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The 317th Platoon (1965)
"La 317ème section" (original title)

 |  War  |  31 March 1965 (France)
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In Vietnam, 1954, a French platoon isolated behind enemy lines tries to come back. It is led by the inexperienced, idealistic sous-lieutenant Torrens, and by adjutant Willsdorf, a WWII veteran of the Werhmacht.

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In 1954, the Indochina War begins to come to a close following France's defeat by the Viet Minh at the deadly Battle of Dîen Bîen Phû. French forces are in full retreat and risk being overrun at every turn -- including the 317th Platoon, a unit of French soldiers and Laotian allies who are led by the idealistic but inexperienced sous-lieutenant Torrens and adjutant Willsdorf, a former soldier in the German Wehrmacht during WWII. Their survival depends on completing a trek through the dense, jungle-laden, expanse of enemy territory that stands between them and the safety of the nearest French outpost. Written by Dr. Jay Trotter

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Release Date:

31 March 1965 (France)  »

Also Known As:

317th Platoon  »

Filming Locations:

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ESP 6,982,536 (Spain)

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1.66 : 1
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Referenced in La fille publique (2013) See more »

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Synopsis and Comments on La 317e Section
25 April 2000 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 1954 Vietnam, at the time of Diên Biên Phu, a French unit on patrol under the command of an inexperienced lieutenant is gradually depleted by Vietminh until only an ex-Wehrmacht Alsatian adjutant remains. He is to die, a title informs us, in Algeria in 1960.

Semi-documentary in style, this is an effectively low-key appraisal of the difficult choices with which war confronts its soldiers. As so often in Vietnam films the enemy is only glimpsed from a distance, the camera remaining a disembodied observer among the group. Bertrand Tavernier acted as co-writer on the film.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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