The Deer Hunter is a 1978 film that tells the fictional story of a group of Carpatho-Rusyn steel workers during the Vietnam War era. Most of it is set in either Vietnam or their hometown of Clairton, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River. Most filming was done in Cleveland and Mingo Junction, Ohio). It stars Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep and George Dzundza.
Inspired by German First World War soldier and author Erich Maria Remarque's 1937 novel Drei Kameraden (Three Comrades) depicting the lives of a trio of disillusioned World War I veterans in 1920s Weimar Germany, the film attempts to explore the meaning and effects of violence, aggression and survival — and the misuse of patriotism — on one tightly knit ethnic community. The concepts of ethnicity, family, friendship and community all play a prominent role.