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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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Chris Pedersen ...
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Corkey Ford ...
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

Plot Keywords:

vietnam war | vietnam | 1960s | gore | afi | See All (100) »

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Military Advisor Dale Dye witnessed Oliver Stone suffer an attack of post-traumatic stress disorder on-set, while filming the village scene. He claimed that they had a good cry together afterwards, based on their mutual experience in Vietnam. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where Chris (Charlie Sheen) gets his second taste of marijuana through the shotgun barrel handled by Elias (Willem Dafoe), Elias first racks the slide back and forwards, meaning the bolt is now closed. However, when Elias starts to blow smoke into the barrel the bolt is now at the back position and open. In order for Elias to truly use the shotgun to blow smoke through the barrel the shotgun bolt would have to be at the open position..Meaning the "back and forwards" slide of the shotgun in the beginning of the scene was a editing error. 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

Referenced in Tropic Thunder: Rain of Madness (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

WHITE RABBIT
Composed by Grace Slick
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
Published by Irving Music
Courtesy of RCA Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Uncomfortable but very worthy view of war's impact on the young
3 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

At the height of the Vietnam War, America's teens are drafted into the war effort to find themselves in the middle of hell. One such young man is Chris Taylor. He is placed in a squadron where two sergeants have different approaches to the war – Elias is more about surviving without being brutal or cruel, whereas Barnes is crueller, more ruthless and more violent. During the course of his term, Taylor's very soul is torn between the two men as he deals with what he must do.

The first film in Oliver Stone's unofficial trilogy is arguably the best of the three. The basic story not only shows us what the war was like for those serving but also how the different personalities come out of those involved in it. As we follow Taylor we see him change as he is influenced by those around him and by his situation. It makes for an uncomfortable film but one that's worth watching. It's certainly a better war movie than things like Wild Geese or The Dirty Dozen, simply because it's a little more real to what happens than those ones.

Charlie Sheen has never been better than when he's acting for Stone. Here he gives one of his best ever performances as the innocent who is changed. Willem Dafoe is a great actor and here is no different – he also gives us one of the film's most enduring images so I'm a little biased. Berenger is another one for whom it's hard to think of a higher point reached than when he did this film. He is brutal and ruthless but he makes us support him in a strange way. The support cast are all good and contains a few famous faces (John C McGinley, Whitaker, Depp) however this is really a three man show.

Overall this is brutal and violent with no happy ending. At the end of the day isn't that what a war film should be?


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