Saigon. Shit. I'm still only in Saigon. Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said "yes" to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I'm here a week now, waiting for a mission, getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.
I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory. (smiles, then grows sad) Some day this war's gonna end... (walks off)
I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream; that's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor... and surviving.
We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "Fuck" on their airplanes—because it's obscene!
Kurtz: I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?
Willard: I'm a soldier.
Kurtz: You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.
—Kurtz and Willard, the latter as his prisoner.
The VC said "go away, go away". That's finish for all the white people in Indochina. If you're French, American, that's all the same. "Go." They want to forget you. Look, Captain. Look, this is the truth. An egg. The white left, the yellow stays.
Charlie Don't Surf!
— Colonel Bill Kilgore
Apocalypse Now is not about Vietnam; it is Vietnam.
—Francis Ford Coppala
We had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane
— Francis Ford Coppola on the film's production.