Stanley Myers: The Deer Hunter

Composer Stanley Myers and guitarist John Williams combined to create a memorable soundtrack for this 1978 Vietnam war film directed by Michael Cimino.

The Deer Hunter Robert de Niro

The most famous piece of music to feature in The Deer Hunter, which stars Christopher Walken and Robert de Niro as prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette, is Stanley Myers' classical guitar piece 'Cavatina'. 

However, despite becoming synonymous with the film and often referred to as the theme from The Deer Hunter, 'Cavatina' was not written specifically for it. In fact the first time it appeared in a film was eight years previously, when it was featured on a film called The Walking Stick

Originally written for piano before classical guitarist John Williams persuaded Myers to rearrange it, 'Cavatina' has become a much-loved entry in to the classical guitar repertoire, and one of the defining moments in 1970s film music, but the soundtrack to The Deer Hunter wasn't released until 1990.

Video: Cavatina from The Deer Hunter