Perhaps the ultimate movie about the madness of war and the Vietnam War in particular, Apocalypse Now still makes for disturbing and at times darkly comedic viewing. There are so many iconic sequences in this movie. I suppose everyone thinks of the lunatic, surfing obsessed, Colonel Kilgore and his "Ride of the Valkyries" accompanying bombing raid but that's just one of a plethora gobsmacking moments. The movie is famously based on the Conrad novel Heart of Darkness that was set in the steaming jungles of the Belgian Congo and concerns the search for a rogue ivory trader. The basic plot fits so well with the latter days of the US-Vietnam conflict with a young, disillusioned army officer despatched to track down a mad Colonel who has been waging his own war on the Cambodian boarders. Much of the action takes place on a small US Navy boat heading up-stream and has a claustrophobic, hallucinatory feel to it. The journey is punctuated by landings at various stations along the way, each more unreal than the last as civilisation is left further and further behind. All the time, the spectre of the dangerous warlord, Colonel Kurtz, hangs over the crew like some dark shadow. Martin Sheen leads in the role of the war-weary Captain Willard and it is a role he will forever be remembered for. Colonel Kilgore is Robert Duval, a scarily young-looking Laurence Fishburne has a significant part as Clean and Dennis Hopper plays a photographer who has taken too much acid and come under the thrall of Kurtz. There are also bit parts for Scott Glenn and Harrison Ford. However, the most famous piece of casting is that of Kurtz himself. The role is played by Marlon Brando and, though he appears for a relatively short amount of time, often hidden in the shadows, so dominant is the presence of the character and so carefully is his appearance built-up, that you can't help but be mesmerised by him. This movie still has many scenes that are difficult to watch but for me it is Francis Ford Coppola's finest movie and hasn't dated one bit.