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“The End” by The Doors as the Key Soundtrack of “Apocalypse Now” Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jul 18th, 2022

The film Apocalypse Now is considered a cult film, exposing the most important nerve of the twentieth century — the transformation of war into a spectacle. The real horrors of war are truly revealed through the mystical music and allegorical poetry of The Doors. It perfectly matches the smooth, fluid, meditative form of the narrative. A mesmerizing, almost hallucinogenic visual series, tells about the journey of Captain Willard as a way to immerse in the knowledge of the properties and possibilities of one’s psyche. The psychology of Colonel Kurtz’s altered consciousness and his monologues all add up to a single picture with “The End”, which explains why the director chose this particular song.

At the very first shots of the film, neither the title nor the credits appear on the screen. The muffled noise of the helicopter becomes more and more distinct. Dust rises, the carpet bombing of the Cambodian forest begins, napalm breaks out and this is when the track by The Doors sounds. “This is the end,” — these are the first words in the movie and the first line of the song (Apocalypse Now, 1979). Thus, the motives of the two works coincide merging together.

The second time this song appears in the movie is during one of the most emotional scenes — the murder of Colonel Kurtz by Captain Willard. In the second part of the song, the killer murders his own parents. Senseless murder is the central theme of both the movie and the composition. Not originally written for the cinema, the song “The End ” perfectly fits into Coppola’s masterpiece and is considered one of the best soundtracks of all times.

Reference

Coppola, F. F. (1979). Apocalypse Now [Film]. Omni Zoetrope.

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"The End” by The Doors as the Key Soundtrack of “Apocalypse Now." IvyPanda, 18 July 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/the-end-by-the-doors-as-the-key-soundtrack-of-apocalypse-now/.

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IvyPanda. "The End” by The Doors as the Key Soundtrack of “Apocalypse Now." July 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-end-by-the-doors-as-the-key-soundtrack-of-apocalypse-now/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The End” by The Doors as the Key Soundtrack of “Apocalypse Now." July 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-end-by-the-doors-as-the-key-soundtrack-of-apocalypse-now/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) '“The End” by The Doors as the Key Soundtrack of “Apocalypse Now”'. 18 July.

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