The Use of Sound in Apocalypse Now

4 April 2015
An analysis of the use of sound and music in the film “Apocalypse Now” by Francis Ford Coppola.

The paper describes how the film shows the insanity of war and the madness that goes along with it. The author shows how “Apocalypse Now” uses narration, sound effects, music, and dialogue to portray its message. The paper focuses on Coppola’s use of sound effects to reinforce the films theme of the horror and uncertainty of war.
Apocalypse Now begins by showing a scene with helicopters dropping napalm all over the jungle. The audience is treated to The End by Jim Morrison and the Doors. We hear: This is the end mixed with the chopping of helicopters passing overhead. From the very beginning, Coppola lets the audience know that they are in for a journey of madness. The sound and music have a lot to do with the success of this scene (Dirks). It will not be the last time we hear the sound of the helicopters overhead.
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