To this day, Francis Ford Coppola‘s Apocalypse Now is considered one of the greatest films of all time.
It’s a truly harrowing odyssey into the darkness of the human mind, with amazing performances from Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando. It was a huge hit upon release and retains an amazing legacy today.
It’s also one of the most quoted films of all time, and for good reason. There is some amazing dialogue in the film delivered by a whole wealth of interesting and out-there characters. These great Apocalypse Now quotes can tell us a lot about war, loss, and the human condition in general.
Read on, and we’ll walk you through a few of the best Apocalypse Now quotes.
‘I Love The Smell Of Napalm In The Morning’
This is possibly the most famous line from the landmark film, spoken by one of America’s greatest screen performers, Robert Duvall. Duvall plays Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, one of the leaders of a legion in the Vietnam War.
Duvall’s saying here, spoken while explosions ring across the forest behind him, is both funny and completely terrifying. Duvall’s love of the smell of gasoline and napalm is meant to be scary: it speaks to the kinds of horrors the men who fought in Vietnam grew to consider normal.
It also speaks to the addictive ‘winning’ personality that America has taken on in most of their international affairs.
‘I’m a Little Man… He’s a Great Man!’
One of the most memorable actors of this era of Hollywood filmmaking had to be Dennis Hopper, who was always an unpredictable screen presence. In Apocalypse Now he plays an unnamed photojournalist who has taken up nesting with Marlon Brando’s mentally unstable Kurtz.
The above quote is intended to convey the power and awe of the man we’ve not yet met, but are about to meet. We’ve heard Kurtz’s name across the film but he’s yet to make an appearance. Fans were obviously ready to see the two work together again after Brando’s big role in The Godfather.
Hopper’s crazy-eyed excitement is the perfect stage-setter for Brando’s big first appearance.
NERD NOTE: Marlon Brando and Dennis Hopper didn’t get along at all. The rift between these actors was so bad that Brando refused to be onset with Dennis Hopper at the same time, so their scenes had to be filmed separately.
‘The Horror… The Horror…’
Speaking of Marlon Brando, another famous quote from the film is his character’s dying words. These are actually pulled from the book in which the film is lightly based: Heart of Darkness.
Kurtz passes away slowly, and as he begins to transcend to the other side, to see what might be passed this life, it is these words that he utters. It’s a truly chilling thought, to find no peace in death, but more horror.
This was one of the most famous and discussed parts of the book upon its release, and certainly made the same impact on audiences when the film was released. Brando’s work on the film was not recognized by the Academy that year but lives on as one of the most memorable performances of all time.
The film and his performance continue to influence current work, like this year’s Ad Astra.
Great Apocalypse Now Quotes
The above are just a few of the memorable Apocalypse Now quotes that have stuck with viewers for decades. This great film lives on as one of the titanic works of the entertainment industry.
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