“Apocalypse Now”, the cult film of Francis Ford Coppola, which premiered in 1979, returns to the screens in a newly restored version, half an hour longer than the original.
In 2001, he released a new 49-minute extended version, “Apocalypse Now Redux,” with additional scenes.
“Apocalypse Now: Final Cut,” a three-hour, one-minute release, released Thursday in the United States, appears as a trade-off between previous releases, with a restoration of the original negative for the first time, a year-long trial, and with 4K resolution image quality Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.
“The best version of the movie in the world,” according to the filmmaker, this “Final Cut,” presented for the first time in April at the Tribeca Festival, in New York, “delivers superior picture and sound quality over what it is. he had, “he said. “The public will be able to see, hear and feel this film as we have always dreamed.” In New York, the 80-year-old filmmaker said he “always regretted some cuts” he had to make in 1979, but that in the second version they thought “maybe too long”…
In the “Dictionnaire amoureux” of the Cannes Film Festival, former president Gilles Jacob, who at that time was the general delegate of the festival, recalls that in 1979 Coppola “had reached such a level of obsessive madness that in the months preceding the festival” he had created “one weekend a week.” He also tells that the American director presented in Cannes two possible endings to the public: “a first end in the great hall of the former Palais des Festivals and another, in a smaller room.”
The footage of this free adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel “The Heart of Darkness” tells Captain Willard’s (Martin Sheen) journey, which has the mission to find and eliminate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), before encountering any imaginable difficulties.
“I was in the jungle. We were very many. We had too much money, too much equipment. And, little by little, I became a little crazy,” said Coppola at the Cannes Film Festival. Filming began on March 20, 1976, in the Philippines. Expected to last several weeks, they lasted 238 days. The problems were first with the actors: after Steve McQueen’s refusal, Harvey Keitel (who suffered a heart attack) will be replaced by Martin Sheen. As for Marlon Brando, he appeared in the footage unprepared.
The climatic conditions were also difficult: at the end of May 1976, the typhoon Olga destroyed the scenery and production was interrupted for six weeks. Added to this was Coppola’s paranoid access, under the influence of drugs, which lost 40 kilos and had to mortgage his assets to finance the film.
The initial budget of $ 13 million will reach $ 30 million, almost ruining the filmmaker. “To be honest, I was scared,” Coppola told the Tribeca Festival. “Terrible things happened to this movie, but if you want to make art, you have to accept the risk,” he admitted.