These performers are themselves war-weary, the jungle is unforgiving and violence surrounds the show.
In addition, Willard's crew engages in drug use and listens to rock music, the first time that soldiers were shown in what might be considered "realistic" ways. This was in stark contrast to The Green Berets of ten years previous where John Wayne led highly disciplined men who did not stray from traditional war film portrayals of soldiers. Until Apocalypse Now, soldiers were allowed to engage in drinking on film, but the drug use and casual disregard for military behavior was not seen in a major motion picture release until Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter, released at approximately the same time and in production at the same time as Apocalypse Now.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film comes when the boat crew encounters Robert Duvall's military detachment. The attack helicopters that Duvall commands blast Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries in order to frighten the inhabitants as napalm is sprayed over the jungle. It is obvious that there is no attempt to distinguish between civilian and military targets, and Duvall's camp is loud and chaotic. One of the most memorable lines in the film¨"I love the smell of napalm in the morning"¨is found in this scene, as well. This scene also illustrates the attempt by soldiers to maintain some sense of home in their att