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Tuesday, 8 May, 2001, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Apocalypse returns to Cannes
Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now took 238 days to film
A longer, re-cut version of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now is to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival 22 years after it first premièred at the French seaside town.

Apocalypse Now Redux is 53 minutes longer than the original version which is considered one of the masterpieces on 20th Century cinema.

Francis Ford Coppola
Coppola believes the new version is closer to his original vision
An incomplete cut of the Vietnam War epic won the Palm d'Or at the Cannes festival in 1979.

Coppola believes the new version is truer to his original vision for the film.

Nightmarish world

"The themes emerge more clearly and the film is funnier, sexier, more romantic, more political and more bizarre, with historical perspective," Coppola said earlier this year when the project was announced.

Apocalypse Now, loosely based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, is the tale of a US army captain - played by Martin Sheen - sent into the jungle to kill a rogue Green Beret colonel - played by Marlon Brando - and his descent into a nightmarish world.

Critics in the US gave the film mixed reviews and Coppola was never happy with the final cut.

He believed he had jeopardised the film's quality by bowing to studio pressure and cutting the film down to about two hours.

The new version runs at about three hours and 17 minutes - the second increased-length version of the film - and will be screened at the festival out of competition.

Drug abuse

The filming of Apocalypse Now is almost as famous as the movie itself - a documentary about the shoot, Hearts of Darkness, was released in 1991.

Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack during filming
Filmed on location in the Philippines, Coppola expected to finish work after a single 14-week stint.

In the end it took three tours of duty and 238 days of shooting to complete the job.

Typhoons washed away whole sets, drug abuse was rife on set and Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack mid-way through the production.

Eagerly awaited

"We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane." Coppola has said of the shoot.

At the end of filming there was about 250 hours of footage and it took Coppola 18 months to edit it.

One of the most eagerly awaited added scenes is the so-called French plantation interlude, which has developed a mystique of its own in the last 22 years.

But a famed 45-minute monologue spoken by Brando's character, much of it improvised by the actor, has not been added to the new version.


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04 May 01 | Entertainment
21 Mar 01 | Entertainment
21 Apr 00 | Entertainment
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