10 obscure facts about “Apocalypse Now.”
I’ll never forget the first time I saw “Apocalypse Now.” Captivated, I stared at the screen for the 196-minute runtime as Willard journeyed upriver in the midst of the Vietnam War to assassinate the general-turned-rogue-demigod Colonel Kurtz. Afterward, I felt disgusted, exhausted, relieved, and forever altered in my way of thinking about War.
Way more important than my first screening, however, is the story behind the making of “Apocalypse Now.” The film was legendarily produced over budget (from an initial $14 million to costing over $31.5 million) over time (principal photography was planned for six months, but ended up lasting over a year), and over the top. Most people know it took over three years to shoot and edit. And the screenplay was based on Joseph Conrad’s novella “Heart of Darkness.” And that Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack during filming, but got well enough to finish his work on set. And that Marlon Brando was paid $3.5 million for 15 total minutes of screen time. So I dug deep into “the horror, the horror” to present these 10 obscure facts about “Apocalypse Now.”
1. Colonel Kurtz was based on a real person.
Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz is thought to be modeled after Anthony Poshepny. Poe, a CIA operative, was dispatched to train a secret CIA-funded army of hill tribes in Laos during the Vietnam War. Much like Kurtz, Poe dropped severed heads in enemy locations as a form of psychological operations.
Read the Remainder at Task and Purpose