Study Guide

Apocalypse Now Scene 3

Scene 3

Scene 3

Nice Résumé, but…

  • A helicopter flies over rice paddies as ominous music plays. Willard talks about the people he's killed so far—but this time, he has to kill an American officer, which makes a difference to him.
  • Willard says he doesn't know what he'll do when he finds Kurtz.
  • Willard gets off the helicopter and journeys on a Navy patrol boat down a river.
  • The crew are all young soldiers. Willard tells us about them as we see them: there's "Chef," a guy from New Orleans, a surfer dude named Lance, "Mr. Clean" from the South Bronx, and "Chief" who drives the boat.
  • Chief tells Willard about a soldier who committed suicide.
  • As they head down the river, they listen to the Rolling Stones on the army radio and Lance water-skis behind the boat. It's all mellow.
  • As they drive by, they splash some Vietnamese people who are knocked off their raft.
  • Willard talks about Kurtz's dossier—a really impressive resume. He's surprised they want him dead, he's got such a sterling record…well, before the whole going nuts thing happened.
  • Willard continues narrating, talking about how Kurtz wrote a report that displeased his superiors before joining the Special Forces.