadillac drives off all those little details like, you know, you got to if you pay attention, like when other people try to open the trunk, it makes De Niro mad because you've got to give it that little kick. And he's like, no, that's not how you do it. You just do it like this. You got to give it this little kick and we've got to know everyone very well at the wedding. But there hasn't been to the point you were just making too much conflict like we've seen Meryl Streep's home life. It's not good with her father. It's not good at all. We see that Angela may not the bride to be, may not be as happy as a bride should be. And so we see that. We see cracks for sure. But now we're going to slow everything down and let these guys DeNiro as Michael and John Cazale start. You know, the only time they were on screen doing this scene at this car, it's that is about boots, essentially. It's about boots. That's how it starts. And then it very quickly graduates from Boots to like, I don't think you're a serious person. I don't think you're a noble man. Like, I think you're just a fucking clown and a joke. And like that scene, this is this, you know, you're not getting My Boots is one of these, like, cinematic moments of masculinity to me, just the to all the conflicting sides of it walk in trying to be the the guy trying to be the the peacekeeper. Like, what's the matter with you? You know? Yeah, he's going to wear your boots. I love that scene so much. And that really reveals more to us about Michael. Yes. Then maybe even the wedding stuff, because we see. Oh yeah. Seriously. Even says at one point to Nick, he's like, I only go hunting with you. I'd rather go alone, but I only go with you because none of these other guys, you don't take it seriously. You know, it's one shot. It's one shot for a deer. Yeah, That's something that he he really has, like, this connection to it. Like, it's not about going out there and just being John Wayne with a revolver like, stash and like shooting and stuff and running around, like, Oh, I fell. It's about like, really understanding where you are. And there's this whole kind of, you know, poetry has with it this mysticism that Michael has with the land and with himself almost. He's almost like Buddhist in a way, like in some some weird way. He has these these ways of looking that are singular in his own. Well, I'm glad you brought that scene up, because that's the one scene where we understand why Mike and Nick are closer than everyone else. Yeah. It's not just that Mike trusts Nick, like, is the only one else out there hunting. Nick sees Mike, and Mike's sees Nick, and they're like, he's like, if it wasn't, he's not just saying, If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't go hunting it. I think that's very true. But think he's. He's clearly saying that these guys are all fine, But you're my best friend. Like, if you weren't in this town, I'd go fucking crazy. Yeah, because you're the only person who actually sees the world for a little bit more than the rest of this town does. All of this town wants to do is go and just do all the things that they do drink and do this and that. But like when you talk about going up in the mountains, you're talking about imagery. You're, you know, and like, that's as close as these guys get to a little bit of evolved thinking. And De Niro sees that and walk in and walk and sees that in De Niro and even more to the point about the stache thing about this is this. This is this. This is this what isn't. Your problem is my my favorite moment is when they, like De Niro holds his ground. It's not Axel, it's John. He comes up and is like, You know what? I'm sick of this. And then take the damn boots. Take the damn boots. And then De Niro, like there's a there's a pause. And he goes, I said, No. Oh, he stands up off his car and he stands up that gun ownership. And he's like, Yes. And he's dead serious. Like I said, no stache. Hey, Mike, let me borrow your spares, huh? You know, stand. No. What do you mean, no? Just what I said. No, no means no. Some fucking friend. You're some fucking friend, you know, that Got to learn, Stanley. Every time you come up, you got your goddamn head up your ass. Maybe he likes the view from up there that fact that every time he comes up, he's got no knife, he's got no jacket, he's got no pants, he's got no boots. Oh, he's got that stupid gun he carried around like John Wayne and ain't going to help you. Oh, what the hell? Make him no boots. No way. I ain't giving him no boots no more, No more. That's it. You're a fucking bastard. You know that, huh? Stanley? See this? This is this. This ain't something else. This is this. From now on, you're on your own. A Yeah. And then walk in does it and lets it and that. Because that was the one person that De Niro was going to be like, All right, he can wear the boots. He doesn't say it because the stache ends up wearing the boots, but he is specifically turned down. But Walken's the only one that that was able to kind of like kind of be like, yeah, like, what's the matter with you? Like, he's going to wear the boots. Like, you know, I think that says a lot about their dynamic, too. It's those little in-between the line things that that's that's so much of what this movie's all about is, is the space in between the notes which they're offering. Yeah. It's like you can study the text like we're watching a hardnosed Vietnam movie or you can study the subtext of which there is plenty in this movie. Oh, that's all this movie. So much that, right? Exactly. Yeah. That's what makes it so great. Yeah. Like every time De Niro says, Hey, how you doing? Like, he's not saying like, Hey, how are you? Is this like, I don't want to talk about anything that has to do with me. So somebody say something. And because this is a michael Cimino movie, like some of that landscape photography, when they're out there hunting, it's just some of the most gorgeous that I've seen. Like, it's so beautiful. I love it so that's it's not like a boring hunting scene. Like you're really staging it so. Well, it's just, Oh, I love the tradition. They had that small, tiny cabin they are. DeNiro gets his buck with one shot and they drive it home on the hood of the car. And that's, you know, it's their last night at the bar. They're having a few drinks and tomorrow's tomorrow's the next day. And, well, I mean, this, you know, we're going to jump straight to this Vietnam sequence, but that that cut from, you know, home to Vietnam, it's like really, really stunning. It always reminded of the bone to the spaceship in 2001. Just yeah, this really startling cut because we've been in the Deer Hunter for so long, like an hour and 10 minutes. And when the hell are we getting to Vietnam? And then, boom, there we are, we're there. And then, yeah, there's that quick scene that you reference, the flamethrower scene. Really the only traditionally in-country combat scene that we get. And I think it's really important to note that he is spaced out. He's checked out even for a few seconds and does not recognize Steve and does not recognize Nick. There's nothing there like when they then they're like, Holy shit, Mike. They put his hands on them and De Niro is like, does not register that it's them. Or even if he does, I don't give a shit like I just like I'm in it and he's going to get that exact same treatment from Nick at the end. So yeah, that's why it's a great bit of foreshadowing. But then, but then another thing I love is that we took so long in the wedding sequence and we saw like everything, how it all works. Now it all pans out here. They run into each other. The three of them, there's an explosion and then boom, another cut. Now we're on this