The MoFo Top 100 of the 1970s: Countdown

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I had a dream where today's movie was Coppola's Jack, surprising everyone.

If Apocalypse Now is a steak, the theatrical version is a perfectly cut piece of sirloin, while the Redux is a cut with too much gristle on it.
Enough of the gastronomic metaphors, you're making me hungry.

Okay, I've bandaged my hand and recovered from this injustice. Now it's time to rave about the brilliance of Apocalypse Now.

I said earlier that I adore this film. That was the wrong word choice. I revere this film. I drop to my knees and bow before its magnificence like one of Colonel Kurtz's tribal worshipers. I start waving my hands about like Dennis Hopper because I'm not worthy, man; this film is genius, man; it transcends other films, man--- I mean, can't you dig it, man? Apocalypse Now, in my not so humble opinion, is the greatest movie ever made. That's right: The. Greatest. Movie. Ever. Made. You can have your Citizen Kanes and your Godfathers and your Casablancas. Give me tigers and decapitated bulls and purple haze. Give me unsound methods and recitations of T.S. Eliot. Give me terminations with extreme prejudice. Give me the horror. Give me the madness. Give me the motherf**king napalm!

Whether it's fair or not, when I think of greatness, the ambition of the projects weighs heavily in my calculations. I have more respect for the writer who succeeds in crafting an excellent tome of a novel as opposed to a perfectly written novella. I love Billy Wilder, for example, and I think The Apartment is a flawless film, but it doesn't reach for the stars or share the same level of ambition as Apocalypse Now. When I think of the greatest films ever made, I think of the films that fill me most with awe and reverence. I think of films that attempt the impossible. Films that threaten to fly off the rails as they careen toward greatness. I want a director who transforms into a mad scientist hell bent on creating a masterpiece. And Apocalypse Now, whether you think it's flawed or not, is a masterpiece, because it ventures into territory that no film has ever ventured. It is a bold, daring, miraculous achievement, a marvel of film-making, and one of the greatest works of art that man has ever created--- in any medium.

Apocalypse Now isn't a war film, not in the traditional sense. Instead it's about the war inside of us: it's about the heart of darkness; it's about chaos and insanity and madness; it's about the horrific depths of humanity and mankind's hellish impulses and desires and actions. We fear comets and asteroids and spiteful gods as harbingers of apocalypse. Yet look around and we're starting wars and dropping bombs and killing our own sisters and brothers. We're our own apocalypse and it's here right now. So the Vietnam War isn't the subject, but the setting. We've gotta get past the gunfire and the helicopter strikes to reach our destination. The war is just an obstacle along the way, and a symbol of the movie's biggest theme.

So Captain Willard is supposed to assassinate Colonel Kurtz because he's insane and a murderer? Like Willard says in his narration, "that's like giving out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500." Everyone in the movie is either crazy or on their way to the asylum. Willard is supposed to be our hero, and he's the one least affected by the horrors around him, yet he's like a sleepwalker: a man so desensitized to violence and death and destruction that he has become numb to the world, but that's what makes him a perfect choice to carry out the objective. Colonel Kurtz, whose mind is sound but whose soul is mad, has resurrected himself as a God--- a beacon amid the chaos and a magnet for the broken minds and deteriorating souls. The last act, which many say is the weakest part of the film, is by far my favorite part. All film, as we drift down the river, we hear of Kurtz's accomplishments; his mystique grows and so does our fascination. By the time the boat arrives at its destination, and we see corpses hanging from trees and painted faces of tribesman and people who resemble zombies more than humans, goosebumps break out all over my body. My favorite scene is our eerie introduction to this god of chaos, now fat on idolatry: his bald head protruding in and out of the shadows, his voice floating out of the same darkness which threatens to devour us. When the final credits roll, I always just sit and stare at the screen for several minutes, "the horror, the horror," echoing in my mind, still in a trance from this hypnotic masterpiece.

So yeah, I love this movie, and I haven't even seen the documentary that members previously alluded to. Like Burden of Dreams increased my already profound appreciation for Herzog's similarly ambitious masterpiece Fitzcarraldo, I'm sure Hearts of Darkness will do the same for Apocalypse Now. Heart-attacks. Nervous breakdowns. I read somewhere once that Coppola thought the film might kill him, and he asked some of his filmmaker friends to finish it for him in the event that he died. That's dedication to your craft, man. How many directors are willing to risk everything, including their own sanity and life? ("Did you know that 'if' is the middle word in 'life,' man?") Filmmakers are rarely this ambitious, and even if they are, studios no longer allow the budgets and resources to attempt this sort of gargantuan behemoth of a film. The advancement of CGI and technology has caused films to lose their authenticity. We can't trust what our eyes see anymore because most likely it's done on a computer. Filmmakers aren't out on location trying to manage dozens of helicopters and boats and explosions. The actual war scenes in the film are a wonder to behold. The script is one of the best ever written and full of memorable quotes (Robert Duvall, during his brief yet iconic role in the film, gets many of them, including "Charlie don't surf" and "I love the smell of napalm in the morning . . . smells likes victory"). And the music! "Ride of the Valkyries" is and always will be associated with this movie. Plus I was just discovering The Doors the first time I watched this film, and "The End" has been one of my favorite songs ever since. You'd think Jim Morrison penned the song exclusively for this movie it fits the tone and spirit so perfectly. "The killer awoke before dawn . . . he put his boots on . . . he took a face from the ancient gallery and he . . . he walked on down the hall! . . . it hurts to set you free, but in the end, you'll never follow me . . . this is the end, beautiful friend, the end."

