What are your personal opinions of Apocalypse Now Redux? Love it? Hate it?
It was fine. The 1979 cut is my favorite all time film, but I did like the scenes added back in, but I didn’t feel they were needed to tell the story or as a reflection of the craziness of the war.
The French Plantation was interesting in that it gave a little background to the war and that it was the French that brought the US in it, but on the whole, it just prolonged the story, it did not make it better.
I love it because I love Apocalypse Now. It is the original non-extended version that remains definitive for me. Some of what was left out was cool, but none was essential. The French plantation scene was a problem, because it disrupted the flow of the film. In the original, the boat progressively leaves civilization behind as the savagery around them builds. The French scene interrupts that pattern.
Redux is better.
Brad, I don’t think that scene interrupts at all. It is sort of like an island. At first it seems like it is some sort of island of “civilization”, and then, as it unspools, it turns out to be its own kind of crazy. Cool lighting too.
Has anyone seen the original workprint? With Martin Sheen killing Dennis Hopper, scenes with the Scott Glenn who’s only briefly glimpsed. Total runtime: 4 hours and 49 minutes!
the whole french thing felt completely useless, i kept zoning out during that section that felt like two hours long.
I just watched Redux a few weeks ago with the marker on because it had been so long since I’ve seen it that I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to tell what was different.
It was okay, I don’t hate it, but I can definitely see the issues people who don’t like it have with it. The French plantation scene was okay, but do think it slowed things down a little bit unnecessarily. The scene with the abandoned Playboy Playmates really emphasized the craziness and insanity of the war, but I think that case was already pretty well made. This biggest issue I had with this scene was that it was so far out there that it required just a little too much suspension of disbelief. I thought it was kind of funny when Willard stole Kilgore’s surfboard, but can agree that it was a childish act that somewhat diminishes his intensity; and Kilgore flying helicopters up and down the river pleading for the return of the surfboard seemed to diminish his toughness. I did like the scene with Willard in the metal cell if only because it gave Kurtz a little more screen time.
Yeah, it was okay, but I think to really put it on the scale and weigh it carefully, it would tilt more to: better without the changes. I think I will have to watch it again in the original to confirm.
It’s funny, I just watched it last night/this morning. I like the film very much, but this time around felt like the new footage was a bit superfluous. First time doubting, but it feels true.
i’ve only seen the redux…. and it was awesome
^ That’s interesting. By the time the redux came out I’d seen the original so much I’d kind’ve lost objectivity on it. The new scenes were fine but I struggled to adapt to the rhythm. I own it, though, and will be checking it out again sooner or later.
It has been a vary long time since I’ve seen the original,I have seen the redux more but I still on the fences about the added footage,but I do c both sides of the argument
Loved redux. Original was better.
I saw the redux before I saw the original. Can’t stand the original.
Ok the french scene is debatable, it does give some historical context and reminds us of the futility of the whole thing but I agree it’s too long and breaks the rhythm. But for me where the redux really comes into its own is how much more depth we get to Willard and his relationship with the others on the boat. The original just feels lacking in humanity to me.
Redux was one of the first movies that caused me to lose faith in the whole validity of the director’s cut. The Exorcist director’s cut was the second.
I prefer Redux because all the extra scenes are so well done and dramatically effective. These were obviously more than just those tacky ‘extra scenes’ added onto so many DVDs now. The French section is complete in itself and gives us yet another – and more human side – of Willard. The playmate scenes also stand on their own and give all the characters yet another dimension. Of course, the original film is long enough for the commercial release, so we can see why Coppola felt the need to chop these amazing scenes out. However, they are so well done that I now prefer the extended version. I would miss these scenes when viewing the original. This extended cut proves what a fantastic dramatic director Coppola was in those heady days – miles above almost anyone else of his time then.
Unlike the comments of others here, I usually prefer the extended director’s cut of most films I have seen released in this format. If I like the original and enjoy the director’s style, more is better. Afterall, often these completed scenes were cut due to length considerations for commercial release, not artistic considerations.
I hated the redux. It almost ruined the original for me (which at the time was my all time favourite film).
i still love Apocalypse myself and i hold it in a high pedestal as with other war (and art-house, i won’t hide it) films i’ve seen post-Apocalypse. now when i saw the Redux, i think i was only annoyed by the French group segment, although lusting for Clement even as a fleeting presence just didn’t bother me at all ;)
I saw the redux first and had no idea what was new or whatever … and I felt … a rhythm shaken by the French segment, honestly.
