#127 – Hearts of Darkness (The making of Apocalypse Now)

Hearts of darkness is a documentary released in 1991. It has received the 100% fresh rating on rotten tomatoes. Directed by Eleanor Coppola the wife of Francis Ford Coppola, captures the anarchy on the set of Apocalypse Now. The film was filmed in mainly in the Philippines and the set has become infamous as one of the most chaotic and destructive movie sets in cinema history.

Hearts of darkness follows the now infamous journey of Francis Ford Coppola as he attempts to turn this moving beast of a production that is hell on earth.

This tell all behind the scenes documentary is an incredible story unfolding in front of our very eyes. Coppola is under the stress of his life to make this film. Putting all of his money and home on the line in an effort to finish this film. It was the first film of his production company American Zoetrope, so the pressure could not have been higher for the man.

He cast Harvey Keitel as his leading star before abruptly firing him weeks into production before going to LA to get Martin Sheen to replace Keitel.

The set building and production was unparalleled at the time in scale and being so far from Hollywood everything was built from scratch in the jungle.

Dennis Hopper was high for most of the entire production process.

Marlon Brando showed up on set not knowing his lines, he was heavily overweight and wanting to rewrite the ending of the film.

Brando still created such a memorable and iconic character of Colonel Kurtz

Anarchy, Chaos, explosions and tension ran rampant on the set of Apocalypse Now. This documentary gives such an insight and unbelievable look at the making of one of the greatest films and maybe greatest war film ever made. Apocalypse Now is definitely the BEST Vietnam war movie ever put to film.

The set got so chaotic that Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack while filming at age 36!

Laurence Fishburne was only 14 and lied about his age at the time to get a role on the film.

What the film also does incredibly well is cut between the footage at the time and interviews from Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne & George Lucas.

For a fan of filmmaking it’s a dream and a nightmare getting a glimpse behind the scenes of such an iconic and important part of cinema history.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 10/10

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