Measuring the impact of The Deer Hunter on its merit and success is only half of the story. The film by Michael Cimino, which earned five Oscars at the Academy Awards in 1979, including Best Director and Best Picture, made the Vietnam War a valuable commodity in Hollywood. The political quagmire, which had ended three years before the film’s release, was viewed as a taboo subject in the eyes of studios. A decade following The Deer Hunter‘s critical and commercial triumph, Vietnam War-set movies became a genre on its own, with the greater public, notably filmmakers, now ready to dissect why America got entangled in this inauspicious foreign affair and how the nation responded to this period. Despite its eventual success, the behind-the-scenes events surrounding The Deer Hunter‘s production and release unfolded in a tumultuous fashion.
Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, which stars Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep, had a difficult production.