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Hamburger Hill (1987)

 -  Drama | War | Action  -  28 August 1987 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 16,798 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 23 critic

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

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Title: Hamburger Hill (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Barrile ...
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Pvt. Ray Motown (as Michael Patrick Boatman)
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Michael Dolan ...
Don James ...
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Pvt. Paul Galvan (as M.A. Nickles)
Harry O'Reilly ...
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Tommy Swerdlow ...
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Tegan West ...
...
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Storyline

A brutal and realistic war film focuses on the lives of a squad of 14 U.S. Army soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infanty Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the brutal 10 day (May 11-20, 1969) battle for Hill 937 in the A Shau Valley of Vietnam as they try again and again to take the fortified hill held by the North Vietnamese, and the faults and casualties they take every time in which the battle was later dubbed "Hamburger Hill" because enemy fire was so fierce that the fusillade of bullets turned assaulting troops into shreded hamburger meat. Written by Matthew Patay <1792a@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

While the rest of the world wondered why, the Screamin' Eagles fought and died in the fiercest battle of America's bloodiest war. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Action

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 August 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

937: Posición de combate  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$13,839,404 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters in the movie were named after men that writer James Carabatsos had fought alongside. See more »

Goofs

Although the practice of subduing unit shoulder patches was officially adopted during the Vietnam war, there were some units that refused to subdue their patches because of unit pride. The 101st Airborne Division was the major one that never subdued their shoulder patches. The 101st did not subdue the patch until BDUs started to be worn. See more »

Quotes

Doc: Brush your teeth in a rapid, vertical motion. That's up and down for all you rebels.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The following poem is shown at the beginning of the credits: If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam See more »


Soundtracks

I Wish It Would Rain
Written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield
Performed by The Temptations
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the best about Vietnam
22 September 1999 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Drawing from a good book by the same name concerning a real battle, the film chose to concentrate on a single unit of the 101st Airborne during this engagement instead of the strategies and tactics of the battle. Fictionalizing the characters we see the typical group of soldiers, some new, some veterans, some black, some white, some Hispanic, conduct assault after assault on a hill for some reason that they only have a vague concept of. But instead of making the battle slick and interlaced with subplots about the possession of souls (such as "Platoon") or a work of art (such as "Apocalypse Now" or "Full Metal Jacket") the characters are real and the battle is believable.

Whether intentional or not, it is hard to identify individuals in this film. The viewer is aware that there are ethnic and class separations but identities are harder. I believe that this was intentional to some extent by the director so that the impression could be made that this could be any unit and the soldiers could be anyone that you may know. Like the faceless names on the Vietnam War monument during the opening of the film, these soldiers are essentially faceless forcing the viewer to place a face and personality that they are intimate with. The real star of the movie is the battle and the tragedies that resulted. As with the better, and more accurate war films, there are no heroics, just fear; there is no glorious flag waving over a captured fortification, just survivors.

Again, with the better war films it is the little stuff that separates the good ones from the "cowboys and Indians in battle dress" ilk: the radio operator calling in an artillery strike in panic and is reprimanded for not using proper radio protocol, the mud slide down the hill right in the middle of the battle, the officer trying to call for reinforcements and realizing that his radio was blown to bits along with his arm. All of these "touches" are real and give credibility to a film. In this case "Hamburger Hill" stands apart, and somewhat higher, than most films about the subject.


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