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07th Jun 2024

The best war movie ever made is airing on TV tonight

Stephen Porzio

It’s also one of the best films of all time.

Our TV movie pick for tonight (Friday, 7 June) is Apocalypse Now, the ’70s war epic from co-writer and director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather trilogy, this year’s Megalopolis).

Featuring an ensemble cast that includes Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Laurence Fishburne, Robert Duvall, Scott Glenn and a memorable Harrison Ford cameo, the film is set in 1970s Vietnam and tells the story of Captain Willard (Michael Sheen), a US soldier sent to assassinate a renegade special forces officer (Marlon Brando) residing deep in the country’s jungles.

Loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s legendary novel Heart of Darkness, just as legendary as the Apocalypse Now itself are the disastrous stories from the project’s production. These include severe weather destroying the sets, Brando reportedly turning up on set unprepared and Sheen suffering a near-fatal heart attack during filming.

Despite the incredible difficulties during shooting and the polarising reviews upon release, the movie is now considered one of the greatest films ever made due to its evocation of the madness of war.

It has been acclaimed by retrospective critics and viewers alike, with The Guardian naming it in 2010: “The best action and war film of all time.”

Apocalypse Now is airing on Film4 tonight at 9pm and will be followed by Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse at 12.40am, a documentary about the making of the classic.

The war epic is also available to rent on Microsoft, Rakuten TV and the Sky Store.

If you’re looking for something else, here’s the rest of the movies on TV tonight.

Bad Teacher – E4 – 10pm

Cameron Diaz is the titular bad teacher in this raunchy comedy.

The Others – BBC One – 11.10pm

Nicole Kidman stars in this fantastic period-set ghost story.

Van Wilder: Party Liaison – Comedy Central – 11.50pm

Ryan Reynolds leads the cast of this 2002 comedy as a seventh-year senior at Coolidge College who has made it his life goal to help undergrads succeed in the future.

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