Study Guide

Apocalypse Now Scene 12

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Scene 12

Scene 12

Kurtz 'n' Company

  • On the boat, Chef tells Willard that Kurtz is crazy—evil, even. He says he'll help Willard kill Kurtz, anything to get out of there.
  • Willard says he's going to go ashore, and that if he doesn't come back after a certain time, Chef should call in an airstrike on their coordinates.
  • On voiceover, Willard says that the bodies of the dead around Kurtz's camp are Viet Cong, North Vietnamese, and Cambodian.
  • As Willard goes ashore, Kurtz's soldiers grab him and then lead him into the inner room of the great stone complex.
  • Lying on a cot, Kurtz asks Willard where he's from. Willard says Toledo, Ohio.
  • Kurtz tells him he went down the Ohio River once when he was a kid. He remembers a really beautiful spot with all these gardenias.
  • Kurtz asks Willard why the higher-ups want to terminate his command. Willard says his mission is classified. But Kurtz says it's not really classified anymore, is it?
  • Willard says they told him that he had gone totally insane and that his methods were unsound.
  • Kurtz asks if his methods are unsound, and Willard replies honestly that he doesn't see any method.
  • Kurtz tells Willard that he (Willard) is just "an errand boy sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill."
  • Kurtz imprisons Willard in a bamboo cage, where the journalist comes to give him water and babble some more. He tells Willard that Kurtz actually likes him, and wonders what Kurtz has in mind for him.
  • The journalist says that Kurtz has a clear mind but a mad soul. He insists again that Kurtz is a poet and starts ranting about how great Kurtz is.
  • On the boat, Chef worries about the airstrike he might have to call in and can't get to sleep.
  • When he decides eight hours is up, he looks like he's calling it in.
  • But Kurtz, dressed in war paint, comes to Willard. Casually, he tosses Chef's head in Willard's lap.

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