river. Yeah, like this hut. How did we get here? Who knows? We don't get to see the setup of anything. We're immediately thrown into this chaotic situation of. Okay, wait a minute. They're in some water pit and they're one at a time being dragged up and being forced to play Russian roulette. It's the first time I'd ever seen Russian roulette on screen, so I had to put it together for myself. Okay, One bullets going in there basically playing until one person dies. And that's basically it. And then the other person maybe gets thrown back down into the pit and rotated out. If you decide not to play the game, then you are given even a worse punishment, which we'll get to. But this is all being thrown to us like right away and it's all really, really quick. And we don't you know, they're down there with people they don't know. They don't recognize. There's like five or six people upstairs who are just really doing this for their own benefit. They're throwing money around there. They're not arguing like they're arguing about bets. But there's not this genuinely seems like it is to pass the time. It is to give them something to do now. Well, I love this movie so much and why I love this scene so much. As I've referenced, this is one of the best scenes I've ever witnessed of how people react to active trauma, because we have Nick, who is stoic and afraid. Michael, who is determined and smart, and Stevie who is fucking gone. He's not there. I don't know if very few times have I seen an actor play someone who has been broken down so convincingly. And John Savage is just a revelation in this part. And he he's the weak willed one. He can't take it. He's breaking down. It's his turn to play Russian roulette. He's playing it with De Niro and he decides to miss his head aboard. That would have killed him and they throw him in. This fucking rat pit is water filled rat pit where there's, you know, rats crawling around. And even his face, like De Niro even says it. He's like, he's gone. Forget him. Yeah, forget him. And you know, Walken's like, Who are you? God, you don't get that. So he's like, Now he's gone. He's gone. Genuinely. One of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema. It's right up there with like, even if you haven't seen the movie, you've likely heard about it and, well, the intensity is there just the whole fucking time. Every time I watch it, some like, are they actually going to pull this off? Like, Oh yeah, God, I think it has to be one of the most intense scenes like, ever. Like, if not, Oh, yes, like, and there's something that, like, no matter how many times I've seen it, it enrages me like, it's so primal and visceral because of just you recognize that you're watching it. You're just watching humans at their worst. There's a moment De Niro has that I think he's doing what he needs to do to get them out of the situation. So he's charging up with the rest of everyone that's egging them on. But then, you know, and he's trying to because they don't speak English, so he's able to say what he needs to say across the table is like, Come on, Nicky, show him. Show them that you're a man. You got to say good. Like, do it, do it, do it like. And then, you know, he's getting smacked in the face. And and then there's that moment where he just goes, Oh, you motherfucker. Like, I'm like, you think like, there's just something that's either every one I think feels that my God is going to be all right. Nick You can't shoot him. Joe. Jackie. Hey, Hey, look at that. No, no, no. You got. Oh, hey, I'm going to die, you motherfucker. I'm gonna die. Oh, my head is going to put guys back. There is something at the core of this scene that speaks to how friends are and is what you were saying. Like, this is how people are actively handling trauma. We're watching three friends be friends in just the most horrific of situations, and it continues from even when this scene ends is actually a little bit more prominent when when they've come out of this and they're on the branch. Oh, yeah. The way that, you know, De Niro is kind of like helping Steve physically, putting him on there, trusting that Nick can kind of capably get himself up there. I'm going to take charge. I got this. And then when they get rescued by the helicopter or this is the other part of the sound I was going to bring up, you don't hear anything except the sound of the chopper. Yeah. So Nick's already on board. He's okay. But Steve and Mike are hanging on the edge. Steve, you can't do it. But all you're hearing is the sound of the helicopter and watching two bodies struggle to stay on this moving thing. It's so great how he does assume that, like, leadership role because Steve is out. You know, they do manage to escape. It's one hell of a sequence when they escape from that hut. And it just it's so fast how quickly it goes. It's so well edited. They get on that log. Now, this I did not know because actually read there's a book about Michael Cimino and I read the whole thing basically about the making of The Deer Hunter. Moreover, the Making of Heaven's Gate, his next film, which is really notorious in Hollywood, and it was reading all these facts about The Deer Hunter that I never heard before filming that chopper scene was not easy, as you might imagine. And what happened was De Niro and Savage, I'm taking this a little bit from Wikipedia because they summed it up well, because it's Wikipedia. But I got I got all this from the book and from the commentary that I listen to. So they're filming that and they actually did that drop. They did that drop 15 times in two days. This guy not like they they did it, but in one take. And the take we see in the movie, when they are yelling at each other, what they are yelling is that the helicopter is stuck on the bridge. That's what they're yelling. Because in real life, that helicopter had gotten stuck on that bridge and the pilot could not tell. So de Niro and John Savage are hanging on and it starts to go up and they are looking at each other and they're screaming, are we going to die? Like, is this going to get caught on the bridge? Like, what do we do? Do we drop? So that's the scene they used in the film and they're trying to yell to Michael Cimino. They're trying to yell to whoever they can't let go, say, Let go. They're going to drop their truck. So that's what they're yelling and they're looking so scared and yelling because that's what they're yelling. Oh, is going to like, get Calder on the rope and we're all going to die. Thankfully, that didn't happen. Yeah, there's a I never knew that I'd ever do that. What's going on in that scene? Like, I heard crazy shit that they had live rounds in the gun. They made sure, you know, it wasn't going to be. That chamber was next and that that's true, apparently. But that's like it was a really, really tense, you know, the footage of it is used in the film and it's just a really tense sequence that could have gone bad. It's just, you know, fucking seventies. They don't when we say they don't make them like they used to. It's partly for shit like this because this is serious and pretty, pretty dangerous. But yeah, that's one of the reasons that they, they don't make them like this. But yeah, I mean that's such a great escape scene. Like walking actually kind of faints right When they start, like Nick kind of faints and yeah, Mike has to, like, shake him awake and then it's like, Yeah, okay, I'm good, I'm good. And Steve. Oh, God, Steve's just out. He's just out. And then they fall. And then when they're getting back up, like on that bluff, on that cliff, he's like, I found some rocks, a film. Some rocks are like, Oh, man, this is not oh, this is not going to be good. And that I mean, that's a