Apocalypse Now opens in Saigon in 1968. Army captain and special intelligence representative Benjamin Willard is holed up in a hotel space, greatly inebriateded and desperate to obtain back into action. He has finished one trip of responsibility in Vietnam, just to go house an altered guy, miserable amidst the confines of civilization. After consenting to a divorce, he has actually gone back to Vietnam for a 2nd tour and now waits uncomfortably for an objective.
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Two officers get here to escort Willard to Nha Trang, where he consults with two military superiors and a CIA operative, who brief him on a rogue Green Beret colonel named Walter E. Kurtz. Willard is ordered to discover and “end” Kurtz, who has actually ended up being unhinged and devoted murder with the assistance of a native Montagnard army. Kurtz currently is stationed at an outpost in Cambodia with the Montagnards, who treat him as a god. Kurtz is crazy, the officers state, and his approaches are “unsound.”.
To reach Kurtz, Willard signs up with the crew of a Navy river patrol boat (abbreviated PBR, as in Patrol Boat River), who are to ferry him up the (imaginary) Nung River to Cambodia. The boat’s team includes four guys: Chief, Chef, Lance, and Clean. With Willard on board, the team makes its rendezvous with the Ninth Air Cavalry, who are to escort the PBR to the mouth of the river. The crew members find themselves in the middle of a B– 52 bomber strike. Willard comes across the cavalry’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, who assures Willard his cavalry will set the PBR safely at the mouth of the river.
At dawn, Kilgore orders an air attack on a Vietcong-controlled village, and one of the movie’s most unforgettable sequences begins. The helicopters approach, blasting Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” through speakers as the villagers scatter. Throughout the extreme air strike, a chopper plunks the PBR down in the river successfully. From this point on, Willard and the crew embark on a journey consisting of a variety of episodic encounters connected by Willard’s narration.
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The first episode takes place in the jungle. Chef’s yearning for mangoes leads him and Willard to check out the jungle and disembark. In the middle of massive trees and thick vegetation, a tiger lunges out at them from the shadows. Chef and Willard run back to the boat. Chef has a nervous breakdown as the remainder of the crew shoots blindly at the jungle, presuming the danger is Vietcong. Chef’s breakdown darkens the team’s state of mind.
Further up the river, the team fulfills a U.S. base supply depot. They dock and collect fuel, cigarettes, and other products, then join the crowd of males in an amphitheater that has been put up by the river. Quickly, a helicopter drops and arrives three Playboy Playmates onto the stage to perform in a USO (United Service Organization) reveal. The Playmates perform to Flash Cadillac’s song “Suzie Q” and ridicule the sex-starved soldiers with sexy shimmies and bump-and-grind relocations. When some of the soldiers run onto phase in a frenzy, the show is interrupted and the Playmates are quickly evacuated.
The crew go back to the PBR, and the boat soon meets other patrol boats can be found in the opposite direction, with whom they engage in mock warfare. As the crew continues on and moods flare more frequently, Willard fanatically examines Kurtz’s file. Lance and Chef are continually under the impact of drugs, and Lance in specific becomes withdrawn, smearing his confront with camouflage paint and stating little.
One day, Chief insists on stopping a sampan (a little boat) bring numerous Vietnamese peasants and supplies downriver. At Chief’s command, Chef boards the sampan and searches it. Chief orders Chef to look inside a rusty yellow can that a peasant lady on the sampan was sitting on; when Chef does, the lady makes a sudden relocation toward the can. Tidy starts shooting at random, killing all the civilians on board except the lady. Once the shooting subsides, Chef looks inside the can and discovers just a little pup. Noticing the female is still alive, Chief orders Chef to bring her on board, stating the team will take her to a “friendly” hospital nearby. Willard actions forward, points his weapon at the lady’s chest, and fires, killing her so that his mission can continue without a detour. The remainder of the crew starts to see him in a different light.
Continuing upriver, the shaken crew reaches an army station under fire in a gunfight for an American-held bridge– the last military outpost before the Cambodian border. Willard is not able to discover a commander onshore however is offered a package of mail for the boat. Among the letters in the package notifies Willard that the United States military formerly sent out another man on the very same objective to recover Kurtz but that the man is now operating with Kurtz. As Clean listens to an audiotape letter from his mother, the PBR comes under a surprise attack by Vietcong, and Clean is shot fatally.
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The boat continues upriver, just to fulfill another surprise attack. Primitive locals onshore shoot a storm of arrows at the PBR. Chief is impaled with a spear and passes away. With 2 males gone, the survivors at last reach Kurtz’s camp, a macabre website in which countless dead bodies and severed heads are strewn about seemingly at random. A hyper American photojournalist, unabashed in his praise of Kurtz, welcomes the boat.
Willard and Lance disembark to discover Kurtz, leaving Chef with guidelines to contact an air strike if they are not back at the boat by a specified time. The natives under Kurtz’s control drag Willard through the mud and grant him an audience with Kurtz, who locks up Willard in a cramped tiger cage. Throughout the night, Kurtz throws Chef’s severed head into Willard’s lap. Willard is released the next day and given flexibility to stroll Kurtz’s compound. He pays attention to Kurtz’s philosophizing for numerous days.
In split scenes, Kurtz’s natives perform a routine sacrifice of a caribou, while the movie intercuts with images of Willard emerging from the river and approaching Kurtz’s quarters. As the caribou is ritualistically butchered, Willard slaughters Kurtz with a machete. Kurtz’s last words are “the horror, the scary.” The locals acknowledge him as their new leader and god when Willard emerges. He tosses down his machete, finds Lance amidst the Montagnard, and returns to the boat. Willard shuts down the radio, and he and Lance retreat from shore as rain starts to fall. Kurtz’s last words are echoed again as the movie fades to black.
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