The Facebook page for The Storaro Collection — which sells books, movie stills and other art by legendary cinematographer Vittorio Storaro — is a treasure trove of fantastic Apocalypse Now behind the scenes pics. Here’s the official site if you’ve got a few hundred extra bucks in your couch cushions for such things. —Deep Fried Movies
Here’s a rarity: John Milius’ first-draft screenplay for Apocalypse Now, written a decade before the film was released [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only). The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers.
“Too much is known of Coppola’s own voyage into the heart of darkness, his encounters with ‘the horror,’ and the exasperations of finally realizing a work that would transcend the myths. Too little is know about the genesis of the film—its transformation from a script by John Milius to a film by Coppola. A reading of Milius’s first-draft script—dated December 5, 1969—dispels another myth: that Coppola completely rewrote the Milius work, an assumption promoted by Milius himself in his interview in FILM COMMENT (July/August 1976).
If the film strayed from the first draft, it was not so much away from Milius’s conception as it was towards Milius’s own source, the Conrad novel; and the final result is far from what Milius contemptuously referred to as ‘an anti-war movie.’ But Milius seems to have had his own preoccupation with ‘Heart of Darkness,’ which had more to do with his identification with and of Kurtz as a ‘rotting god’ and ‘legend to a primitive culture.’ Combining his own professed desire to ‘lord it over the monkeys’ with his apolitical obsession with war as the ultimate expression of ‘man’s inherent bestiality,’ Milius fashioned a script that structured itself in general terms after the Conrad work, but which incorporated many references to his own interests. These were represented most clearly by Kilgore (named Kharnage in the first draft), a surfing major whose own god-like resistance to fear is matched only by his Patton-like lust for napalm’s ‘smell of victory.’ The Kilgore section of the original draft, though appropriately shortened by a few pages, stands otherwise untouched and remains the most recognizably Milius element in the final film.
In fact, it’s surprising, after all the talk of rift, how much Milius’s original script shows up in the final cut. Two major scenes that don’t—an overnight stop at a French rubber plantation and an encounter with stranded Playboy bunnies—were filmed by Coppola and only excised later at the editing table.” —Brooks Riley, Apocalypse Now: Heart Transplant, Film Comment
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