really, ah, brief stint like in Vietnam. That's just a horrific and disturbing P.O.W. scene. And then that escape and then like they're out and kind of on their way. And what's so crazy and sad about that is once they separate from there, Michael has no idea what's happened to those two. He doesn't know, like he thinks Stevie could be dead. Like he doesn't know. He doesn't know where Nick is. And everyone gets separated now. They're not going to be together as three for the rest of the movie. And it's here's what this was all for. Here's why we came to war. And now we have to do the pieces of picking ourselves up after this horror. Then there's like, you know, more than an hour of the movie left to go, and now we have to pick up the pieces. And that's again, one of the reasons I always go back to this movie. I mean, we could talk about the Vietnam sequence just all day, like I love sorry, just to go back to the scene when they're like getting ready to play Russian roulette when Mike is trying to convince Nick, like, we have to do this three bullets in the gun bullets and it's not working. He's like, Are you crazy, Michael? Then start to break down. He's like, You really want to die here? Like, yeah, so believable. Like, his voice starts breaking and it's like, no, I mean, we got to do it. Like, we got to react. Oh, one more thing I want to say about the Russian roulette. I mean, it doesn't just have to be one more thing, but there are some deleted scenes on this 4K of mine. I don't know if they're on other versions, but it's so cool because what they've done, it's not like conventional deleted scenes. Essentially what they did is they put like a lot of the raw footage of the Russian roulette scene and the escape just on the DVD. So you can watch it and you can see how Cimino edited it together. Yeah, why? I would encourage people to go watch this special if you were interested in making movies because you're watching like a 20 minute stretch of just them at the table, like spinning the gun around What you're going to go see if you watch all these 20 minutes is that De Niro is in and out sometimes, Yeah. Sometimes he's like, not give me a good performance and it's not believable. And you're like, Yeah, this is exactly why editing comes in. Yeah, you just use the best take. Like that's what it is. But then what's so cool is that one moment because they're spinning the gun around and it's like, spin the bottle. Whoever the gun lands on, it's who has to do it. And you know, they're spinning it around and the guys don't really react and even they don't speak any English. So De Niro's like trying to get them to react, and you just hear him talk to a guy off screen. He's like, Ralph, Ralph, tell him, tell them to react to the gun here, let's do something. Let's do something. And you hear this guy, Ralph, apparently speak Vietnamese. And then all the actors like when they spent, that's when they start laughing and they're like, Yeah, And then we're seeing it like, go, Everything's going, everything's moving. It's just it's really great to watch as a filmmaker, seeing like, Oh yeah, you just need those few seconds of glory on screen. Like not every, not everything you're shooting with an actor, even an actor at the top of his game, like De Niro Keep in mind, this performance comes right in the middle of Travis Bickle and Jake LaMotta. He's at the top of his game, but they don't. Every single take has to be magic. 100% of the time. That's not the object of making a movie. That's not the it's not objective making a movie. And that's a great point because I think a lot of people get caught up in that. I think a lot of people get caught up in that like this is like what you what you end up getting on the final version, final day, final cut is the one the one best thing that happened. Yeah. And sometimes there's a bunch of bullshit that happens in between that and and as long as you got that one, that's all that matters. Damn right. Oh, that's all it takes. That's all it takes. But kind of rounding out our Vietnam sequence here, there's a scene that doesn't get discussed enough, but I think it's in part what helped walk and win his Oscar. And that's when he's being interviewed by that doctor. And you see a man like you, it's like he didn't realize how bad he was. He's just sitting there, like spacing out like, I'm okay. I'm alive. That that's what I am. I'm just sitting here and I'm alive. And then he starts being asked questions by doctor. The easiest of questions. What is your name? What are your parents names? What are their birthdays? And with each passing question, he's taking longer to answer. And then you realize he's realizing that he doesn't know these answers now, and he's just getting frustrated like, you know, just leave me alone. But that's like you get to see him breaking down the first bit of this, like disassociation of myself, that when you meet him again, he's completely gone. And there's no there's no Nick from working at the steel factory. You know that that person is gone. There's no guy who was once engaged to Linda. He's gone. And this is the first strands of that. And he's so effective in this scene walking in, he is so damn good. I paid a lot of attention to post-Vietnam Nick in this time, watching it. Yeah, man, I don't know if I'd seen a better performance in terms of disassociation. That's how you win an Oscar. Absolutely. Yeah. Like it's it's not just that scene. That's just part of it, because that scene where he's wandering through and it's like basically the very next scene where he's wandering the streets of Saigon, you can see like there's moments where he's got some clarity because he thinks he sees Mike, but then it's not. And he's he processes it and but then from there, if you look at his face in his body, anyone could direct him to go anywhere. And he would just be like, okay, all right. Like he's completely not there. And I don't know if you notice this, but I don't watch movies, everyone with subtitles on because it bothers me. I know it's a very increasingly big trend and you are a big fan of it. It's not a big trend. I've been doing that. Shouldn't I figure out how to do it? All my TV when I watched VHS as I've been doing that my whole life, you will learn so much more from your movies if you watch them. Well, it was on. Yes. And this is an example of that being the case, the song choice of. So it's this is when he gets basically he if you watch it, he actually gets shoved into this brothel. He didn't even go in there. Yeah. Because he means to the crowd is so big and he's stuck in it that he gets pushed in there and then it's just sort of like, okay, I guess I'm in here now. That, that that's, that's his performance. It's so good. But there's a song playing and the lyrics show up on the on the, on the closed captions. People say that when something is too on the nose, you shouldn't do it. I just completely disagree. Yeah. If you know how to do that, well, then it's fine. If you're going to be like fucking Robert Zemeckis and do it with every single song and every single. Yeah, people are going to start to speak on it. But yeah, I think, okay, some of the time I think it's okay some of the time. But the lyrics for the song where we see walk in too much for the man, he couldn't make it. So he's leaving the life he's come to know and he's going back to find what's left of his world, the world he left behind not so long ago. Boom. That's just like, that's just fucking great cinema. Good shit, Good shit right there. Speaking of welcomes, we leave Vietnam unsure of what is going on with Stevie, unsure of what is going on with Nick and now Michael is coming home and we already talked about the scene, but I