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Platoon (1986)

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

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Top Rated Movies #187 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Manny
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Tex
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Storyline

Chris Taylor is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two non-commissioned officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin. A line is drawn between the two NCOs and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon. Written by Jeremy Thomson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first casualty of war is innocence.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Platoon  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$241,080, 21 December 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$138,530,565
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver Stone at one point wanted Mickey Rourke for Sergeant Barnes, and Nick Nolte as the experienced Sergeant Elias. Both were offered the parts, and both turned them down. See more »

Goofs

After the last battle Chris has obvious injuries to the face and arms, skin burns etc. As he is stretchered out, his face and arms no longer have the blackened marks See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pvt. Gardner: [seeing body bags] Oh, man. Is that what I think it is?
Sergeant: All right, you cheese-dicks, welcome to the Nam. Follow me!
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Connections

Spoofed in Planet 51 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

TRACKS OF MY TEARS
Composed by Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson), Marvin Tarplin and Warren Moore
Performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
Published by Jobete Music Co., Inc.
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Realistic Vietnam film Oliver's Stone's masterpiece
14 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone one of the most strongest realistic anti war films of all time. It is one of the best Vietnam war films I have ever seen that won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1986 and best Director for Oliver Stone, as well as Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. Stone's Vietnam film portrayed a real life human been on his point of view of the story telling that went on in his real life that he experienced after his tour of duty in Vietnam ended in 1968, Oliver Stone wrote a screenplay called Break: a semi-autobiographical account detailing his experiences and the life he was in Vietnam. The characters were portrayed more then a few soldiers they were portrayed more as a human been than been soldiers obeying an order.Platoon shows the Vietnam War was a big mistake, but being a fictional documentary on Vietnam is far from its purpose. It is one of my personal favorite war movies. I love this movie to death.

Those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and meaning in this life.

In Platoon, Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a young, naive U.S. soldier who, upon his arrival to Vietnam, quickly discovers that he must do battle not only with the Viet Cong, but also with the gnawing fear, physical exhaustion and intense anger growing within him. While his two commanding officers draw a fine line between the war they wage against the enemy and the one they fight with each other, the conflict, chaos and hatred permeate Taylor, suffocating his realities and numbing his feelings to man's highest value... life.

Chris sees his platoon fragmented into two halves, each aligned with one of two men -- Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) and Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger). Those two soldiers are really two positive good things to see in the film because it sets the viewer on the seat of the edge. They both have nominally the same enemy (Viet Cong), but, really, it doesn't take long to realize that Elias is Good, and Barnes is Evil (the "enemy" does not enter into the moral equation of this film, at all it's an outside threat, same as malaria-carrying mosquitoes or even friendly fire). Elias feels the futility of the war and has respect for life; Barnes fights the war doggedly and has no compassion, period. Both are efficient soldiers fighting the same enemy, but really as is at one point aptly put by Chris Taylor himself,they are fighting for the souls of the platoon members, as the outcome of the war is never really in doubt.

The platoon reaches the village, where a food and weapons cache is discovered. While questioning the village chief, Barnes loses his patience and senselessly kills the man's wife despite his denials that they are aiding the Viet Cong. Barnes is about to murder the man's young daughter to force him to tell them to where the enemy is.

Elias doesn't take kindly to this kind of behavior. Elias and Barnes come closer and closer to open conflict, as Taylor becomes a veteran, obviously siding with Elias. Meanwhile, the fate of the platoon comes closer and closer to them, culminating in an explosively shot action conclusion. The end is dark, but morally satisfying.

Platoon is a legendary film. A film that I will always cherish, and a film that I will never get tired of. And the last Vietnam film worth a damn to watch. There isn't any War film today that was filmed as really human drama war today in 2015. It respectively represents the very essence of purposefully haunting powerful cinematography in the history.-- It is representing admirable cinematic craftsmanship and storytelling. A film that is sometimes impossible to watch for its frighteningly intense and emotionally draining account of the Vietnam War as it is waged both on the battlefields and within the very souls of men.

The best real human drama portrayed on screen anti-war film in Vietnam from the 80's, It is my favorite film that I will always love to death to see. I also don't watch this film for an action ; I actually see it for the war and how it everything was, what is more valuable and it is life: The film also have a message in it. The actors portraying the characters did make a believable performance as the real team of squad soldier fighting the Enemy the Viet Cong.

The battles with Viet-Cong are shown realistic mostly on the end of the final battle. 10/10


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