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Hamburger Hill (1987)

R  |   |  Drama, War, Action  |  28 August 1987 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 17,882 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 24 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:

The most realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War ever filmed . Because it's the only one that's true. 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 closing credits include a famous poem about the war written by Major Michael Davis O'Donnell on January 1, 1970. O'Donnell was declared missing in action on March 24, 1970 after piloting a helicopter on an extraction mission inside Cambodia. He was declared killed in action in 1978. His remains were recovered and identified with DNA testing many years later, and were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 2001. See more »

Goofs

When Sgt Franz is calling in an arty strike, he repeats "Rounds out" every time he heard an arty piece being shot. The correct radio comm procedure would have been the arty unit to call "Rounds over". Franz would have responded "Rounds out". 2-3 seconds before the rounds impacted, the arty unit would have radioed. "Splash over". Franz would have responded, "Splash out". This lets friendly units know rounds are coming down range and time to get down. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Frantz: All right, listen up. You people will not die on me in combat. You fucking new guys will do everything you can to prove me wrong. You'll walk on trails, kick cans, sleep on guard, smoke dope and diddely-bop through the bush like you were back on the block. Or on guard at night you'll write letters, play with your organ, and think of your girl back home. Forget her. Right now, some hair head has her on her back and is telling her to fuck for peace. This is Han. Those of you who are foolish will ...
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 »

Connections

Featured in Sir! No Sir! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay
Written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper
Performed by Otis Redding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A fierce and very thoughtful film.
12 March 2001 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Extremely brutal and fierce true story about one particular group in the 101 Airborne Division, who spend ten days and eleven battles trying to claim a muddy and well-occupied hill that's dubbed "Hamburger Hill".

The cast in this film were mostly unknown like Dylan McDermott (who made his film debut here) and Steven Weber who both play the platoon's two weary and determined sergeants, Don Cheadle is one of the five new recruits, Michael Boatman and Courtney Vance are also in the cast. It's certainly well-acted by McDermott and Vance..

John Irvin ("The Dogs of War") directed the film and here, he lets the emotions of the soldiers go very far but not too far and the same can be mentioned for the battle scenes. Also, Irvin take a page of Robert Aldrich's WW2 classic and unforgettable melodrama "The Dirty Dozen". Instead of making instant up close shots as Aldrich did, Irvin slowly moves the camera in and it captures the unpredictable feeling that any of the G.I.s have. I wasn't moved, yet I was amazed as well.

Jim Carabatos ("Heartbreak Ridge") wrote the movie's story and like Irvin, Carabatos is careful in making the tale absolutely clear and very understanding to the viewer. The point that Irvin and Carabatos are trying to make is fascinating and simple: No one here is trying to be the hero nor the villain because surviving the war is a more important factor than trying to be gutsy and wind up being killed.

"Hamburger Hill" isn't the type of war movie like Oliver Stone's "Platoon" or Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" were, but it tends to be like Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line" was a few years ago. It's a fierce and very thoughtful film


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