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Apocalypse Now, afterthoughts…

November 22, 2010

I made the mistake of watching Apocalypse Now Redux before the original version.  After watching the 1979 original cut just now for the first time I have a few afterthoughts.  I wonder why Coppola put the French dinner scene in the Redux version because in the documentary Hearts of Darkness he hates how it came out.  I’m assuming over time he thought it would be better for the story and ended up using it?  Francis Coppola’s film Apocalypse Now(1979) being rereleased with 50 more minutes of footage in the 2001 Redux version is like Steven Spielberg rereleasing his 1998 film Saving Private Ryan in 2020.  I don’t know which version I enjoyed best of Apocalypse Now.  I don’t know if I can choose right now.  I’ve been thinking about when I posted my top 100+ films of all time a few months back what version would I add to that list?  I wish I would have watched the original edit first because throughout watching the ’79 film for the first time I kept finding myself trying to figure out what was not in this cut that was in the ’01 Redux.  I noticed differences between the two, they’re practically like two different films.  Adding 50 more minutes of footage to a film changes the pacing and emotion of an entire movie.  A part of me enjoys the Redux version because of the pacing and extended footage that was added but I feel that I’m seeing it different than the eyes of those who have seen the original film first.  You know those movies where you wish you could change the ending or that it was told a little different?  I think this is what Francis Ford Coppola did with his own film.  I dislike that there are two versions but I understand what would drive a director to do that.  Considering the amount of money he put into this film and time he spent working on it I’m sure this movie could have been told multiple ways, which has been done.  What if Hollywood recut films from the past instead of remaking them?  Both ways the film becomes two different movies but in the case of a remake it contains different characters and likely a different story.  Speaking of remakes I really want to see True Grit(2010) because I enjoyed the original 1969 version with John Wayne, featuring appearances from Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper who are both in Apocalypse Now.  I think I need to watch this film again and maybe watch both versions one after the other!

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