Apocalypse Now: Original vs. Redux

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alan Kurland, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. Alan Kurland

    Alan Kurland Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 1998
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    This was a great movie! Its been a while since I watched the original, but the fact that this was judged one of the best movies last year, and one of the best in the edited form in 1978 just goes to show that truly great movies like this are well appreciated.

    I'm curious what others think of the comparison of the 1978 vs the Redux version, and why this substantial movie stands the test of time (quality, acting, universal themes?)
     
  2. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    0
    I still believe that Apocalypse Now is the greatest war film of all time. I am not sure if Redux is the better cut of the film or not. I am going to go against what most people believe and say that the French plantation sequence ADDED to the film. It did stop the narrative flow slightly but I think it added more depth to the film and it seemed to fit in. The French Plantation sequence fits in with the "journey back in time" theme that Coppola visioned. The scene also tells you what happened to Clean's body. I think that Redux would be the "definitve" version of the film if it left out the stolen surfboard scenes and the additional Playboy scenes. Those two scenes don't really fit in with the rest of the film because they change Willard's character completely. In the original film you get the impression that he is burnt out and tired of fighting the war, but in Redux you see a more jovial side of him, which I don't like. I wish he would have less interaction with the PBR crew. I would love to see some of the scenes from the 5 hour workprint that were left out of Redux restored. The film is still considered on of the greats because of its strong anti-war statements. I have also heard Vietnam veterans say that it is the most realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War.

    I hope Paramount will give us a special edition for Apocalypse Now, it definately deserves one.
     
  3. William Ward

    William Ward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2000
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    The sad thing is my parents got me this for Christmas but forgot it when they came down. I still haven't received it yet. I'm thinking of sending them an empty box with packing peanuts so they can send it to me....

    Even more sad, my sister was up there yesterday with my kids and still didn't bring it to me....


    AUGH!!!!
     
  4. Mike_Ped

    Mike_Ped Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hated the Redux version. I had seen the original a while ago when I was younger and remembered certain scenes from it. Well, after watching the redux, I could pick out the scenes that weren't in the original simply because they seemed so unnecessary! I found the longer version littered with usless scenes that extended this great movie further and furtehr away from enjoyment, IMHO that is.

    Mike
     
  5. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was just happy to see this film at the theatre, but I agree that some of the scenes were unnecessary and did disrupt the flow of the entire film, i'm mainly referring to the french plantation and the Playboy Bunnies scenes. I did like the little touches like when they stole Kilgore's surfboard and they go looking for it. You can really see why those longer scenes were cut. I bought both versions but the original cut is definately the one i'll be viewing more often.
     
  6. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    0
    I too think Apocalypse Now is the best war film ever and I believe that Redux is even better.
     
  7. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Aaron Reynolds
    I still don't know if my lukewarm reaction to Redux was due to the film itself or the jerk with the cell phone next to me. I'll have to see it again with no distractions and figure out what I think of it.

    I am a huge fan of the original, which also makes judging Redux difficult, as the original is so ingrained in me that I cannot help but concentrate on the differences, missing the big picture of the film as a whole. I almost wish I could go into it "cold" and evaluate it without the original cut in my mind. Of course, short of a car accident in which I lose my memory, I doubt that this will ever happen.
     
  8. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I agree that most of the scenes (the Playboy Bunny orgy and French Plantation sequences especially) added back into Redux were unnecessary and bogged the movie's theme and pacing down needlessly.

    Coppolla is not as good a director as he once was and should have left well enough alone. He could and should have spent his time, money, and energy properly restoring The Godfather Trilogy.

    Dan
     
  9. Alan Kurland

    Alan Kurland Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 1998
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems to me, that in calling the movie "Redux", and releasing it again, Coppola needed to add in more than a few minutes of scenes. Although the extensive plantation sequence and bunnys add little, and may even detract from the flow, Coppola might have decided to give us more of what was in his original design. It would have been nice to include some extras on the DVD, though. Still an amazing movie, certainly taken as a package ranks with the greatest movies of all time.
     
  10. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,151
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate when directors after not doing anything earth shattering for years, prefer to go back to tinker with their masterpieces. That's easy solution! If you can’t make a masterpiece any more, then be it, don’t touch your past work. I personally consider it a cheap act. I’m glad I already bought the original version. I know this sounds a little harsh but I’m too tired to make it politically correct! [​IMG]
     
  11. Dharmesh C

    Dharmesh C Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    995
    Likes Received:
    0
    Big fan of the original, but Redux has left me a little confused, I don't know which version I should watch from now!
    The French Plantation feels out of place, takes me out of Vietnam. The playmates sequence wasn't very good either.
    The Kilgore material was my favourite as was the Brando stuff. [​IMG]
     
  12. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you like Apocalypse Now I recommend that you check out the 5 hour workprint of the film, it's very interesting to watch although the quality is close to unwatchable.
     
