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Operation Dumbo Drop (1995)

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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 6,128 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 23 critic

To keep the loyalty of a native village during the Vietnam war, a US Army officer and his unit struggle to deliver it a live elephant.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Capt. Sam Cahill
...
...
...
Sp4 Harvey (H.A.) Ashford
...
Sp5 Lawrence Farley
...
Linh
...
Goddard (as Tcheky Karyo)
Hoang Ly ...
Col. Nguyen
Vo Trung Anh ...
Lt. Quang, NVA
Marshall Bell ...
Col. Pederson
...
Y B'ham
...
Jhon
Tim Kelleher ...
C-123 Pilot
Scott N. Stevens ...
C-123 Co-Pilot
Kevin LaRosa ...
Irish - Huey Pilot #1 (as Kevin Larosa)
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Storyline

During the Vietnam War, a village that American forces are using to spy on the Ho Chi Minh Trail has its sacred elephant killed by the North Vietnamese Army because they were cooperating with the Americans. The villagers need an elephant for a ceremony that will occur within the week. Captain Sam Cahill, an easygoing man who is heading home, and his hotheaded replacement Captain TC Doyle scrounge up another elephant with the help of sneaky supply chief warrant officer David Poole, luckless farmboy Lawrence Farley, and short-timer Harvey Ashford, and transport it across South Vietnam to get it to the village on time, running into all sorts of transport problems, personality conflicts, and an NVA squad that wants the Americans out of the village. Written by Jeff Cross <blackjac_1998@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Landing this summer See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for war action and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 July 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dumbo Drop  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$24,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took three months to build all eight elephants. Two were animatronic and can make life like movements operated from a control system, while the other six are static and were made out of fiberglass. See more »

Goofs

As Cahill and Doyle fly over the village in the cargo plane, the blades from the camera helicopter can be seen in the top left-hand side of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[on Goddard]
Capt. Sam Cahill: He gave us the best intelligence on the V.C.'s location that we ever got.
Goddard: Well, what can I say? I love America.
[He motions to a framed photo of Lyndon Johnson on his dashboard. Cahill picks it up and flips it over, showing a photo of Ho Chi Minh]
Capt. Sam Cahill: He gave the V.C. their best intelligence on our location, too.
[Cahill laughs]
Goddard: What can I say? I love everybody.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nanny: Call Me Fran (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

WHEN I SEE AN ELEPHANT FLY
Written by Ned Washington and Oliver Wallace
Performed by Cliff Edwards, Jim Carmichael and the Hall-Johnson Choir
Courtesy of Walt Disney Records
See more »

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User Reviews

This operation was real. I was "there."
13 February 2011 | by (Cotopaxi, CO) – See all my reviews

In 1968, I was the CA NCO (Civil Affairs Noncommissioned Officer) for Co. C, 5th SFG(A), 1st SF, HQed In DaNang, RVN. I was not directly involved with the mission but had a front row seat and the officers I worked under kept me apprised of the progress. These facts might be of interest:

1. "Our" Top Secret operation had two elephants called Bonnie and Clyde.

2. The elephants were not dropped in slings or standing up as depicted in the movie. They had to be tied down to airdrop cargo pallets. If they were hung in slings, their own weight would have suffocated them. If they had been dropped standing up, their weight would have caused fatal physical harm upon landing.

3. Two veterinarians were flown from England to sedate and revive the animals.

4. The purpose was not for a ceremony but for a much more practical reason. A sawmill had been built in the village to help its economy. The mountain trails were much too narrow to use bulldozers to drag the trees to the mill and someone came up with this idea.

5. The mission ultimately was a failure. The elephants were juveniles (weight!!!) and were much too small to drag the large logs. Growing elephants eat a lot. The village chief complained that the villagers were being forced to travel deeper and deeper into VC controlled territory to collect banana trees for their fodder. I don't know how this problem was resolved.

The movie was much more interesting and fun, as the actual mission was pulled off without a hitch and had little entertainment value. My credibility could be verified on my website which I am required not to include, but I'll be glad to provide it to anyone who is interested. There is a direct contact link available.

For those reviewers who chose this forum to again knock a war over 36 years gone, SHAME ON YOU! You have only exposed your own ignorance. As all soldiers in every war , some Americans conducted themselves better than others. As this mission actually went (and as depicted in this DRAMATIZATION), many of us worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the Vietnamese.

I am most proud of my days in Vietnam when I was privileged to provide food, cooking utensils, clothing and other necessities to peoples displaced by the war. Many good American lives were lost directly attempting to prevent harm to Vietnamese people. I risked my life more than once, not in combat, but in aiding "common" villagers in tasks they could not accomplice themselves. My OIC (Officer in Charge) was shot down and killed while attempting to evacuate refugees from a besieged A-Camp. HE DID NOT HAVE TO BE ON THAT AIRCRAFT.

You are welcome to your opinion and can state it per the First Amendment but, ethically, you should study and actually know a little bit about the topic before you share an opinion. And for Heaven's sake, keep political opinions on political forums. "Dumbo Drop" hardly glorified warfare. It just exposed the truth that a little bit of good can be found in most things, even things as tragic as warfare.

And to the reviewer who doubted that anything funny ever happens in warfare: You too, speak out of ignorance. I spent two years in country and had many genuine good times, often with the fine Vietnamese soldiers with whom I worked.


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