Sounds from Apocalypse Now

This is intended to be an ad hoc review of the sounds from Francis Ford Coppola's amazing film Apocalypse Now. These are lines, or exchanges, of dialog that I find stick with me, and contribute to my coming back to this film again and again -- indeed, I think that this is the best film yet made. This presentation is intended only as cinematic criticism (and is therefore fair use under copyright law).

These sounds were sampled in mono, 8 bits, 11kHz, from the center surround channel of the laserdisc of the film -- for each, I've provided the length in seconds and the size of the .wav file.

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Apocalypse Now

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Written by Francis Ford Coppola, John Milius, and Michael Herr

Starring Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, and Lawrence Fishburne


     "Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. It was a real choice mission, and when it was over, I'd never want another."


     "I was going to the worst place in the world, and I didn't even know it yet."


     "Sir, I am unaware of any such activity or operation -- nor would I be disposed to discuss such an operation if it did in fact exist, sir."


     "Terminate with extreme prejudice."


Our Kurt Cobain Memorial Sound Clip...

     "You know, I've pulled a few special ops in here. About six months ago, I took a man who was going up past the bridge at Do Lung. ... He was regular Army too. ... Heard he shot himself in the head."


     "Outstanding, Red Team, outstanding -- get you a case of beer for that one."


     "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours, and when it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of them, not one stinking dink body. The smell -- you know, that gasoline smell -- the whole hill -- it smelled like victory."


     "Someday this war's gonna end."


     "Never get out of the boat. Absolutely G-d d-mn right. Unless you were going all the way."


     "Who's the commanding officer here?"
     "Ain't you?"


     "You need a flare?"
     "He's close, man, he's real close.


     "Hey soldier. Do you know who's in command here?"


     "Let's move out."
     "Did you find the CO, Captain?"
     "There's no f*cking CO here.


     "He was close. He was real close. I couldn't see him yet, but I could feel him. As if the boat were being sucked up-river and the water was flowing back into the jungle. Whatever was going to happen, it wasn't going to be the way they call it back in Na Trang."


     "Could we, uh, talk to Colonel Kurtz?"
     "Hey, man, you don't talk to the Colonel. You listen to him. The man's enlarged my mind. He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he'll, uh, well, you'll say hello to him, right? And he'll just walk right by you, and he won't even notice you. And suddenly he'll grab you, and he'll throw you in a corner, and he'll say do you know that if is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you -- I mean I'm no, I can't -- I'm a little man, I'm a little man, he's, he's a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas -- I mean --"
     "Stay with the boat."
     "Hey, uh, don't go -- don't go without me, OK? I want to get a picture."


     "The heads. You're looking at the heads. I, uh -- sometimes he goes too far, you know -- he's the first one to admit it!"


     "He's gone crazy!"
     "Wrong! Wrong! If you could have heard the man, just two days ago, if you could have heard the man! You going to call him crazy?!"


     "What did they tell you?"
     "They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound."
     "Are my methods unsound?"
     "I don't see any method, at all, sir."


     "Are you an assassin?"
     "I'm a soldier."
     "You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill."


     "You know something, man, I know something that you don't know. That's right, jack. The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad. Oh yeah. He's dying, I think. He hates all this, he hates it! But ... the man's ... uh ... he reads poetry out loud, alright? ... And a voice! A voice. ... He likes you because you're still alive. He's got plans for you. Nah, nah, I'm not going to help you, you're going to help him, man. You're going to help him. I mean, what are they going to say, man, when he's gone, huh? Because he dies, when it dies, man, when it dies, he dies. What are they going to say about him? What, are they going to say, he was a kind man, he was a wise man, he had plans, he had wisdom? Bullsh-t, man! Am I going to be the one, that's going to set them straight? Look at me: wrong! ... You!"


     "Do you know what the man is saying? Do you? This is dialectics. It's very simple dialectics. One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions -- you can't travel in space, you can't go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, with fractions -- what are you going to land on, one quarter, three-eighths -- what are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something -- that's dialectic physics, OK? Dialectic logic is there's only love and hate, you either love somebody or you hate them."


     "This is the way the f--king world ends! Look at this f--king sh-t we're in, man! Not with a bang, with a whimper. And with a whimper, I'm f--king splitting, jack!"


     "They were going to make me a Major for this, and I wasn't even in their f--king Army any more."


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