I prefer the original cut even after seeing the redux, i mean after watching it i gave it 5 stars on here still, but I think the original is still an improvement.
I absolutely adore the Redux simply because APOCALYPSE NOW is one of my favorite all-time films, and the more, the better. I certainly don’t have that attitude with all my favorite films, however, some longer “director’s cuts” can be dumb and superfluous for sure. Its just that Apocalypse has a special hypnotic power and feeling that I can just immerse myself in for hours, so it could be even longer and more episodic than the Redux and I would still love every minute of it.
Having said that, I objectively still recognize that the original is overall a much more unified and almost perfectly edited film; the whole journey upriver into “the heart of darkness” theme is handled perfectly in all the original film’s look and feel. Also, it most certainly would have been a box-office tank if it had been released in the long form in 1979. The Redux is lot more episodic and sporadic in nature, there’s no doubt that the Playboy bunnies scene, the added daylight scene with Kurtz, and especially the really long French plantation scene interrupt and break up the flow of the narrative journey considerably. But they are such amazingly well staged, acted and filmed scenes (Victor Storarao is a god!), they enrich the characters considerably, especially Willard, and they greatly heighten both the historic and surreal atmospheres of the film. For me, the Redux’s length just gives it a deepened mythic feel, like The Odyssey or something. Anyway, I always watch the Redux these days, at least once a year or so, and I think I would have a hard time going back to the shorter original version.
I too have read about the infamous full length work-print… I have heard it is available online through a certain website named ‘SubCin’ … I also have learned that the only copies that are available are extremely LQ… like unbearably LQ… I would love to have a copy of it on my hands though…
I actually prefer the Redux cut instead of the theatrical version. To me, it feels much more complete and adds more dimension to the story all around. I was never bored with it and I liked the French scene quite a bit. It was very very eerie to me, the whole time it just seemed that even though the people on that land seemed good, that they couldn’t be trusted. It had this overall sense of “this is not normal, what’s going on here”, which is a feeling that obviously sticks out through the entire Apocalypse Now movie. All in all, you can’t go wrong with either of them.
Close call, but probably the original…though those Technicolor dye prints of the REDUX sure looked good.
This is pretty intriguing…I’d watch a five hour version of this, sub-sub-dub-dubbed VHS quality or no.
Prefer the theatrical cut to Redux. Less is more.
I’ve found an active torrent of the workprint, but I can’t be bothered downloading 5 gigs on my crappy Australian connection just for that.
I have yet to see the Redux version… but I have always thought the original was perfect in its own way. I will be watching Redux very soon though.
What I want to know is… are there any versions of the original OR the redux version on DVD which preserve the original aspect ratio, or are they all at Mr Storaro’s favoured 2:1 revisionist ratio?
“Less is more.”
Kilgore’s passion for surfing, the tiger in the jungle, the playmates, the Freanch plantation, Kurtz reading an article from the Time magazine. How do you feel about losing these sequences?
A very famous Italian critic, Paolo Cherchi Usai, wrote that the relationship between the original cut and the Redux version is similar to that one existing between the Iliad and the Odyssey.
BTW, personally, I prefer the Redux.
When it comes to alternate, longer cuts of classic movies released years after the theatrical run, it’s not like Redux is the worst out there (that honor goes to the new cut of The Exorcist), but I much prefer the original theatrical cut as well. The added scenes really are a little superfluous and ruin the rhythm of the movie. They’re interesting as standalone sequences, but don’t work very well reintegrated into the film. The movie is more efficient without them, I think.
I think it works…I was concerned that the French plantation scenes would bring the film to a grinding halt, but was glad it hadn’t. Having Aurora Clement helps a lot!
The Playboy Bunnies scene is terrific. Evocative of the Marx Bros’ best satire of sanity itself. Horrific but sweet at the same time. And the addition of the beautiful French plantation scene works for me. Masterfully directed and full of great familial tension a’la “The Godfather” films. The weakest additional scene is Kurtz reading the newspaper. But I think Redux is American cinema at its best and superior to the original cut.