The Deer Hunter – 1979
This brutal and violent epic follows three friends from a small industrial town in Pennsylvania who enlist into the Army to fight in Vietnam and the effects war would have on themselves, their friendships and their families.
The film was very controversial for its scenes depicting Russian roulette. The slapping in those sequences was one hundred percent authentic. The actors grew very agitated by the constant slapping, which, naturally, added to the realism of the scenes. Director Michael Cimino would later claim that De Niro requested a live cartridge be put in the revolver to heighten the tension of the scenes.
Tragically this would be actor John Cazale’s final role as he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, sadly passing away before the film’s release with partner and co-star Meryl Streep by his side.