Comparing "Apocalypse Now" and "Saving Private Ryan"
HIST 1302 – American History II Mr. Daniel Bush Central Texas College January 4, 2010
The films "Saving Private Ryan" and "Apocalypse Now" were both critically acclaimed films depicting the dramas of war. They both had very realistic qualities and great cinematic values. The films had two great Hollywood directors in, Steven Spielberg directing "Saving Private Ryan" and Francis F. Coppola, directing "Apocalypse Now." While both films attempt to portray war and all its tragedy, "Saving Private Ryan" emphasizes the toll of war, whereas "Apocalypse Now" rather plainly
…show more content…
With Apocalypse Now, Coppola captures an interesting dichotomy of all the seemingly contradictory forces at work in war. The film plots a burnt out soldier, portrayed by Martin Sheen, on an emotionally disturbing mission to infiltrate the compound of a rogue colonel, played by Marlon Brando, who rules over what has become an increasingly cult-like and apocalyptic situation. The movie starts off in Saigon in 1968, with Army captain and special intelligence agent Benjamin Willard hold up in a hotel room, heavily intoxicated and desperate to get back into action. He has completed one tour of duty in Vietnam, only to go home a changed man, miserable amid the confines of civilization. After agreeing to a divorce, he has returned to Vietnam for a second tour and now waits restlessly for a mission. There he meets with two military superiors and a CIA operative, who brief him on a rogue Green Beret colonel named Walter E. Kurtz. Willard is ordered to find and terminate Kurtz, who has become insane and is committing murder with the help of a native Montagnard army. Kurtz currently is stationed at an outpost in Cambodia with the Montagnards, who treat him as a god. As Willard embarks on his journey up river with a four man Navy patrol boat crew, they encounter scene after scene that epitomize all the horrors and senseless destruction of war. Upon finally reaching the camp of the crazed colonel he is