The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steel worker friends and their infantry service in the Vietnam War. It is loosely inspired by the German novel Three Comrades (1937), by World War I veteran Erich Maria Remarque, the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, which follows the lives of a trio of German World War I veterans in 1920s Weimar Germany. Like the novel, The Deer Hunter meditates and explores the moral and mental consequences of war violence and politically manipulated patriotism upon the meaning of friendship, honor, and family in a tightly knit community and deals with controversial issues such as suicide, posttraumatic stress disorder, infidelity and mental illness. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Download.