Apocalypse Now (1979) is producer/director Francis Ford Coppola's visually beautiful, ground-breaking masterpiece with surrealistic and symbolic sequences detailing the confusion, violence, fear, and nightmarish madness of the Vietnam War. Coppola had already become a noted producer/director, following his two profitable and critically-acclaimed Godfather films (1972 and 1974) - the epic saga of a Mafia-style patriarch and his successor. This provocative film did for the Vietnam War genre what The Godfather did for the gangster movie.
After a three to four year wait for the notorious film (that brought other award-winning Vietnam war films to the forefront a year earlier - The Deer Hunter (1978) and Coming Home (1978)), the film that was budgeted at $12-13 million was something of an extravagant, self-indulgent epic in the making that cost almost $31 million - with much of the film shot on location in the Philippines. The highly-publicized delays and catastrophes in the grueling shoot (scheduled for about 17 weeks but ending up lasting about 34 weeks), along with extra-marital affairs, a grandiose and suicidal director, drug use and other forms of madness, were mostly due to a rain-drenching typhoon (named Olga) and a star-debilitating, near-fatal heart attack for star Martin Sheen.