Five friends, Michael, Nick, Steven, Stan, and Axel, who are from a small town in middle America, work in the stifling heat and infernal din of a steel mill. They blow off steam after work at a neighborhood tavern. They go deer hunting every fall. One day late in 1968, Michael, Steven, and Nick leave for a tour of duty in Vietnam. Before they go, Steven marries the pregnant Angela; their wedding reception serves as the friend's farewell party. 30 years after it appeared, this film can still generate intense responses and controversy. Perhaps the best description of the subject was offered by film critic Roger Ebert, who said, "'The Deer Hunter' is said to be about many subjects: About male bonding, about mindless patriotism, about the dehumanizing effects of war, about Nixon's "silent majority." It is about any of those things that you choose, if you choose, but more than anything else, it is a heartbreakingly effective fictional machine that evokes the agony of the Vietnam time."