|Apocalypse Now Redux|
UK DVD cover
|Directed by||Francis Ford Coppola|
|Narration by||Michael Herr|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Box office||$12.5 million|
Apocalypse Now Redux is a 2001 extended version of Francis Ford Coppola's epic war film Apocalypse Now, which was originally released in 1979. Coppola, along with editor/longtime collaborator Walter Murch, added 49 minutes of material that had been removed from the original film. It represents a significant re-edit of the original version.
Francis Ford Coppola began production on the new cut with working-partner Kim Aubry. Coppola then tried to get Murch, who was reluctant at first. He thought it would be extremely difficult recutting a film that had taken two years to edit originally. He later changed his mind (after working on the reconstruction of Orson Welles' Touch of Evil). Coppola and Murch then examined several of the rough prints and dailies for the film. It was decided early on that the editing of the film would be like editing a new film altogether. One such example was the new French plantation sequence. The scenes were greatly edited to fit into the movie originally, only to be cut out in the end. When working again on the film, instead of using the heavily edited version, Murch decided to work the scene all over again, editing it as if for the first time.
Much work needed to be done to the new scenes. Due to the off-screen noises during the shoot, most of the dialogue was impossible to hear. During post-production of the film the actors were brought back to re-record their lines (known as A.D.R. or dubbing). This was done for the scenes that made it into the original cut, but not for the deleted scenes. For the Redux version, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Sam Bottoms, Albert Hall, Frederic Forrest, and Aurore Clément were brought back to record ADR for the new scenes.
New music was composed and recorded for the remade film. For example, it was thought no music had been composed for Willard and Roxanne's romantic interlude in the French Plantation scene. To make matters worse, composer Carmine Coppola had died in 1991. However, the old recording and musical scores were checked and a track titled "Love Theme" was found. During scoring, Francis Coppola had told Carmine, his father, to write a theme for the scene before it was ultimately deleted. For the remake, the track was recorded by a group of synthesists.
Vittorio Storaro also returned from Italy to head the development of a new color balance of the film and new scenes. When Redux was being released, Storaro learned that a Technicolor dye-transfer process was being brought back. The dye-transfer is a three-strip process that makes the color highly saturated and has consistent black tone. Storaro wished to use this on Redux, but in order to do it, he needed to cut the original negative of Apocalypse Now, leaving Apocalypse Now Redux the only version available. Storaro decided to do it, when convinced by Coppola that this version would be the one that would be remembered.
The film contains several alterations, and two entirely new scenes. One of the new scenes has the boat meeting the Playmates once again, further up the river; the other has them meet a family of holdout French colonists on their remote rubber plantation. There are also a few additional scenes with Colonel Kurtz.
Apocalypse Now Redux originally premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. The screening marked the anniversary of the original Apocalypse Now screening as a work in progress, where it won the Palme d'Or. Coppola went to the festival, accompanied by Murch, Storaro, production designer Dean Tavoularis, producer Kim Aubry and actors Bottoms and Clément.
The film was given a limited release in the U.S. on August 3, 2001, and was also released theatrically around the world in some countries, grossing $4.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $7.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $12.5 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 93% approval rating based on 82 reviews, with an average rating of 7.78/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "The additional footage slows down the movie somewhat (some say the new cut is inferior to the original), but Apocalypse Now Redux is still a great piece of cinema." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 92 out of 100 based on 39 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Some critics thought highly of the additions, such as A. O. Scott of The New York Times, who wrote that it "grows richer and stranger with each viewing, and the restoration of scenes left in the cutting room two decades ago has only added to its sublimity."
Some critics, however, thought the new scenes slowed the pacing, were too lengthy (notably the French plantation sequence), and added nothing overall to the film's impact. Owen Gleiberman wrote "Apocalypse Now Redux is the meandering, indulgent art project that [Francis Ford Coppola] was still enough of a craftsman, in 1979, to avoid." Despite this, other critics still gave it high ratings. Roger Ebert wrote: "Longer or shorter, redux or not, Apocalypse Now is one of the central events of my life as a filmgoer."
A soundtrack was released on July 31, 2001 by Nonesuch. The soundtrack contains most of the original tracks (remastered), as well as some for the new scenes ("Clean's Funeral", "Love Theme"). The score was composed by Carmine and Francis Ford Coppola (with some tracks co-composed by Mickey Hart and Richard Hansen). The first track is an abridged version of The Doors' "The End". All songs written by Carmine Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola, except where noted: