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A new Disc Jockey is shipped from Crete to Vietnam to bring humor to Armed Forces Radio. He turns the studio on its ear and becomes wildly popular with the troops but runs afoul of the middle management who think he isn't G.I. enough. While he is off the air, he tries to meet Vietnamese especially girls, and begins to have brushes with the real war that never appears on the radio. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
It finally hit me when I watched Good Morning Vietnam what this film reminded me of. It was the famous Preston Sturges classic, Sullivan's Travels which coincidentally as it turns out is one of my favorite films.
Both the real life Adrian Cronauer and Joel McCrea's fictional John L. Sullivan have to come to the same realization, that what they do matters a great deal. In Sullivan's Travels it's to the movie going public in general, in the case of Cronauer it's to the GIs in Vietnam stuck in a war where no one could ever know who the enemy was. A few laughs from a comic genius was necessary to get them through the day in their very cockeyed world.
Adrian Cronauer was a real life person, but if he didn't bear a resemblance to Robin Williams, he should have. One of the great comic masters of any era in entertainment, Robin Williams is given full range for his zany sense of humor to work its magic with Cronauer. He's ably abetted and assisted by the other staff members of Armed Forces Radio Forest Whitaker and Robert Wuhl. Bruno Kirby is great as the clueless lieutenant in charge and so is J.T. Walsh who represents the limits of the military mind as the sergeant major out to get Williams by hook or very dirty crook.
Williams himself doesn't understand the complexities of the Vietnam situation. That fact is brought home to him graphically when he's betrayed by his own innate decency.
Next to Williams my favorite in the cast is Noble Willingham who plays the general who has overall charge of Armed Forces Radio there. He's a tough, but compassionate military man, the exact opposite of J.T. Walsh whom he has to reign in.
Good Morning Vietnam is a frank portrayal of a war experience told with humor and irony through the eyes of Robin Williams.
Preston Sturges would have absolutely adored this film.
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