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A unit of American military advisors in Vietnam prior to the major U.S. involvement find similarities between their helpless struggle against the Viet Cong and the doomed actions of a French unit at the same site a decade before in this bitter look at the beginnings of the Vietnam war. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
An excellent film spotlighting early American "advisory" to South Vietnam up to 1964.
To anyone who has studied Vietnam, Go Tell The Spartans portrays it quite accurately. From the weapons of the era, the general disdain of some officers over our involvement, to the psychological effects on the soldiers themselves, this movie succeeds in each department. Burt Lancaster does an excellent job of portraying the hard-boiled Major Barker, and is backed by a fine cast. All the facets of the soldiers are portrayed, though often through amplified stereotypes, giving the viewer a feel for what made the soldiers tick. Drug use, libido, cowardess, heroism, concern, hatred, each of these traits find themselves embodied in one of the characters.
This isn't a feel-good film, but it did provide a few chuckles here and there. And although it doesn't come close to informing the viewer about what Vietnam was like, it tries admirably.
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