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Uncommon Valor (1983)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  16 December 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 6,642 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 44 user | 8 critic | 5 from

Ten years after his son went MIA in Vietnam, U.S.Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in POW camps in Laos.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Lau ...
Lai Fun (as Lau Nga Lai)
Kwan Hi Lim ...
Kelly Junkerman ...
MacGregor (as Kelly Yunkerman)
Frank Rhodes
Helen Rhodes
Mrs. Wilkes
Gloria Stroock ...
Mrs. MacGregor


A group of Vietnam War veterans re-unite to rescue one of their own left behind and taken prisoner by the Vietnamese. Led by his father (a retired Marine Colonel) and supported by a rich businessman whose son is also a POW, the group engages in a dangerous and violent adventure trying to rescue the POWs and at the same time re-direct their lives. Written by Luis Alvarez

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Seven men with one thing in common... See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Last River to Cross  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Patrick Swayze replaced James Remar. See more »


When Kevin Scott and Mr. Jiang are lying on the hilltop, overlooking the prison camp, they have a verbal exchange as to whether the choppers are actually coming. The camera shifts back-and forth several times between Scott and Jiang. During the course of this dialogue, however, Jiang is - without ever changing his position - shown alternately holding a recoilless rifle, or a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher. See more »


Sailor: You don't ever quit, boy. Not when it's for real!
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Featured in The Spoony Experiment: Uncommon Valor (2013) See more »


Written and Performed by Ray Kennedy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Exciting and stirring film in which a brave unit returns Vietnam to rescue POWs
21 August 2011 | by See all my reviews

Box-office hit of the 80s about a misfit team re-reunited by Gene Hackman to carry out a suicide mission behind enemy lines . A group of Vietnam vets are drafted to go on a near-suicide mission and to rescue one of their own left behind and taken prisoner by the Vietnamese . ¨Uncommon valor¨ is an entertaining film with Gene Hackman who aware his son can still be alive and decides to go in after him . As Hackman is a tough officer along with the ordinary and troublesome team of unadapted ex-soldiers of Vietnam . The retired military man himself training a group of rebel and misfit soldiers for a dangerous assault on Laos. In the hands of hardboiled director Ted Kotcheff and a tough-as-leather cast headed by Hackman , that's all the plot that's needed to make one rip-roaring wartime flick . Supported by a rich businessman ,Robert Stack , whose son was also a POW, the bunch engages in a perilous and violent adventure attempting to rescue the POWs and at the same time re-direct their lives . Hackman's mission is two-fold and in violent style : first turn his soldiers into a hard fighting unit and later on they go to invade Laos in search of prisoners , still Missing in Action . The unit formed by diverse characters include a cocky hunk as Reb Brown , Harold Sylvester as a chronic malcontent , Randal Tex Cobb as a ready-to-blow nutty , Fred Ward as a lame-brained soldier , Tim Thomerson as old veteran and a beginner Patrick Swayze . The first half of the film allows the colorful cast of character actors to have their fun as they get their tails whipped into shape and develop shaky relationship with their leader . The final part is all action, as the commando wreck havoc and then run for their lives. The relentless assignment is set against strong training, risked adventures and hazardous feats . The dangerous mission includes a two-fisted group formed by a motley and diverse squadron played by all-star cast of the 80s . This is a rugged actioner concerning about an experienced officer , Col. Rhodes , he undertakes training the valiant unit of soldiers that get a chance to redeem themselves . At the end they must participate in the suicidal mission behind the enemy lines , to wipe enemies and rescue prisoners by means of a violent assault over a strongly protected camp.

Gene Hackman as Colonel Rhodes who gathers a motley crew assumes the character of the leader in this thrilling war movie stunningly directed by Ted Kotcheff , being well scripted by Joe Gayton and uncredited by also actor Wing Hauser. This is a routine Actioner with prestigious star Gene Hackman as the Vietnam veteran resulting to be one of the best roles he'd made in the 80s , as he's fine as tough , cold , obstinate Colonel . This formula action/war/thriller packs frantic movement , perilous adventures , relentless feats , and buck-loads of explosive action and violence . The noisy action is uniformly well-made, especially deserving of mention the rip-roaring final scenes on the concentration camp , including some spectacular shootouts and bombing . Apart from the values of team spirit , cudgeled by Gene Hackman into his rebel group , the film is full of feats , suspense , and thrills . Rough Hackman is good as leader of the motley pack together to thwart enemy camp , as well as the largely secondary cast with special mention to Randall Tex Cobb and Patrick Swayze . Atmospheric and exciting musical score by James Horner and appropriate cinematography filmed by cameraman Stephen Burum in several locations from Bangkok, Thailand ; Hanalei, Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA (Vietnam rice paddy);Indian Dunes, California, USA (Texas training camp); Lumahai Valley, Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA (Laotian POW camp). This is is a wartime typical vehicle and into the ¨ Vietnam war genre¨ and regarding ¨rescue commandos¨, which also belong : ¨Rambo II¨ , and ¨Colonel Braddock¨ trilogy with Chuck Norris , all of them dealing with relentless soldiers attempting to free some American people still held prisoners in a far prison camp into Vietnam . Although the movie has some aspects a little tough to take , this moving film still has its fine moments getting an adequate atmosphere with agreeable results , furthermore grossed lot of money at the box office .

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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