The Deer Hunter received five Academy Awards® in 1978 for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Christopher Walken), Editing and Sound. It tells the painful story of a group of Pennsylvanian steelworkers (Robert De Niro, John Savage and Walken) and their lives before, during and after the Vietnam War. The Deer Hunter is a searing drama about friendship and courage; and what happens to these qualities during the agonizing time of war. "It is one of the most emotionally shattering films ever made."
Special features are the same as those found on the 2005 two-disc DVD (which was not reviewed), and include commentary with Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and Film Journalist Bob Fisher, 17 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, and the original theatrical trailer. In place of the production notes, My Scenes has been added.
The VC-1-encoded 2.25:1 HD DVD picture is well resolved, with impressively well-rendered details. Colors are vibrant, and black levels are deep. Shadow delineation is good, and the imagery has great depth and dimensionality. The source element is cleaned up well, but specks of dirt and dust can still be seen at times. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital Plus 5.1-channel encoding (matrix expanded to six channels using the Logic 7 system) is limited by the age of the original recording. Dialogue often sounds spatially incongruent, phase errors are noticeable, and sparkly distortion can be heard frequently in the effects. (Danny Richelieu)