Go Tell the Spartans (1978)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  1 September 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,687 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 7 critic

During the early 1960s, U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam discover the same challenges that plagued the French army in Indochina ten years prior.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maj. Asa Barker
Cpl. Stephen Courcey
Sgt. Oleonowski
Capt. Alfred Olivetti
Lt. Raymond Hamilton
Dennis Howard ...
Cpl. Abraham Lincoln
Lt. Finley Wattsberg
Evan C. Kim ...
Cowboy (as Evan Kim)
John Megna ...
Cpl. Ackley
Hilly Hicks ...
Signalman Toffer
Dolph Sweet ...
Gen. Harnitz
Col. Minh
The Old Man
Denice Kumagai ...
Tad Horino ...
One-eyed man


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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Skirmishes, Ambushes And Boobytraps Explode Into The Most Savage War That Ever Scorched A Land See more »


Action | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die letzte Schlacht  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was not shot in Asia at all but filmed in California, USA with Vietnamese migrants to America portraying the Vietcong. See more »


Burt Lancaster (Maj Barker) was about 64 years old when this movie was made. No real Army major would be able to stay in the service until that advanced age. He would have been retired at a much younger age as a result of being continually passed over for promotion, as Major Barker had been. See more »


Gen. Harnitz: Ol' Barker might just come down here and shoot my balls off.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood Vietnam (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Great Film
10 February 1999 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

This is a relatively unknown film on the subject of Vietnam, but it is probably the best film made on the subject. The 70s and 80s genre Vietnam films are more pop culture than anything else. Such films undermine the view of an entire society as to the nature of the difficult job performed by the american fighting man in Vietnam. Go tell the Spartans is a really honest and straightforward film with some interesting dialogue, particularly on the part of Burt Lancaster, who is really a top-notch actor. His performance gives the film a serious and credible tone. The movie is about heroism and sacrifice. It is also about the absurd nature of war in general, not to mean that there isn't quite often a higher and moral purpose which is ironically served by war. Naturally, there will always be those to condemn a film. Go Tell The Spartans is very unique among films on Vietnam and war in general. It is not in the least bit campy, thanks to Lancaster. The no-name cast really prevents this film from descending into celebrity persona and reinforces the actual and intended nature of the films characters. The film's somewhat tragic conclusion honors the memory of those brave Americans who died fighting in Vietnam in a very poignant and serious way; it does not make our fighting men into misfits or lunatics, just ordinary Americans who had a rough task handed to them and not always willingly but nevertheless carried out faithfully and honorably.

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