  13. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1998
    Messages:
    7,588
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only "improved" section is some of the Brando stuff, which actually does fit in with Sheen's journey toward becoming more like Brando himself.

    Duvall's character is freaking ruined by taking his hardened yet crazy persona and making him look weak in his desperate begging to both not have Lance go and then to get his surfboard back.

    The Duvall of the original would have put a gun to Lance's head and made him go out. I had just assumed they got lost in the shuffle and left, and I prefer that to having Duvall "let" them go.

    The Bunny scene is worthless because it shows us 2 things we already get elsewhere -

    1 - The war is making people flip out (Lance and Chef show us this elsewhere - Tiger and acid) and make compromises to who they are (cripes, Sheen's story alone says this)

    2 - The crazy "who's the CO here" stuff that we get done in a more dramatic way at the bridge later.


    But the plantation is the worst because it takes the story in a totally different direction. It goes after direct confrontation of political idealogies rather than implying philosophies on that subject. Since the primary narrative is watching Sheen's journey we do not need a pit stop from that for a bunch of philosophical exposition that the rest of the film delivers anyway.


    All that being said I do respect what Coppola has done here. Rather than pretend like it's the original he has truly treated it like it's a new and seperate film. At least he understands what it means to recut a film, that it no longer remains the original or "true" version.

    I feel certain that FFC clearly sees AN and Redux as unique films. That is okay with me. I don't think Redux is nearly as good as AN, BUT he did add a shitload of footage which made the film feel different. That's all you can ask from FFC in this situation. There is never a guarantee that a film will come out "good", but at least it felt new.
     
  14. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,960
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Brian
    I prefer the original cut. Kilgore's imposing character is made buffoonish by the added scenes, and Willard is no longer a burnt out shell of a man. I found myself repeatedly asking, "Why did they put that back in there? What does it add?" The only new scene that adds anything to the film is the additional Brando scene, and maybe the little bit with the guy on the loudspeaker in the helicopter, right before the tiger scene.
     
  15. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...Wanted to open this one back up, rather than start another.

    I never saw the original, and watched it only because I have heard tons of people praise it. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me.

    I would have thought that FFC would have at least checked with more people that had been there - and no, I'd don't want this moved to the music section, even if those were the errors that I caught.

    First, the AFVN (Armed Forces Vietnamess Network) was not allowed to play any songs by The Rolling Stones, so hearing Satisfaction only meant to me that he messed up.

    Also, this did take place in Oct. of 67 (I joined up the following month) and they played CCR songs too, but the group didn't exist until '68. Shame on him!

    Glenn
     
  16. Jon Sheedy

    Jon Sheedy Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glenn, that's interesting about the "No Stones" rule...I'd never heard about this. What other acts were banned from the Armed Forces radio playlist? Specifically, were The Beatles banned as well?
    To chime in on the subject at hand...the first time I saw Redux I thought most of what was added was unnecessary and didn't add to the experience...I also thought that the plantation sequence actually detracted from the sustained mood of the film. However, I've since watched it twice and each time I felt more comfortable with this cut...at this point I'm actually prefering it to the original. I believe the best point was hit by Aaron...that for some of us this film is so well-known and loved that it is difficult to watch the new cut and NOT be dissapointed. Good, bad, whatever.....it's just different....and that takes some getting used to.
    The scene at the half-abandoned, wet, desolate, and out of control Medevac was scary and powerful. Jesus, what a godawful place (and it would been even more wet if they'd fired up BOTH rainmakers that day! [​IMG] I know we get pretty much this same thing x10 a bit further down the river at Do Lung (which is not simply teetering with insanity like the Medevac but has has taken the full plunge), but the daylight offers up a different flavor to the madness and horror of that later event.
     
  17. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 1999
    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    I preferred the Redux version. At first, I was in the same camp as most, that the Redux version was muddled and confusing and the added scenes only served to lose the viewer. But, then I learned something I didn't know before:

    It was all a dream. Capt. Willard never left his hotel room and the trip was all a "hallucination" caused by Post Dramatic Stress Disorder.


    Once I factored that in, the film took on a new meaning and one that far outscoped the original.

    Bruce
     
  18. steve jaros

    steve jaros Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1997
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Steve
    My reaction to "redux" was the same reaction i have to most great films that have scenes 'restored' at a later time: It reminds me how important the editing process is.

    Most great films are great in part because outstanding choices were made about what scenes to include and what scenes to omit. I found that the additional 'redux' scenes detracted from the overall impact of the movie.

    So a tip of the hat to the original editor of the film...
     
  19. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2000
    Messages:
    5,969
    Likes Received:
    282
    I have never heard of it interpreted that way either and I have never seen anything in the film itself that indicates that. Where in the film do you get the impression that it

    is a hallucination
    ?
     

Share This Page