In 1943, in the Russian front, the decorated leader Rolf Steiner is promoted to Sergeant after another successful mission. Meanwhile the upper-class and arrogant Prussian Captain Hauptmann ... See full summary »
It's May 1943 at a US Air Force base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic captain, ... See full summary »
Taking place towards the end of WWII, 500 American Soldiers have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them.
The film's thin veneer of social propriety (the story of how the VietCong came under Hanoi's control) is merely a cover for a rolicking old-time battle tale, complete with a hard-tack sergeant, his rebellious sidekick, and a demoralized base that needs to be whipped into shape before the VietCong attack. Written by
Actor R. Lee Ermey, who plays Sergeant Major Hafner, really is a former U.S. Marine and veteran of the Vietnam War. See more »
Poster on the bunker wall says, "Give Peace a Chance". John Lennon didn't record this song until July 1969, almost a year and a half after the Tet Offensive. See more »
[Sgt. Hafner carries two severed American heads]
Anyone know who these belong to? This is Corporal Miller. He's dead. Hell, the whole gun crew's dead. And to add insult to injury, Charlie took the fifty-fucking caliber machine gun with him. I don't have any respect for Corporal Miller anymore, because he allowed his troops to relax. They let their guard down for five fucking minutes, and Charlie took advantage of it. Look at 'em, Goddammit! Pay attention. Stay alert! Stay alive! It's as simple ...
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An isolated firebase faces human wave assaults from the VC at the start of Tet.
This is the Vietnam War just the way we thought or preferred to think about it at the time: the Americans are the good guys, Charlie's the bad guy, South Vietnamese civilians are the ones being protected, everyone loves being in the Corps, inter-service co-operation is something you can always take for granted. The reality was a bit more complicated, but it didn't seem that way to a lot of people then.
It's about time the guys who were over there, or sit-at-home strategists back here, got a movie that validates their recollections and good intentions, one that's realistic, but without being too gung ho on the one hand (like "The Green Berets"), or too negative about US involvement on the other (like most other Vietnam films). I don't think I buy this point of view personally anymore, but it's good to have it available as an option.
Lee Ermey is totally authentic as always. Wings Hauser is not at that level but he's good enough. The Vietnamese are generally played by Filipinos who don't completely look the part but do a decent job.
There's plenty of mayhem for action buffs -- much of the movie looks like the climax from "Glory" (or "Zulu"). Pot-smoking is frowned upon in this one, as is poor grooming (I did say old-fashioned). Everybody does his duty, especially Charlie.
The good guys win this time.
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