Apocalypse Now (1979) directed by Francis Ford Coppola is considered by many one of the greatest films in history. It’s a story about a Vietnam War Captain (played by a young Martin Sheen) who is sent deep into Cambodia to assassinate an out of control renegade American Green Beret Colonel (played by Marlon Brando) who has taken over an indigenous native tribe and is reigning as a kind of cruel and murderous deity.
This film has a powerful and surrealistic feeling to it. And that is due in no small part to it’s sound and music score. It was revolutionary on a number of levels. It utilized the largest team of expert electronic synthesist-composers ever assembled for a film at that time. And the overall relationship between sound and music is something that is artfully blurred throughout the film. This is somewhat more common today, but was pretty revolutionary in 1979. The film pushed industry technical sound standards as well, being the first film commercially released and advertised with stereophonic rear sound channels. Most importantly, the unique conceptual intention by Coppola and his team to use music and sound to create obscured juxtapositions of powerful moods and places helps to make this film one of the best in history.