I still think it's the best of the Vietnam films, although Platoon and Full Metal Jacket are also excellent. When I saw the film, in the Fall of 1979, I could have sworn the whole thing ended with the Kurtz compound being blown to smithereens. I was blown away by the film too. But then, seeing it on home video a decade later, the ending had changed. It ended not with a bang but with a whimper. I was puzzled for quite a while about that, but there's an answer on wikipedia that seems to explain it: "For general release in 35mm, Coppola elected to show the credits superimposed over shots of Kurtz's base exploding. Rental prints circulated with this ending, and can be found in the hands of a few collectors. However, when Coppola heard that audiences interpreted this as an air strike called by Willard, Coppola pulled the film from its 35 mm run, and put credits on a black screen. In the DVD commentary, Coppola explains that the images of explosions had not been intended to be part of the story; they were intended to be seen as completely separate from the film." Why would Coppola think we wouldn't think it was part of the film?? Anyway, both endings work, and I think both should be kept. I appears that a new HD master is being finished by FFC and Vittorio Storaro, the cinematographer for the film. There's some controversy about the aspect ratio, I guess... There's information on this new master apparently from VS himself in a www.blu-ray.com thread on the film...Below is the whole post from blu-ray.com: "This is an Email that VITTORIO STORARO replied to me when i questioned him on the aspect ratio for Apocalypse Now on Bluray. My Question to him is at the bottom. VITTORIO STORARO Roma 21-02-2010 (http://www.storarovittorio.com) (http://www.aureaweb.com) Via Divino Amore 2-00040 Frattocchie-ROMA-Italia Tel/Fax.+39-06-93547007 (E mail: [email protected]) Dear Mr. Taylor Recently I did again a Video transfer of "APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX" and I wrote the following letter to the Distributor of the DVD . The following is my personal comment about the new HD Video master made in 1:2 aspect ratio of the Film "APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX" that I'm supervising with colorist Nazzareno Neri at Technicolor Rome. It is a great privilege for me to be able to digitally RE-MASTER, once again, THIS GREAT CLASSIC MOVIE Directed by FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA. I did it already in Standard definition, initially in the original version as " APOCALYPSE NOW " and later in HD version for "APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX". I supervised the Video transfer in Los Angeles with colorist Lou Levinson and both version were transfered in 1:2 aspect ratio, each one of them approved by Mr.Francis Ford Coppola. Each time, also now, thanks to the improvement of the Electronic technology, I'm able to improve all the original Visual ideas that we had during the shooting of the Film with Mr.Coppola, that were impossible to complete exactly in the way we were thinking at that time, with the existing 1977 Film technology. I believe that this one will be ONE OF THE BEST VIDEO MASTER THAT I EVER DID. As we did for Theater released with the Print on TECHNICOLOR DYE TRANSFER, today we can do with BLU-RAY technology. I'm able finally to put on Video screen all the visual idea that we had originally with Francis at that time: the conflict between LIGHT and SHADOW and the musical movement of low-saturated or high-saturated COLORS that were underlined the dramaturgy of the story. And, overall, the COMPOSITION of the image that we decided to have for the VIDEO VERSION, without any technical and creative interferance from the usual standard that not necesserily are the best choice for the Authors of a Movie. THE MOVIE WAS FILMED IN ANAMORPHIC I:2,35, WAS PRINTED IN 70mm IN 1:2,21 AND IN 35mm IN 1:2,40 ASPECT RATIO FOR THEATER RELEASED. I REMEMBER THE VISUAL TRAGEDY THAT WE LIVED IN DOING THE FIRST TV VIDEO MASTER IN FULL SCREEN 1:1,35 ASPECT RATIO, PRATICALLY CUTTING 40% OF ALL THE IMAGES SO CAREFULLY COMPOSED IN THE FILM CAMERA AND THE REQUESTED NEW VIDEO VERSION IN 1:1,78 ASPECT RATIO. TOO MANY COMPOSITIONS OF THE FILM THAT EACH TIME WAS CUT TO FIT ANY POSSIBLE DIFFERENT NEED OF THE DIFFERENT REQUESTED SIZE. IT WAS LIKE CUTTING A PAINTING ACCORDING TO THE SIZE OF THE WALL WHERE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DISPLAYED. SO I REMEMBER THE SPECIFIC DECISION THAT WE HAD IN DOING THE FIRST LETTER BOX VERSION OF THE FILM, UNDERSTANDING THAT LOOKING AT A VIDEO SCREEN, AUDIENCES IS RECEIVING A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE COMPARE TO THE FILM THEATER EXPERIENCE. THE DECISION THAT WE HAD WITH MR.COPPOLA WAS TO MAKE THE 1:2 COMPOSITION VERSION, SPECIFICALLY FOR VIDEO An ispiration that we had from the LEONARDO DA VINCI's perfect composition of the visual image: 1:2 (Like in his painting of "THE LAST SUPPER"). FRANCIS AND MYSELF LOVED ALL THE NEW VIDEO MASTER, THAT REPRESENT THE TODAY VISUALIZATION OF THE FILM IN VIDEO SCREEN, MADE AND APPROVED BY THE DIRECTOR AND THE CINEMATOGRAPHER. I BELIEVE THAT THE MAIN AUTHORS OF THE MOVIE (DIRECTOR - CINEMATOGRAPHER) SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RE-VISUALIZE THEIR CREATION IN A NEW WAY FOR THE VIEWERS OF A DIFFERENT MEDIA. I believe that FILM THEATER and VIDEO SCREEN are two different emotional experiences. I BELIEVE THAT ANY ARTIST SHOULD BE ABLE TO RE-VISIT OR RE-STORE IN A MODERN WAY HIS OWN CREATION. I think that WE should put all our energy,TOGETHER, to have any distribution company NOT altereting the decision of Author's composition of every movie to accomodate the various FULL SCREEN VERSION (1:1,35 or 1:1,78) WITHOUT THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE MAIN AUTHORS OF THE FILM, changing the original composition of the image and, in doing that, alterating the movie itself. I BELIEVE THAT ANY VIDEO DISTRIBUTION COMPANY SHOULD RESPECT THE AUTHORS WILL TO PRESENT THEIR FILM IN THE WAY IT SHOULD BE SEEING, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE IMPROVING WITH NEW TECHOLOGY THEIR ORIGINAL CREATION. I think that this new version of "APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX" IT IS A GREAT VIDEO MASTER that only the main Author, Mr. Francis Ford Coppola, should decide if it need to be different. I'M SURE THAT YOU WILL LOVE THIS NEW HD VIDEO MASTER, MADE EXPRESS FOR YOUR COMPANY BUT IN RESPECT OF THE AUTHOR'S CHOICE. Sincerely Vittorio Storaro Il giorno 11/feb/10, alle ore 06:19, EMC ha scritto: Dear Mr Storaro. With the advent of 1.77.1 widescreen televions pretty much all of the new Bluray movies that were shot in 35mm Anamorphic have been released in their Original Aspect Ratio of 2.35.1. If this is the case, when Apocalypse Now is released on BLURAY will you be giving the 2.35.1 release or the cropped 2.1. versions that were released on Laserdisc and VHS. Yours. Edward Taylor"