Memorable Moments in Movies: Russian Roulette in The Deer Hunter


For those of you that have seen The Deer Hunter then you’ll know it’s pretty hard to argue that this isn’t one of if not the best scenes in this movie.   For those of you who haven’t seen the film then these scene will make you want to see it.   It’s not really a spoiler scene so there’s no problem there.   Everyone knows this movie was about Vietnam and its effects after the war.   I mean that one sentence clearly doesn’t do the movie justice but it’s the best I could do right there.

Anyway, to add to how amazing this scene was, I’ve heard that De Niro actually used blanks in a real gun so he would get more emotional.  I’m not sure if that’s true or not but if it is, that’s pretty badass.   When you see this scene either for the first time or 100th, it’s unbelievably heart wrenching.

  • Spudboy

    There’s no way he used blanks in a real gun. A blank discharge at that range would have enough concussive force to kill him.

    • Nattyb

      I read it somewhere. Perhaps I’m mistaken?

  • Cody

    I read that there was actually a real bullet in the chamber. The director checked it obsessively after each scene to make sure that it wasn’t in the chamber.

    “During some of the Russian Roulette scenes, a live round was put into the gun to heighten the actors’ tension. This was Robert De Niro’s suggestion. It was checked, however, to make sure the bullet was not in the chamber before the trigger was pulled”

    That’s from The Deer Hunter’s imdb page.