The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Near the end of the film, there is a scene where a soldier, his face covered with bandages, is blindly reaching out to his comrades as they hurry past him. This is taken from a famous picture taken at the real Hamburger Hill. See more »
None of the F-4 jet aircraft that 'bombed' the Hill numerous times had any bombs on them. Any ordnance on an F-4 is visible, those pictured had none, not even wing (fuel) tanks. See more »
I smile at my Mamma. Great meal, Ma. Would you please pass the fucking potatoes. The ham is fucking A, Ma. You don't know how... how fucking great it is to be home. How you going to act, huh?
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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 »
Probably the most visually effective Vietnam movie
Many excellent Vietnam films, in an attempt to present their own interpretation of America's darkest hour, ask many political questions vital to the war: "What were we fighting for?" "Was this worth it?" "When does morality take over?" "When does the fighting stop?"
On the other hand, "Hamburger Hill" doesn't need to state any such questions. Rather, it presents the viewer with the scenario-- a group of men trying to advance on a hill-- and allows him to come to his own conclusions. It is a wonderful display of characters from all walks of life, and how hard times brought them together. Some want to be there, others don't, but they call all make the same statement: When it comes to their determination to get on top of that hill and advance upon the enemy, all of those political questions "don't mean nothin'."
This is probably the best Vietman film as far as visuals go. The actions sequences are raw and gory, and the locations are incredibly depressing-- setting the perfect stage for a war movie. Combined with excellent performances by everyone involved, this is certainly an underrated film that presents a clear picture of what the war truly might have been like.
***1/2 out of ****
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