Director Michael Cimino made this masterpiece and it seems to have drained all his talent, as he followed it up with the legendary "Heaven's Gate". Put that aside, as this is a riveting and thorough examination of a group of small town Pennsylvania steel workers that go to Vietnam with varying end results. Michael (Robert DeNiro), Steven (John Savage) and Nick (Christopher Walken) are the best of buddies that regularly go deer hunting and bar hopping. The first hour of the film dives deeply into the personal aspects of each characters personality and make-up, including a long wedding scene that is preciously real. Suddenly the film turns from American normalcy to the horrors of the war. All three men are prisoners of war in hellish conditions, forced to take part in a cruel and devastating game of Russian roulette with their captors. The scenes of war are brief but to the point. It is pure madness and although the men 'survive', they are in differing states of change. The final act shows Michael desperate to get Steven back into the real world, but his biggest challenge is to rescue Nick, who, severely disturbed by his ordeal, has stayed back in Vietnam. The last scene with DeNiro and Walken is nerve wracking and heart-breaking. The ending is unforgettable. This is the kind of film that rarely comes along - the kind of movie that makes you feel like you are there. Trivia: The Pennsylvania mountains scenes are beautifully filmed, but it's painfully obvious it's the Cascades of Washington.