Study Guide

Apocalypse Now Scene 8

Scene 8

Scene 8

Puppy Love

  • Heading up the river, the crew passes another patrol boat, which splashes them. Then, a second boat passes and throws a flare at them, which temporarily sets the boat's roof on fire.
  • We get more voiceover from Willard. He's a chatty guy.
  • He talks about how Kurtz ordered the illegal assassination of four South Vietnamese who he thought were working for the enemy. They apparently were, since it reduced enemy activity in his area.
  • But Kurtz refused to get back in line with the good graces of his commanding officers. He disappeared, leading his private army off into the jungle into Cambodia.
  • On the boat, Chief and Willard chat. Even though Chief's not supposed to know where he's going, Willard tells him where they're going: all the way to Cambodia, even though no U.S. soldiers are supposed to be there.
  • As they continue on the river, we hear Willard reading a letter Kurtz wrote to his son, explaining that the army has charged him with murder, but he's beyond the army's "timid, lying morality."
  • Chief spots a Vietnamese boat on the river, and decides to check if they're running supplies for the enemy. Willard tells him not to waste their time, but Chief pulls the boat over anyway.
  • They yell at the two Vietnamese men and a Vietnamese woman who are on the boat as they check it out.
  • When Chef goes to open a barrel the woman makes a sudden move. Mr. Clean and the others frantically gun all three of them down.
  • It turns out that there was just a puppy in the barrel.
  • The Vietnamese woman is severely injured (and maybe already almost dead) but, when Chief insists on taking her and turning her over for medical aid, Willard shoots her and says to keep going upriver.
  • Lance takes the puppy on the boat.
  • Definitely not an easy scene to watch.