just. They're all getting ready, you know, they're. They're excited in their house. It's their old house. It's Nick and Michael's old house. And they're setting up the surprise party there. And Stark has a stupid mustache now, and Meryl Streep's all getting excited. Oh, God, he's going to pull up. And when he drives past that and goes to that hotel by himself, it's just God, it still just haunts me. Like he'd rather just be alone. And then, you know, he figures out when the party might let out and he goes and hides and then has his one on one with Meryl Streep. And her reaction to seeing him, too, opening that door and just being like, Michael, Oh God, it's some of my one of my favorite one off scenes from her. I really love that. It's, you know, they don't do a lot of like out and out communicating in this sequence in the back half. No, it's just with like, looks and what's going on. Yeah. I love what Cimino decides not to show us. Like, it's very clear that they do end up having sex, but we don't see that it's not what this movie is. It's more I don't even think it's about like, the love for them, really. I think it's just about they need to feel some human connection, genuinely just for like, you know, a night or a few nights. Well, maybe it'll go on. Maybe it will. Yeah. Yeah. You just need to feel something like that. She's like, Can't we just be there to basically, like. Like comfort each other? Can we just have some compassion? When you talk about the subtext, I think this is the best movie when it comes to subtext, like it really is. I think the reason I love it so much is because it's all just about what's not being said. But what I realized this time around and that will just interrupt. Sorry, real quick, because the title itself is so text. It's so like, okay, the deer Hunter itself, it's movies about the men, you know, That's what's so funny about it. It's like, this isn't we get a few deer hunting scenes for this movie. Not I mean, I showed it to Allie for this viewing, which was like, Hey, you know that movie I do for the part? I no idea. She would respond to it, loved it like absolutely loved it was so and big fan of John Cazale. I've showed her four of its movies and she recognized them right away. And she's like, wait, is that the guy from The Godfather and Dog Day Afternoon loves? Like, Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is not big in the movie. So it was, it was really cool. But no, she loved and she very disturbed. Yeah, she was really disturbed by this scene of like coming home and stuff. Yeah. Sorry for interrupting. No, no, no. And I love that you texted me that, and I was like, super, like, happy to hear that, because I've actually never met a person that doesn't like this movie, even though it's not exactly an easy movie. And I think that's the power of this movie, is that it's it's a completely engrossing, captivating movie that you can't really take your eyes off of, even if you want to. Going back to the subtext of the movie, noticing that Michael can't communicate when he goes back home with good reason, I notice that no one else can communicate either. Mm hmm. Like nobody. Nobody. Meryl, this is. This is me going back to that Meryl Streep moment. She's got so much going on for her about not knowing how to deal about Nick being back, but Michael being the one being back, not knowing where Nick is, not knowing how she feels about Michael. She is just at odds. This entire time. And there's this scene where they're walking down the street, arm in arm, which everyone can see. So you're talking about a town that sort of like, did you see that Linda was walking with Michael arm in arm, and Michael decides that this is the time to bring up. You know, I know you really love Nick and you see her and she gives this look. That to me was just like this was the one conversation she did not want to have at. All not especially in this moment going to work. There's a vindictive stare going on in her eyes as she's staring off as Michael just keeps talking that I could not take my eyes away from. Yeah. I mean, just their whole dynamic is so, so good together. And he, you know, he's starting to get breadcrumbs of, like, it like, is Steve around, like, what's going on? And then. Yeah. Oh, my God. This again, paying attention to this Angela actor like that reunion when he goes to see her is so bad and he's heard about her like, you know, she's in bad shape, like she's not doing well. I mean, first he has a reunion with the guys. He just jumps on the back of them. I love that so much. And but the reunion with Angela, first he walks into the room and the damn son just, like, points his gun. And I'm like, Yeah, fake gun. And he's like, okay. And talk about subtext right there. There it is. Oh, yeah. And she can't speak. She can't even bring herself to speak. She's like, listening to this radio. She's clutching on to it and she's able to communicate, you know, where Stevie is. And that's really the first time we see Michael. Like He's charged now. He has a mission. Yeah. Where is he? Like, I need to know where he is. And then he goes there. And that's such a The Deer Hunter first movie. First like major movie about all aspects of Vietnam. It's the first time people are seeing this on screen, like he has no more legs and he just turns the corner, you know? And the first time you see him with no legs in that wheelchair in De Niro's like reaction to it, which isn't it's not a big reaction, but it's like, oh, like, okay, yeah, we're in this now. And, you know, yes, Stevie wants to stay. He doesn't want to go anywhere. And dinner is like, No, that's fine. That's, you know, Michael Michael's like, No, no, no, it's fine. And then just in a few minutes, like, No, I'm taking you home right now. It's, you know, Oh, yeah, It's a really, really sad scene. But then that's when he gets the wish that perhaps Nick is still alive because someone has been sending Stevie a shitload of money every month. And where's it coming from? And that's when he puts it together. And, you know, this is what gets Michael. Michael is definitely a guy who likes to have likes to have a mission. He's a guy who likes to have something do and have a purpose. Whether my purpose is to go kill this deer with one shot. He likes to have something. Yes, something to do. And now he's got a mission again. I got to go get my friend back because I made a promise that I wouldn't leave him there. The only people that he really has that even can remotely relate to him are Steve and Nick. Yeah. And so to hear that Steve is alive in there, everything is about I have to get him. I have to find him. Even if it's selfish, like he. I can't talk to any of you is Steve will be the only one that I'll even remotely be able to feel like myself around. Because definitely I can't come back to what you all are anymore. I This is now here. He can't. He can't communicate that, but that's just what it is. I love that when yeah, when he sees him like we're more affected about the legs than he is. Like he has a reaction to it. But I think it's overtaken Like you can see that when he sees him, it's the first moment of happiness that he is like, Oh my God. Stevie And then, yeah, then you see the money thing. And what I think is so interesting about that switches because when Steve tells them he's like, Mike, I don't want to leave. I think in that moment when De Niro says, okay, I think he truly doesn't care if he goes home, but it's not until he's reminded that I'm bringing my guys home, right, Because that switch is so it's aggressive and you even see things like you just told me, Mike, that like, you weren't going to. Exactly. But nope, I'm bringing you home because that's what one does