A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Michael, Steven and Nick are young factory workers from Pennsylvania who enlist into the Army to fight in Vietnam. Before they go, Steven marries the pregnant Angela, and their wedding party also serves as the men's farewell party. After some time and many horrors, the three friends fall in the hands of the Vietcong and are brought to a prison camp in which they are forced to play Russian roulette against each other. Michael makes it possible for them to escape, but they soon get separated again. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
All one has to do, is to read the plot synopsis given here by IMDb, to see how ridiculous this movie is. 1) The steel workers in the movie appear to be in their late twenties or early thirties (the actors were all in their thirties at least). They were too old to be drafted and sent to Vietnam. Men like that didn't have to join the army (which at the time would could result in their being sent to Vietnam). They would have hung on to their jobs and gotten married. 2) If by some miraculous twist (practically impossible) of fate they wound up in the Army, they wouldn't have served together in the same outfit in Vietnam. 3) The Special Forces were an all volunteer outfit made up almost entirely of career soldiers who had to meet special qualifications to be selected. 4) Very few of our soldiers were captured by the enemy (most of the POWs were downed pilots). Bamboo (tiger) cages were a scandal notoriously used by our side (not theirs) to imprison enemy "Viet Cong" or NLF combatants or suspects (this was turned around cleverly in the movie, so Americans (the audience) can feel themselves victimized). 5) The absurdity is taken further with the Russian roulette hokum. This is utterly contrived to show the insidious brutality of the "oriental" fiends who seek to unman our red-blooded, masculine, all-American steelworker heroes. While nothing like this ever really happened, the point however is to mimic the famous scene (viewable in the documentary "Hearts and Minds") in which the Chief of Police of South Vietnam puts a pistol to the head of a prisoner with his hands tied behind his back and shoots him dead point blank, again the movie turns the imagery completely around. Lastly, the big lie in the movie is that we poor Americans have been victimized by the diabolical, insidious, inhuman orientals. Our big, strong, hulking men have been rendered temporarily impotent and defenseless against this nefarious surreal menace. In the end our boys loyalty and patriotism sees them through, though they may be physically maimed and will be emotionally scarred for live by what has transpired on this heinous foreign den of inequity. Almost nothing in the plot makes sense nor could it ever have happened save in the fertile imagination of a cunning Hollywood hack. If you like this movie, you've got some growing up to do.
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