Original Australian Daybill movie poster. The Deer Hunter was co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale (in his final role), Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Michael Cimino, and Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Walken. It was named by the American Film Institute as the 53rd greatest American film of all time in the 10th Anniversary Edition of the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list.