Apocalypse Now (1979)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
List still incomplete
- Marlon Brando improvised the line "You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill."
- Laurence Fishburne was fourteen when production began in 1976. He lied about his age.
- Substance abuse was rampant amongst the cast and crew. Dennis Hopper got a teenaged Laurence Fishburne addicted to heroin.
- When Francis Ford Coppola asked Al Pacino to play Willard, Pacino turned him down saying, "I know what this is going to be like. You're going to be up there in a helicopter telling me what to do, and I'm gonna be down there in a swamp for five months." The shoot actually lasted sixteen months.
- Robert Duvall's iconic Oscar-nominated performance as Colonel Kilgore amounts to just eleven minutes of screentime.
- Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming and some shots of Willard's back are of doubles, including Sheen's brother Joe Estevez, who was flown out specially. Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Sheen were so worried that backing would be withdrawn by the studio and distributor, if news of Sheen's heart attack leaked out, that they both kept it quiet, even to the extent of explaining Sheen's hospitalization as being due to "heat exhaustion" in the official Shoot Schedule.
- The scene at the beginning, with Captain Willard alone in his hotel room, was completely unscripted. Martin Sheen told the shooting crew to just let the cameras roll. Sheen was really drunk, and punched the mirror, which was real glass, cutting his thumb. Sheen also began sobbing and tried to attack Director Francis Ford Coppola. The crew was so disturbed, that they wanted to stop shooting, but Sheen wanted to keep the cameras going. He was fighting a drinking problem, and his own issues. He got so caught up in the scene and his personal internal struggles, that he hit the mirror. He believed that continuing the scene would help face his problems. This was revealed later in a conversation with Coppola and Sheen, and has been shown in the Redux version.
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