Test Your Knowledge: The Deer Hunter Quiz

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When did the film debut on network television?

It was a political film meant to make a political (and anti-war) statement.

Who directed the movie?

His follow-up to "The Deer Hunter" was "Heaven's Gate," a flop that tarnished his reputation.

How long did it take to mix sound for the film?

The director took his time experimenting with Dolby Stereo capabilities, which were new back then.

In what year was the film released?

It premiered in Los Angeles and rolled out to the rest of the country in 1979.

About how much was Christopher Walken paid for his role in the film?

That was actually a raise due to the fact that shooting went past the schedule completion date.

Why didn't studio executives like the movie when they first saw it?

They were adamant that the movie needed to be much shorter to have any shot at success.

How many deer were killed for the deer hunting scene?

Instead, the crew relied on a tranquilizer dart; the animal went on to a have a commercially-successful career.

In what state does the story take place?

It's a town of fewer than 10,000 people in the Pittsburgh metro area.

Altogether, in how many different states was the movie filmed?

In addition to Pennsylvania, the crew visited Ohio, West Virginia and Washington.

What species of deer was used during filming?

It wasn't a deer at all…it was an elk.

How many times did John Savage and Robert De Niro jump into the river for the shooting of one famous scene?

It was a 30-foot drop, and they did it themselves instead of relying on stunt doubles.

Other than the United States, in which country was the movie filmed?

It was the first movie about the Vietnam War shot in Thailand, made not long after the real war finally ended.

How long did it take the crew to film the movie?

The changing locations and realism made the film challenging to shoot.

Why did CBS renege on its agreement to televise the movie on the network?

The film's psychotic violence was too much for network TV.

Which actor died during the making of the film?

He died of lung cancer at the age of 42 but finished his scenes just in time.

Who paid for Cazale's health insurance during filming?

He was adamant that Cazale be included as part of the cast in spite of his failing health.

Who was the original choice to play the character named Mike Vronsky?

Schneider reportedly had creative differences with the production team; De Niro replaced him.

What year was the movie's soundtrack released on CD?

It wasn't until more than a decade later that the soundtrack received CD treatment.

For how many Academy Awards was the movie nominated?

It won a whopping five Oscars at the 51st Academy Awards.

For which Academy Award was the film NOT nominated?

It did, however, win Best Picture and Best Director.

Why did executives premiere the movie in New York and L.A. before the rest of the country?

They wanted to squeeze the movie into consideration for that year's Academy Awards.

With which actor was Meryl Streep involved with during filming?

She took the role in part because she wanted to be near her dying boyfriend.

How long was the very first version of the film?

It was later cut down to "only" 183 minutes.

Which actor won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar?

Walken plays the character named Nick Chevotarevich.

Why did the director fire the primary film editor?

More specifically, Cimino wanted the long wedding scenes to be even longer.

What was the approximate final budget for the film?

The initial budget was less than $9 million but the number climbed during production.

How much did the film make at the box office?

It was a financial success and was (and is still) lauded by critics everywhere.

Why was a live bullet in the gun during the scenes featuring Russian roulette?

It's hard to imagine this kind of thing happening in today's Hollywood.

How many people are said to have died copying the Russian roulette scene in real life?

Dozens of people risked their lives (and lost) after imitating the infamous scene.

Why did the Russian roulette scene cause an uproar?

Many critics say the scene unfairly portrays the Vietnamese as more brutal than the Americans.

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About This Quiz

It was an agonizing artistic statement about a war that every American wanted to forget. How much do you know about 'The Deer Hunter?'

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