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The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, War  |  27 January 1989 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,541 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 9 critic

A tough sergeant and his sidekick roll into a demoralized firebase and proceed to rebuild morale and fortifications in advance of the climactic battle with the VietCong.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Di Nardo
...
Hafner
Robert Arevalo ...
Cao Van
...
Murphy
...
Moran
...
Coates (as Clyde R. Jones)
Margi Gerard ...
Flanagan
...
Ghost
John Calvin ...
C.O. Williams
Albert Popwell ...
Jones
Michael Cruz ...
Vietnamese Child
...
Patrol Member (as Eric Hauser)
Guel Romero ...
Patrol Member
Don Wilson ...
Patrol Member (as Donald Wilson)
Nick Nicholson ...
Photographer
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Storyline

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 Binyamin Appelbaum

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Against all odds they went to hell and back.

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Firebase  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

AUD 1,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(partly: Black & White)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

R. Lee Ermey, who plays Sgt. Maj. Hafner, really is a former US Marine and veteran of the Vietnam War. See more »

Goofs

The movie takes place during the Tet Offensive in January 1968. The centerfold the commanding officer shows in the bunker is Cynthia Myers, Miss December 1968. See more »

Quotes

Hafner: I want that chopper in here right now!
Shortwave, radio man: I'm doing my best, Sgt. Major.
Hafner: Yeah, well, that's not quite good enough. Try harder!
See more »

Connections

References The Mighty Mouse Playhouse (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Overlooked Vietnam Masterpiece

"The people were friendly. We liked them and they liked us... so it really hurt us to see their heads on stakes." This line, dryly spouted by R. Lee Ermey's character Sergeant Major Bill Hafner of the United States Marine Corps' Force Recon, begins a brutal portrayal of war at its worst. This film pulls no punches, showing combat for what it is: a slaughter.

Do not come into this film with a soft heart. If scenes showing piles of dead children, teenage Vietnamese prostitutes wrapping themselves in dynamite to act as suicide bombers or "sappers", American nurses and Embassy secretaries being machine-gunned by Viet Cong soldiers, the execution of prisoners by both the V.C. and Marines, and the wholesale slaughter of an entire generation of young men (both American and Vietnamese) have the potential to bother you, you might want to avoid this one. "Siege of Firebase Gloria" is frighteningly graphic and realistic and the only thing that keeps this movie from being little more than a snuff film is the humanity of the characters.

While the men on both sides commit acts that most people would consider atrocities, we can see them for what they are: scared human beings, some of them barely more than boys ("No way - Mighty Mouse could never get us out of this s**t," says Private "Shortwave" Coates) who don't know why they have to do these horrible things, only that they must if they want to survive.

In the end, it is the North Vietnamese Army Colonel Cao Van who gives the best summary of the situation: "The courage of your enemies does you honor."


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