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Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Marlon Brando In 'Apocalypse Now'

Updated 28 Jun 2019 31.9k views14 items

Though it's widely considered one of the greatest American movies ever made, Apocalypse Now is perhaps best-known for its tumultuous production. Marlon Brando can't be blamed for everything that went wrong, but his off-camera behavior certainly added to the turmoil. Known for his mercurial personality and extreme dedication to method acting, Brando had enjoyed a public comeback since starring in The Godfather in 1972. But even collaborating again with director Francis Ford Coppola wasn't enough to rein in Brando's eccentricity. Stories from behind the scenes prove his memorable on-screen performance came as a package deal with his personal idiosyncrasies.

Apocalypse Now came out in 1979, the culmination of Coppola's infamous struggle to get the picture made. The director and his crew spent month after month on set and tallied expenses far beyond what the intended budget allowed. Monsoons and a typhoon ruined the set, the Filipino government sporadically took back the military equipment they had lent the crew, and Martin Sheen nearly succumbed to a cardiac episode. Between suicidal thoughts and an epileptic fit, Coppola declared that his film wasn't just about Vietnam: "It is Vietnam." Into this chaos came Brando, not looking the part, making movie-star demands, and creating a number of memorable behind-the-scenes stories in the process.

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