Apocalypse Now was #1 on my list. Hell, it might have even been my #1 if this countdown encompassed all decades and not just the 70's.

Both were on my list. Expected both to be higher.
"Puns are the highest form of literature." -Alfred Hitchcock

Gangster Rap is Shakespeare for the Future
Glad to see that both Claire's Knee and Celine and Julie Go Boating were in the top 130 at least. Both were top 10 picks for me.

Apocalypse Now is my #4, I adore this movie, the greatest non Kubrick war movie.
I do not speak english perfectly so expect some mistakes here and there in my messages

I've only seen it once and give it
Yeah, it's in English, I can see why you'd give it a lower rating.
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I wrote a long, personal comment about Apocalypse Now, but my computer crashed. I'm so frustrated and don't feel like one-hand typing and finding old posts for another 90 minutes. I have my own kind of love for Apocalypse Now. No, it's not so deep and natural as what I have for Jaws, where you love something so much that you'll accept and adore it, warts and all. I love Coppola's spectacle for what it attempted to do and what it was able to accompish. I better love it since I've seen it over 10 times in its various incarnations. I certainly didn't love it enough though since it didn't make my list.

There are so many perfect scenes, and Coppola wields so much technical prowess, showering the audience with cinema which demands to be seen and heard on the big screen. Yet somehow, to me, he lost his way and became another Kurtz, losing the thread, trying to piece together a third act from bits and pieces, shadows, insane babblings from Hopper and Brando, and allegorical meaning tying the story's unraveling to that of the Vietnam War itself. Many of the film's staunchest defenders deny there's anything imperfect about it or if there is, it's supposed to be there and they love it. Welcome to my world of Jaws love.

Great MoFo countdown where people can share their opinions and love of movies, even if they're not always the same movies. It shouldn't be any other way since we all have different significant others. If you don't, I hope you're happy in your polyamory.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Apocalypse Now was #23 on my list.

I have been regretting for some time now that I put it that low on my list. It was mainly due to figuring that it wouldn't need much help getting high on the list. Now I wish it had been much higher than #9, especially considering it's now lower than trash like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Also, I had The Jerk higher -- at #19 -- which was a severe mistake. But, I didn't go back and rewatch all these movies for the list. And my opinions and feelings change every hour.

Apocalypse Now is one of the most stunning, gorgeous movies I've seen. It deserves to be #1 on this list. The ending is absolutely incredible. The movie, overall, though -- can't say I really enjoy it incredibly as a whole. Which is another reason why I put it low. It's not a fun, fun, fun movie.

Sexy Celebrity's '70s List:

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
3. Rocky
4. Rocky II
5. Pink Flamingos - didn't make it
6. coming soon!!
7. Halloween
8. Mad Max
9. Foxy Brown - didn't make it
10. Coffy - #102, didn't make it
11. Harold & Maude
12. Carrie
13. coming soon!!
14. Tommy - didn't make it
15. Little Big Man
16. The Deer Hunter
17. The Muppet Movie
18. coming soon!!
19. The Jerk
20. Last Tango in Paris - didn't make it
21. coming soon!!
22. Patton - #103, didn't make it
23. Apocalypse Now
24. Caligula - didn't make it
25. Pumping Iron - didn't make it

Two movies of mine were so close to making the list... it infuriates me.

Apocalypse Now was the last movie I cut from my list. It was in the #25 spot for quite some time until I finally decided I had enough Coppola on my list, and replaced the film with Little Big Man. I don't regret the decision. There were other reasons I cut it, too. For instance, the theatrical version is very much superior to the extended version, which seems to be the dominate version these days. I also am not a fan of Marlon Brando (apart from The Godfather) and Brando is at his absolute worse in this film, in a performance that feels like a self-indulgent parody. Still, it is a great film, and basically #26 on my top 25 list.
I may go back to hating you. It was more fun.

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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
The Godfather Part II was #9 on my list. For a while it was my favourite of the Godfather films, but I think now the first film just edges it out, as I think the story is more focused. It's hard to separate them, though.

Apocalypse Now is easily my least favourite of the top ten films.

I got it right for The Godfather Part 2 but Apocalypse Now was my #8


''Haters are my favourite. I've built an empire with the bricks they've thrown at me... Keep On Hating''
- CM Punk

We've gone on holiday by mistake
Yea Derek I had Apoc Now at 10 and Godfather 2 at 9. Wonder how close the rest of our lists are.