Robert Duvall received his second Oscar nomination for portraying Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now.
Robert Duvall's nomination here is interesting, because he actually not is not in the film for that long of time, and he is only in the film near the beginning. He makes no reappearances, he is just one of the stops on Captain Willard's (Martin Sheen) journey to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Kilgore's scenes are quite possibly the strongest scenes in the film, showing Kilgore's far more organized and strong attacks. A uniform army opposed to the later scene in the film. Almost all the other stops I felt Willard still held the most attention and this is because of Robert Duvall.
Robert Duvall does not have a lot of time but he makes the most of it with his performance Kilgore. From the moment he is introduced I am fascinated by him. Duvall is perfect with his absolutely perfect posture at first. Always in command physically, never does he not seem to be in full command of the situation since Duvall shows that no one can stand taller about himself than Kilgore. I like the way Duvall speaks in all of these scenes with almost always slight yell into his voice as if Kilgore is always giving out orders. Duvall simply is completely in control of all these scenes because he as Kilgore is such an incredibly strong presence. Duvall creates that aura which Willard mentions about Kilgore. It really appears that nothing can touch Kilgore because of Duvall.
Kilgore represents a more romanticized view of war, and Kilgore looks upon the war in a more romantic sort of way. Duvall makes Kilgore's view of war and battle completely realistic with his straight and consistent approach to Kilgore. Kilgore is in fact insane so much so that he almost casually goes through battles more interested in talking about surfing than being involved in the battle at times. Duvall is fascinating in playing this insane man as a man whose mannerisms and such are perfectly sane, but his actions are constantly crazy. Such as when he shows such concern for a incredibly wounded man by letting him drink out of his canteen, but then instantly forgets about the man after hearing something about surfing.
Duvall is excellent and interesting throughout his performance showing his comradeship with his men well in the camp fire scene and again Duvall is always perfect at showing his views. His best scene is the famous line of the smell of napalm. This line would not be quite as famous if it were not for Duvall's absolute perfect way of stating it. The way he states this line is much like the rest of the performance.Duvall leaves a powerful memory and creates an incredibly memorable character as Kilgore. He never seems false despite the insanity of Kilgore and the risky nature of the performance, which is a true achievement.