Did you know that Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore is a goofy foot? Or that Martin Sheen was drunk when they filmed the opening scene in the Saigon hotel room? See how much you know about the journey into this heart of darkness. And, you understand, of course, that this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist.
Harvey Keitel was the original Capt. Willard, but was released after Coppola didn't find his performance to be what he was looking for in the character.
According to Kilgore of the 1-9th-Cav, it smells like victory. And, "nothing else in the world smells like that."
Olga (Didang) was the rain-drenching typhoon that hit the Phillipines during shooting.
Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness," about a man named Kurtz who journeys into the heart of the Congo, was Coppola's inspiration.
"The Psychedelic Soldier" was an early title for "Apocalypse Now." Inspired by the "Nirvana Now" slogan among hippies, it eventually became as we know it.
George Lucas was originally intended as the movie's director, with Francis Ford Coppola as producer. Lucas, however, dropped out to make "Star Wars: A New Hope."
Director Francis Ford Coppola makes a cameo in his movie as a reporter/director of the camera crew shooting combat on the beach.
Harrison Ford's character name is Col. Lucas. (Yes, a wink to that George Lucas.)
When Col. Lucas orders Williard to terminate the Colonel's command, Jerry, a civilian at the table, adds, "with extreme prejudice."
The 1-9th Cav plays Richard Wagner’s “Ritt der Walküren” (“The Ride of the Valkyrie”). It's the beginning of Act 3 of Die Walküre, which is the second Der Ring des Nibelungen's four operas.
Most of "Apocalypse Now" was filmed in the Philippines.
The Navy Patrol boat is PBR Streetgang.
Willard's going up the Nung river, toward Cambodia.
The war, Willard feels, is being run by "a bunch of 4-star clowns."
The 1-9th Cav lost McDonald at the point at Vin Drin Dop. It's pretty hairy there.
R. Lee Ermey, years before he plays Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket," pilots a helicopter in "Apocalypse Now."
Laurence (then, "Larry") Fishburne lied about his age during movie casting, claiming he was 16. He wasn't; he was 14.
Kilgore puts playing cards -- death cards -- on bodies, to "let Charlie know who did this."
It's surfer Lance B. Johnson who water skis behind the PBR.
As Col. Kurtz put it to Willard, "You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill."
Chef, and Willard who goes with him, get out of the boat to look for mangoes in the jungle.
Col. Kilgore only has 11 minutes of screen time.
Kurtz was 38 years old when he joined Special Forces.
Kilgore gives the option, "You can either surf, or you can fight."
Kurtz uses the Montagnard tribesmen as his guard.
"He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense," according to the Photojournalist.
The Photojournalist is quoting T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men" when he says to Willard: "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper."
The Doors' "The End" is used in both the opening and closing of the movie.
In the story the Photojournalist tells about him, Kurtz is quoting Rudyard Kipling's poem, If.
Martin Sheen's brother, Joe Estevez, filled in for several long shots, as well as some of Captain Willard's voiceovers.
He "watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor," and tells Willard that its "crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor ... and surviving" is both his dream and his nightmare.
Outside Kurtz's village is written Apocapylse Now!
Kurtz's final words come directly from Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness." "He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision, – he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath – 'The horror! The horror!'"
Roxanne, played by Aurore Clément, tells Willard that there are two selves in people: “There are two of you, don’t you see? One that kills, and one that loves.”
Francis Ford Coppola and his father, composer Carmine Coppola, scored the film together and shared the Golden Globe for Best Original Score.