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The Hanoi Hilton (1987)

R | | Drama, War | 23 May 1987 (Taiwan)
A drama focusing on the suffering, torture, and brutal treatment the American P.O.W.s had to deal with daily while in North Vietnam's Hoa Lo Prison, the most infamous P.O.W. camp in Hanoi. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Williamson
...
Mason
Ken Wright ...
Kennedy
...
Hubman
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Oldham
...
Miles
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Cathcart
...
Ashby
David Anthony Smith ...
Gregory
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Fischer
...
Oliviera
...
Turner
Scotty Sachs ...
Soles
...
Murphy
Jesse Dabson ...
Rasmussen
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Storyline

A drama focusing on the suffering, torture, and brutal treatment the American P.O.W.s had to deal with daily while in North Vietnam's Hoa Lo Prison, the most infamous P.O.W. camp in Hanoi. The film focuses on the resistance the prisoners gave to their captors and the strong bonds formed by the Americans during their captivity. Written by mike407

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

23 May 1987 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Hanoi Hilton  »

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Box Office

Gross:

$760,000 (USA)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plane at the end of the film was a C-141 stretch - an extended C-141 aircraft. They did not start extending the C-141 airframe until well after the Vietnam conflict ended. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, the Son Tay Raid and the death of Ho Chi Minh occur at just about the same time, but in fact happened 14 months apart with the death of Ho in September 1969 and the raid in November 1970. See more »

Connections

References Doctor Zhivago (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of the Bamboos
Performed by The Vietnamese National Song and Dance Ensemble
Courtesy of Monitor Records
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User Reviews

Harrowing
19 October 2003 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

The Hanoi Hilton is an excellent film, that sadly never found an audience due to the fact it was an independant film with a cast of relative unknowns (except for Michael Moriarity and David Soul). This is a shame because it spotlights the men of the Vietnam war who were the true heroes. The prisoners of war who went though hell for our country. We are spared no details of that hell they went through in this film. It is a terrible story, but one that needs to be told and one we must never forget.

One thing I wanted to add, its a mistake that few have corrected. Many people believe that the longest held prisoner of war in Vietnam was Navy Commander Everett Alvarez. He was shot down in August of 1964 and held until February 1973. This is not true, the longest held POW of the Vietnam War (indeed the longest held prisoner of war in American history) is Army officer Floyd James Thompson. I read a book about him called Glory Denied by Tom Philpott that told his heartbreaking story and I want to tell it as well. Jim Thompson was born in New Jersey in 1933. He started out life working in a grocery store and married his sweetheart Alyce in 1953. In 1956, he was drafted into the Army. He grew to love the Army and planned to be a thirty year man. He went through Officer Candidate School, Airborne and Ranger training and became a Green Beret Special Forces Officer at Fort Bragg North Carolina. In December of 1963, Captain Thompson was sent to a then unknown country called Vietnam for a six month tour. In March of 1964 (I wish to point out this is almost six months before Alvarez's capture) Captain Thompson was on a small spy plane that was shot down. He was badly wounded and taken prisoner. Thompson spent nine years in hell. He was kept in mostly jungle camps that were even worse then the Hanoi Hilton. At one point, he had no contact with other human beings for five years. He underwent starvation and horrible torture before finally being realeased in March of 1973. However, Thompson's sad story was in many ways just beginning. He and his wife divorced and he was never able to really connect with his four children (his three daughters were only 6,4 and 2 when he was shot down and his son was born after he was taken prisoner). Although he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, he had lost the nine most important years of his career. He was a Lieutenant Colonel who didn't even have a Captain's experience. He married again but divorced shortly afterwards. Thompson began drinking heavily and even attempted suicide. Then in 1981, ironically after he finally conquered his alcoholism, Thompson suffered a massive heart attack and while hospitalized also suffered a massive stroke that left him permanently disabled. In 1990, he had to go thru the agony of seeing his son imprisoned for murder. Last year, Colonel Floyd James Thompson, a true American hero, died at the age of 69. This was one of the saddest stories that I have ever heard in my life a man and his family destroyed by war. I hope many people read the words that I am writing now because we need to remember the sacrifice of Colonel Thompson and the many like him who were POWs. The Hanoi Hilton helps us do just that.


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