right here. I'm saving you from this. I'm saving you again. I felt so bad for Steve. Like, I was like, Why can't you leave him here? He's. He's doing all right. He's fine. He's doing all right ish. But he does need to get. We talked about this, like, way in the beginning of the pod, like he's doing okay, but he's skirting responsibility like he has. Yeah, well, I know that's not officially his son, but I imagine he agreed to raise it. And he's got a wife back there that he did marry and that his wife is not in good shape and he responsibility I mean, his mom is back there like he has stuff to get back to. It is his right to decide if he wants to stay at the hospital. But you can't you can't stay at the hospital the rest of your life, essentially, like you're going have to go ingratiate yourself back into society. But yeah, I absolutely think when Michael's like, no, we don't have to go anywhere. I do think he believes that. But then that, yeah, that switch absolutely happens and there's a conviction to him and he does get it back. But, you know, that sequence ends, not the VA sequence, just the whole kind of first coming home sequence ends and they go back to that cabin and now the only guy he wanted to hunt with, Nick is not there. And now he's with the jokers. And we see, you know, he's out and about and he comes back in the cabin and sees stars there with his little cheesy revolver pretending to play Russian roulette, which is, you know, very haunting to Michael. It's like the staple scene of any movie that has run Russian roulette. Got to have the scene where like, oh, it's not loaded and someone fires it into the air and it's loaded. Oh, is it ever. So he empties it and yeah, plays the game with the adult stash there and it's like it's a really, really intense scene. I love it goes just chucks the gun in the water. He's like, Fuck this gun. And then I love that we're talking about kind of male aggression, masculinity that's silent when they get back. It's like that silent send off, like they get the deer off, like no one's talking because it's been a hell of a night. Like they're all getting their shit. Michael goes in his house, everyone leaves, and that's the last. He sees them for a while because he's going back to Vietnam. Do you think Stash being Stash? Because we'll never we'll never see this because it wasn't a part of the movie. That moment with with Michael is probably the realest moment of his entire life. Well yeah. Do you think that he has that character would have any perspective change or do you think. Yes, I think that break. You think so? I think that breaks through the bullshit, breaks through the ego. And I think I think that serves a couple factors. I think it's like, okay, maybe I am a bit of a fucking clown here. Maybe like there are things that I pushed too far. Boots I could still argue over boots fake playing Russian roulette when the gun was actually loaded. Maybe I don't need to be doing that stuff. Maybe my life is better without that silly little gun that I always carry around. Also, every guy in that room now is like, What the fuck did our friend go through in Vietnam? What the fuck did our friends go through? Because that is crazy. Like We would have never done that before. We've had our disagreements, but it's never gotten that far. So like, what is going on? And maybe that helps them understand. Like we don't anyone going know, Michael, you can't go back. You can't go back. It's like, I'm fucking go. And he just goes. He goes, No, again, hard cut back. And now we're back in Saigon and it's like to this day I will never forget that hard cut back to Vietnam. I could not believe that he actually went back. I was like, What are you doing? And I was young, but I remember going, There's no way this ends well. There's just no way. There's just ends in everyone's favor. And, you know, love and movies doesn't just have to be romantic, just it's chemistry it is not have to be romantic. Like the love that Michael feels for Nick is so palpable. Like, I have to go get him. It doesn't matter that he has to go through hell to, even get into Saigon. Who knows how he got there? It doesn't matter that he has to spend, presumably his fortune just to get into the game before shattered his fortune. I mean, he spends a shitload of money that could be that much be Nick's own money. Like he might have taken it from Stevie. Or it could. Yeah. Could literally be, like, every penny to Michael's name. And it doesn't. I mean, it gets that one point where he's like fuck it and he just, like, throws it all down and it's here and I love the details, like some horrific shit going on in the room over there. And then it all comes down to like five old guys just like eating food in the back room, deciding like, who lives, who dies, who plays, who doesn't. That's another processing of, Yeah, I'm so obsessed with process. So like, I want to know how you even become a player in this game. Here's how it happens. And we watch him pretty quickly. We watch Michael, like, navigate through this and get in front of him. And then when they open that door, every time I watch it's moving, they open that door and walk in, takes that beat and just comes out. And it's a ghost like a shell of a man. That is some of it's really some of the best acting I've seen. And I've seen that a lot in this podcast, because it's true with a lot of different aspects of this movie, but just totally gone. And that look of that might be the blackest face imaginable, like just the way he nods and he's like, Hey, Mike. Yeah, yeah. Like, you know, trying to placate him, like, Yeah, I know who you are. He has no idea. No, it's like he's stuck in a perpetual state of shock. I mean, his brain is just disassociated. He is completely flipped. And that is, these are the scenes that were the most disturbing thing to me when I first saw it. Yeah, of course. The Russian roulette was disturbing, all that. But this was like, Oh, my God, this feels so real. This feels like something that did actually happen to a number of these veterans. Maybe not that they stayed in like, played Russian roulette. I'm not saying that, but that they had a mental break that they could not come back from. Yeah, I think that's the case. I mean, I think it's varying degrees, but I think that's the reason why we've got such the problem that we do with these veterans. Like there's something that's happened that mentally has broke depending on the person or the situation. It's a how bad that actually gets PTSD. I mean, that's just one of them. This is this is an example of something that's just to be that disassociated from the world is a is an extreme of like mental illness, that it's even kind of a wonder to think that even in the seventies right here because that's mental health was not a thought about or talked about issue very much back then. No, not at all. That didn't really become a thing until like the 20 tens. If I'm being honest. As someone who grew up with someone who was very mentally unwell and yeah, it was not been a hotbed topic of conversation for a long time, especially in 1978. So for this movie to really tackle those, those ideas or those situations and do it so accurately, even though it's very extreme. But if you're going to talk about Michael, you know, like coming back home and not being able to, like, be comfortable, like he can't sleep, like he like he goes in that hotel room is a is a perfect example of someone who is dealing with the mental anguish of coming off of the horrors of what they'd seen. Like this was not like now we can actually address that is PTSD then that was just what it was. And that was all that's, that's it. So to to see Walken's character go to this level and have it be honored by you know, essentially the the film is is really revolutionary in a lot of ways. Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's one of the reasons why the movie was such a like a sensation. Yeah. Controversial. I mean, I'm saying sensational in the way of like it did really well won best picture. But yeah, it was not without its controversy and yeah you know they're sitting there, they're playing the game. We get one shot and that's just what, what a great back and forth they have and it really gets it like Nick really does come back and it still doesn't. It still does, doesn't matter. And then, you know, what happens, happens. And now we're back home for good. We're at the funeral away. You're yeah, you're you're just going to blow past the the Nicky Nicholson looking sad, man. Come on, dude, You talk about it Terrible. The blood coming out of his head. Jesus, there's something to be said to. Also, like with these types of guys, Like when. When Mike says, Nick, I love you. Like, again, kind of going back to that time period where men didn't say that to each other. Right, Right. You know, so so for in this moment, for him to say that and I don't I don't there's there's it's one of the most tragic endings ever. But, you know, it's not going to go well. But you don't think it's going to go that bad? No. You don't like you don't know where it's going to go. But that's like it's as bad is it as bad of an outcome as we could have had. And it's just yeah, it's devastating. It's really, really tough to watch every time. It is. It's some of my favorite acting from De Niro. Oh is so good. Just that moment, like every time I watch that scene, I just think that that's the most believable scene I've ever seen of of someone you care about dying right in front of you. And then. And then. And then being in that state like I every time. I'm just I'm in awe of, of, of that scene. Oh, God. And it is very hard to watch. Yeah, it's hard to watch. And again, it's just I think a lot of people take this have taken this performance for granted because. I don't know why like I think they can win the Oscar, but it's like he's so good in this. It seems so stupid to say Robert De Niro is great in The Deer Hunter, but I never really see it get mentioned in like his top nine performances of all time or anything. And it would be up there for me. It would be really? Oh, it'd be like back to the. Yeah, back the little amount of dialog he has, which is true. Like it's all comes down to his reactions and stuff and yeah, this is just, it is one of the best reactions to like the worst thing could possibly witness in front of you. And for a guy that doesn't freak out, you know, like that, that's, that's the freak out. And you know, and technically the movie is I mean, if you think about the name Deer Hunter, that that's in reference to him. Oh, yeah. Like, like that. That's like that. That's basically the movie saying this is this person's story goes back home. I just love love this sequence. You know, we we've been so set up and we know this bar so well, that little pool table playing the music George does it goes to make eggs. It's like, I love this whole sequence. We already, you know, we talked about God Bless America really early, right up front. So we need to probably rehash it. But I had missed the detail that obviously Angela isn't speaking and then she's the one who says, you know, what a gray day. And it kind of like snaps around out there like, oh wow, yeah, she just spoke. But they also give her the last line in the movie, which is really, really sweet. I really, really love that. And I love the way De Niro just says, Here's to Nick in the way he holds up his glass, but like he has a little tear in his eye. No way so gentle when he says it. It really makes me emotional every time. But then she's the last one she gets into. Nick right there and it's just, you know, you get the freeze frame. That's him. Music. That iconic music is so good, so emotional. He's actually in a different movie and he had to pay money and, you know, I don't even remember what movie it was. It was a movie a few years earlier that I just think of. That is the Deer Hunter theme now. It's like, yeah, so synonymous with that. With that movie. But yeah, that takes us out of the core film itself. As we wrap up here, I did mention Vilmos Sigman along the way, the great cinematographer. He had four Oscar nominations in his day. He won for his first nomination, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He was also nominated for The Deer Hunter. Duh. The River and the Black Dahlia. I just wanted to mention that, oh, those are his nominees. But I also before we in this part, I just want to hammer home this the guy who shot McCabe and Mrs. Miller Deliverance, The Long Goodbye Obsession, Heaven's Gate Blowout Maverick with Mel. Oh, great guy. Great Great cinema. I'm glad you threw that one in there. I did that for you, The Witches of Eastwick. And let's talk about the Oscars for a second here. This is a tough one because the Deer Hunter was nominated for nine awards and it won five. It's tough because I'm never going to argue with the awards. That one. Here's what it won. Picture Director Supporting actor for Christopher Walken, Best Sound and best film editing all deserved wins. Yeah I more want to talk about what it lost and see if you agree disagree what you want to do best actor Robert De Niro lost to Jon Voight for coming home. I don't know if you've seen that movie, but it's the it's the Hal Ashby movie that of the toughest relationship with. That's one of my favorite directors. And I've just never really gotten the vibe that movie. But I do need to watch it again. My vote would have been for De Niro. That's okay. 100% Best Supporting Actress Meryl Streep. She loses to Maggie Smith in California. Sweet. Not a bad performance. It's okay. It's like Bob, you know, Maggie Smith's good, but she already had an Oscar, and I don't think she did another one. I don't know. I don't know how much Meryl was kind of in the running here. Who else was who else was in that night? I don't know where we have it up. Dyan Cannon. Heaven can Wait. Penelope Milford Coming Home. Maureen Stapleton in Interiors that actually, like, get my vote. She's so good that Meryl Streep in The Deer Hunter Maggie Smith wins for California. Sweet Meryl's Great in the Deer Hunter. That's what we need. She is great. Best original screenplay that Lost to Coming Home Again. Those are kind of neck and neck. You know, it's hard to argue against it. Best cinematography. Okay, I was pissed off rewatching The Deer Hunter that it didn't win this, so I'm going to read you the nominees and then you'll see why. Once I found out who won, I was no longer pissed off. The Deer Hunter was nominated against Heaven Can Wait Same time next year, The Wiz and it lost two days of Heaven. