The Deer Hunter

THE DEER HUNTER (1978) – REVIEW BY STANLEY KAUFFMANN [NEW REPUBLIC]

I submit that, if we are going to be moved to thought and action by The Deer Hunter, it ought to be by the implications of its true subject: the limitations for our society of the traditions of male mystique, the hobbling by sentimentality of a community that, after all the horror, still wants the beeriness of “God Bless America” instead of a moral rigor and growth that might help this country.

The Deer Hunter (1978) – Review by Sid Falko [Cinemonkey]

The Deer Hunter has created such controversy as a political entity that I think it would be valuable to consider it, briefly, purely as an aesthetic object. Certainly art affects us in many ways, but many of these effects are brought to the film by ourselves.

THE DEER HUNTER: “GOD BLESS AMERICA” – Review by Chris Auty [Time Out]

The Deer Hunter is a brilliant epic about the simple things of life. To its director Michael Cimino they are ‘friendship, courage, dignity, grace’ and through them the movie’s Vietnam veterans turn into Homeric heroes. Chris Auty pays his respects, but wonders if this catalogue of rituals hasn’t tried to make time stand still.

“THE DEER HUNTER” AND THE DEMYTHIFICATION OF THE AMERICAN HERO – by Nick Pease

Something ominous has been going on since The Deer Hunter first made its appearance, and especially since it won an Academy Award: Certain activist groups, in an unfortunate misunderstanding of the film, have protested it as a kind of racist document that, as a New York Post article summarized it, “ . . . contrasts the innocence of American GIs . . . with the savage Vietnamese enemy they meet on the battlefield.”

READY FOR VIETNAM? A TALK WITH MICHAEL CIMINO

“Look, the film is not realistic — it’s surrealistic. Even the landscape is surreal. For example, the little steel town we called Clairton is composed of eight different towns in four states. You can’t find that town anywhere — it doesn’t exist. And time is compressed.

The Deer Hunter: Lame Deer – Review by John Simon [National Review]

For all its pretensions to something newer and better, this film is only an extension of the old Hollywood war-movie lie. The enemy is still bestial and stupid, and no match for our purity and heroism; only we no longer wipe up the floor with him—rather, we litter it with his guts.