It was on 15 August, in 1979, that the film ‘Apocalypse Now’ made its debut to the American movie-going public. The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, focuses on an Army Captain, played by Martin Sheen, charged with a secret mission during the Vietnam War that involves locating and executing a rouge Green Beret Colonel, played by Marlon Brando.
Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert said of the picture, “Apocalypse Now is the best Vietnam film, one of the greatest of all films, because it pushes beyond the others, into the dark places of the soul. It is not about war so much as about how war reveals truths we would be happy never to discover.”
In 2001, Coppola released ‘Apocalypse Now Redux’ in cinemas and on DVD. This extended version restores 49 minutes of scenes cut from the original film.
Below is a short clip of a key scene in the film. Here Martin Sheen, as Captain Willard, receives his orders to kill Colonel Kurtz. The actor playing the CIA officer in civilian clothes, and who utters the famous line, “terminate, with extreme prejudice”, is in fact Jerry Ziesmer, a long-time Assistant Director in Hollywood, who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Rufus King High School in that city in 1957.