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. How many days have one of the best looking movies ever made? Terrence Malick. Oh, my God. So great. So great. Okay, Yeah, that's fair. That's fair. As we wrap up, I did want to touch briefly on Michael Cimino's career the rest of his career, because he had a career. I mean, it's one of the craziest stories in all of Hollywood. Like Makes The Deer Hunter wasn't an easy film for him to make. It wasn't. He's a perfectionist and fought a lot of battles with the studios, with the financiers, and they basically all agreed. At some point, let's just give this guy what he wants. Let's let it be 3 hours. They didn't want it to be 3 hours. They certainly didn't want the opening scene to be 53 minutes of the wedding. And then they just go, let's just do it, because basically this movie bombs and it sucks. We can fully blame him. If it happens to be a hit. We will have helped produce, you know, a vision that led to the best picture of the year. Yeah It was a hit. So what happens is United Artists basically gives him a shitload of money to make his next film, Heaven's Gate, and I've talked about it a bit on this podcast before, but it was one of the most notorious productions and most costly productions in the history of Hollywood. It was delayed, delayed, delayed because of Cimino's perfectionism and because he was kind of given carte blanche to make the movie he wanted to make it got bastardized ized in post-production. It's a whole thing not going to go into it. But he makes that and it's like this pariah, and he's not wanted in Hollywood at all. And he only makes four other movies year. The Dragon in 1985 with Mickey Rourke. That was actually Mike. What are you watching? Recommendation on our episode for The Wrestler. It's about a highly decorated cop hunting bad guys in New York's Chinatown. And now what's cool about that movie is that Stanley Kubrick saw that at the premiere and did not believe Michael to me know that he had created those sets, all those Chinatown sets. They did not shoot this in New York. It's crazy how detailed the sets are because Cimino's like he's a masters perfectionist, he's tough, a little crazy and got out of hand with budgets and time and stuff. But his final vision for a lot of his work was really good. The Sicilian 1987. It's based on Mario Puzo's somewhat sequel to The Godfather, has some notable set pieces, but this is a movie. I hadn't seen a few of these movies before. I was, you know, researching this podcast, terrible lead performance from none other than Christopher Lambert. Why he would cast him as an Italian mob boss is anyone's guess. No idea. That's tough. Not a terrible movie, though. I would say the least effective movie he made is Desperate Hours in 1990. It's a remake of much better William Wyler film with Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March. The Desperate Hours Made 1955 Cimino's film is not good, despite having Mickey Rourke as its lead heavy, who burst into a suburban home house by Anthony Hopkins. And they hold this family hostage in terrorism for a day or two. It's just not a good movie. It's really boring. It kind of sucks. That sucks. Then his last film was The Sun Chaser, The little seen The Sun Chaser in 1996, well intentioned film Woody Harrelson and John Cena on a road trip from hell. Some really good imagery in it, but you know that one's vile. Want to be? I just watched that for free. It was easy. I would recommend going back and giving some of those movies a shot, but just wanted to talk about Cimino just a little bit before we sign off here. That's all we I don't know if you've seen any of his other work. No, I haven't seen any of it. I think you'd like Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. That's a really good movie. It's really fun. It was on Amazon. It's just really breezy. I remember there was a trailer for it, I think, before Quentin Tarantino movie. I saw it at The New Beverly and I was like, I didn't know is Michael Cimino. So I'm watching this trailer. I go, I don't know why, but this movie looks like it's pretty fun. And then I saw it was like directed by Michael Cimino. I go, No, that's that can't be. There. It is. And it's so good. Like, Yeah, I highly recommend putting that one on. It's not long. It's like 2 hours. And yet Tarantino Tarantino's a big Cimino fan and Tarantino really likes Year of the Dragon. He's talked a lot about, Yeah, you're the Dragons. Good. That has some very complicated politics that are not aligned. 2023 I'll say it that way, but has some great set pieces. Great set pieces, but it's pretty much it for the core core Deer Hunter conversation here. Do you have anything else you want to say before? We sign off the Deer Hunter pod. We are going to get to. What are you watching? Obviously. I mean, I just obviously would urge people to go see this if you if it's been a while. You know, it's been a while and you haven't seen it in a while, go give it a shot. Because I yeah, the attention to detail and oh, my God, I mean, I'm sorry to hammer home these four ks, but if you are a fan of this and you get a hold of this thing, it was like watching it for the first time. Just all of the detail is there. You can really see like the fucking grain from the original negative. Oh my God, I love it. Looks way better than my two disc DVD set I've had for years. Way better. I think I have that same DVD case. There's almost no special features of those deleted scenes. Yeah, yeah. And yeah, yeah, I guess it's kind of wrap up, but I mean, there's clearly a reason why this is in both of our top ten favorite movies of all time. It's just one of those movies that it's just undeniable. Like, this is just one of those things where it's long, it's not easy, but you come out of it and I just feel like you're almost a better person you like. It's for sure things where where this movie is going to present some things to you, but when it's over, you walk out of it and you're like, Man, I don't know what to make of what I just saw. But I do know that that was really, really not just well-done, but like, that was that was important. Like, there's something about this movie that's just like, you're no longer the same, and it's. It's that good of a movie. I mean. Yes. Yes. I fully agree. They there's some of the special features like interviewing people about what it was like after the premiere and that men were just like walking around like either sobbing like hysterically with their wives. And their wives are like, I've never seen them act like this. Or veterans are like, you know, just stunned into, like, silence because of how accurate it was. And and I don't mean accurate, like in country again, it's all about emotion here. It's all about, yeah, this is like coming home and surviving and being left with everything you're left with. And that's where this movie lives. That's where it is. That's exactly where it lives. It's just it's a staple of American 70 cinema with one of the best DeNiro's The best streets, if you like Christopher Walken. You know this is what he won his Oscar for. He's rarely been better than this. And if you've only seen if you only know Christopher Walken as the over-the-top cartoonish great Christopher Walken that we know now like yeah, you're going to see a whole different person with this with this performance. Move on. What are you watching it Stuart it we're doing you go first half shocker. I Can go first. You want me to? I'm willing to go first anytime you want. I got this, homie. All right, I'm straight chillin. So I'm going with this completely random like this. Not it is not in alignment with anything. Couldn't be further, couldn't be more different, a further stretch. But I'm going with the movie that I've seen for the first time recently that I've really loved. I texted you about it. I'm going with Greg Mottola is The Daytrippers. Oh, great pick. Great pick. Nothing to do with the Deer Hunter. But I love this. I love when we stray out and do these picks. Yeah, this is. Oh, man, I really, really liked this one. The only reason I know about this movie is that Soderbergh was had a huge hand in. Yeah. Making it. And Soderbergh, he's done this a few times in his career like the Russo brothers. Like they started out on a smaller Soderbergh movie and he's the one who introduced them to Kevin five Like it. Soderbergh is a big player. But yeah, that's why I really like this movie. But tell me why you liked it. So I went right in the Criterion Channel and I was like, All right, what am I going to watch here? What am I going to watch? And then I saw The Daytrippers. I've never seen this. I'm going to put it on. And then no idea what it's about. No idea who's in it ended up loving it. It was such like I looked at it. I go, This is this is my kind of movie. Like this. Oh, yeah. The way that the story's unfolding the way that we're meeting characters. I'm like, This is about as much of a nick dose movie as I could even kind of like, think about so I'm like, This is just incredible stuff. This is just this is great. So I truly, truly loved It is my favorite Greg Mottola movie. I've come to find that I like a lot of stuff. We watched the The Confer Confess Fletch, and we were all our asses off. It was good, funny. It's really funny. We didn't get to finish it. I finished it on the airplane. We were watching that Oscar weekend. I was like, Shit, that's really funny. Yeah, he did. He did that. Adventureland, Superbad, Superbad. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That I. I'm watching currently the one he did with what's his name from Seinfeld. Oh, Larry. David Cleary. Larry David. Larry David. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know how much of a Greg Mottola movie that is other than more that's a Larry David type of thing. I forgot what it's called. Clear history. Clear history. Yes Thank you. It seems funny, though. I'm enjoying it. But it's it's like watching a long episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Yeah, essentially, that's how. That's how it is. Yeah, that's good. I only saw that once, right? When first came out. But no, Daytrippers is good. Soderbergh and Mottola do a commentary for it, which is also on the Criterion Collection app. I highly recommend that. It's great. Listen, All right, One of my favorite director's commentary, I don't want to know if I want to reveal really what our next kind of tear of episodes are. But we had a chance. I was essentially at the same time I got Cimino, Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese, and that's just a little hint of where we're going. And now it's just been a it's been like a really fun month of viewing for me, just kind of interchanging them and going like, This is awesome. Well, that's what I've been. Yeah, I've been that that's been going on at the same time and it's there's not going to be a reprieve for me after this one. This is going to be like just diving in fully to the next one. Full tilt. Full tilt. All right. Well, hey, that was really cool. I'm really glad you like that movie. Stanley Tucci. Really good in that hope. Davis Oh, yeah, Everyone's great. Everyone's great in it. Yeah. Well, I am going to circle back to a movie. I was skirting around it a little bit. I am kind of doubling down on Heaven's Gate, and here's why. Because my relationship with this one has been I simply judge a book by its cover for so long. And I heard just all the worst things imaginable about this movie. One of the biggest bombs of all time. It was taken out of theaters by its director and recut. It's 3 hours and 40 minutes. It's nonstop cycle. It goes on and on. It's stupid se so much stuff about it. So I watch it in college like a little after college. And when I just didn't I wasn't like, fully focused, but I knew enough when I was watching it going, This is not one of the worst movies ever made. This is really, really well-made. It's just really long and he's really taking his time for scenes. So because I wanted to familiarize myself with Michael Cimino and leading up to the Deer Hunter Pod, I did rewatch this and it was I was really blown away. It was like a huge about face to wear. I absolutely adore and love this movie. I'll talk a little bit about what it's about. Just quickly. The is essentially the recreation of the Johnson County war that happened in Wyoming in 1892, and that is essentially the event that coined the term wild, Wild West. Like, that's where that came from, This fucking thing that happened, the Johnson County War was a four year long conflict in which wealthy established cattle barons, a group of good old boys called the Wyoming Stock Growers Association. They were constantly fighting with European immigrants that were moving on to the area and trying to establish land. So this all resulted in a conflict in which the president, Benjamin Harrison, allowed for the formation of a very large posse in which many of these guys from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association Ocean would hunt down and kill these immigrants. So this was a slaughter on American soil sanctioned by the president. And Michael Cimino's words, he was fascinated by the idea of white people slaughtering other white people. So that's the historical backdrop for heaven's. And of course, you know, Cimino brings plenty of character and story into it as well. There's a love triangle, there's a set, there's like these huge, great set pieces and a roller rink. But, you know, there is a history of it kind of led to the to a whole studio being bankrupt and it ruined Cimino's career for a while. And it really just went away in obscurity for a long time. And Criterion saved it and bought it and, you know, revived it. And that's the disc I just bought. And, you know, it's got Kris Kristofferson. Christopher Walken is back. John Hurt, Sam Waterston in it, fucking villainous performance. Brad Dourif, Isabella Huber In one of her first American movies, Jeff Bridges, Joseph Cotten from Citizen Kane shows up early. The Deer Hunter is a great film, obviously, but if you have the bandwidth for it and you want to sit down, a promise that Heaven's Gate is, it's really something else. It's something that you've never seen and definitely does not deserve The reputation as one of the worst movies ever made. Kind of funny to see it reference like that in reviews and hindsight because it's had this huge cultural reappraisal and it's just massively successful. Oh, so much fun. Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino, Love The Daytrippers got in there. Heaven's Gate. I mean, God just can't talk enough about how fun it was to record an episode of one of our favorite films of all time. We're still going. These are we're in the all timer streak here, leading all the way up to episode 100, which we are only talking about the movies. The filmmakers and the directors that we consider all timers. Let us know what you think of The Deer Hunter about Cimino, about Heaven's Gate. I would love to know if anyone's watching Heaven's Gate like, Fuck, that movie was good or fuck, that movie's crazy. Let us know on Twitter Instagram letterbox at W aiw underscore podcast. As always, thanks for listening and happy watching from the 1980s or so heels well worth following. God bless America, My home sweet home girl years. My home sweet home is the next big to connect. Hey everyone, thanks again for listening. You can watch my films and read my movie blog at Alex Withrow dot com Nicholas Dose Dot.com is where you can find all of Nick's film work. Send us mailbag questions at what are you watching podcast at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at W aiw underscore podcast. Oh that was a lot of fun. A deer hunter. God, I love this song. Our next episode is one we're both really excited about. Nick and I are discussing our favorite film directors of all time. We're going to talk about why we liked them so much when we were introduced to them, our favorite movies by them, all that good stuff. And then toward the end of the episode, things change a little bit in ways that neither of us expected all for the good. It's all good. I just think this is going to be a really special episode and I'm excited to share it. Stay tuned.