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Bat*21 (1988)

 -  Drama | War  -  21 October 1988 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 5,398 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 12 critic

Lt. Col. Iceal "Ham" Hambleton is a weapons countermeasures expert and when his aircraft is shot over enemy territory the Air Force very much wants to get him back. Hambleton knows the area... See full summary »

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Title: Bat*21 (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Captain Bartholomew Clark
...
Colonel George Walker
...
Ross Carver
...
Sgt. Harley Rumbaugh
Erich Anderson ...
Major Jake Scott
Joe Dorsey ...
Colonel Douglass
Michael Ng ...
Vietnamese Man (as Rev. Michael Ng)
Theodore Chan Woei-Shyong ...
Boy on Bridge
Don Ruffin ...
Helicopter Crew
Scott Howell ...
Helicopter Crew
Michael Raden ...
Helicopter Crew
Timothy Fitzgerald ...
EB-66 Officer
Stuart B. Hagen ...
EB-66 Officer (as Stuart Hagen)
Jeffrey Baxter ...
Helicopter Gunner (as Jeff Baxter)
Edit

Storyline

Lt. Col. Iceal "Ham" Hambleton is a weapons countermeasures expert and when his aircraft is shot over enemy territory the Air Force very much wants to get him back. Hambleton knows the area he's in is going to be carpet-bombed but a temporary shortage of helicopters causes a delay. Working with an Air Force reconnaissance pilot, Capt. Bartholomew Clark, he maps out an escape route based on golf courses he has played. Along the way however, he has to face enemy forces and the death of some of his fellow soldiers. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trapped behind enemy lines. A whole army after him... And only one man can save him.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bat 21  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$3,966,256 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The true story's ending was quite different. Navy SEAL LT Tom Norris and Vietnamese SEAL Petty Officer Nguyen Van Kiet took a sampan in to pick up Col. Hambleton after repeated attempts failed with major losses of helicopters and men. LT Norris was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. See more »

Goofs

When Hambleton ejects from his crippled aircraft, the parachute that opens is a Para-Commander, a sport parachute that never would have been used in an ejector seat. The actual parachute would have been an unslotted 28' diameter white/green/orange parachute with a four-line release system for steering. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton: Bird Dog, I killed a man today. He wasn't even a soldier; he just kept coming. I couldn't stop him. I didn't want to do it. I never had to do anything like that before in my life.
Capt. Bartholomew Clark: Listen here, Bat 21. I never met you, but you don't sound like a killer to me. I'm sure you couldn't stop it from happening.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Behind Enemy Lines (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps no "Platoon" or "Full Metal Jacket", but it is a very good movie.
10 July 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I'm a fan of war movies and although I still prefer movies about WWI and WWII, I must say that I also like to watch a good Vietnam movie so now and then. "Bat*21" certainly deserves that qualification, because it feels real, never exaggerates in the action scenes and certainly offered me a lot of 'pleasure' while watching it. (I deliberately put the word pleasure between brackets, because I don't want you to think that I find it fun to see people die in a bombardment, being chased through a minefield, being shot in the head... - I'm not a psychopath).

Although I have some doubts, the movie claims to be based on a true story. It tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton whose observation plane has been shot down by a V.C. missile. Hambleton is the only survivor and because of his expertise in missile weaponry, it is essential for the US Army to find him before the enemy does. The Vietcong is listening to his radio transmissions and comes very close, but one man, Captain Bartholomew Clark, will do anything to help and support him as good as he can.

As I already said, I don't know if everything shown in the movie also happened in reality. I'm not saying that the man has told lies in his book, but Hollywood isn't exactly known for not adding extra's to a story if it makes the movie look better. Still, even if they have done so, I must say that it still is a very nice movie. In my opinion the movie is underrated at this time (6.2/10 after 1,467 votes). Especially thanks to the nice performances of Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, this movie really works well.

Especially Danny Glover was a big surprise. When I first saw him in this movie, all I thought was: 'What is that man doing in this movie?' When I think of him, I still associate him with the "Lethal Weapon" movies. But I admit, what he has done in this movie certainly made me forget about that very quickly. I didn't see him as a cop anymore, I soon started to see him as Captain Bartholomew Clark.

All in all this is a Vietnam movie that certainly deserves a good rating, because it is one of the better in the genre that I've ever seen. It's perhaps no "Platoon" or "Full Metal Jacket", but it is a very good movie and that's why I give it a 7.5/10.


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