When Francis Ford Coppola started filmingApocalypse Nowin early 1976, the official end of the Vietnam War was less than a year old. By the time the movie made its debut at Cannes on May 10, 1979, the director, his cast and his crew had been through its own form of brutal conflict, one that nearly claimed the lives and sanity of many involved in the production.
Following the huge box-office and Oscar wins of 1972'sThe Godfatherand 1974'sThe Godfather: Part II, as well as the critical success of The Conversation(also from 1974), Coppola was the star of Hollywood, a director who could seemingly do no wrong. Whatever he planned to do as his next project would enthusiastically be embraced by everyone around him.
So, he dusted off a screenplay written by former assistant John Milius based on Joseph