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Operation Nam (1986)
"Cobra Mission" (original title)

 -  Action | War  -  23 July 1986 (Italy)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 112 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 15 critic

Ten years after the end of the war in Vietnam, four ex-Marines decide to return to S.E. Asia to investigate reports of American POWs still being held there. These four include Roger, whose ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Larry Ludman)

Writers:

(story), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Operation Nam (1986)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Tobias ...
Richard Wagner
Christopher Connelly ...
Roger Carson
Manfred Lehmann ...
Mark Adams (as Manfred Lehman)
John Steiner ...
James Walcott
...
Mike
...
Father Lenoir
...
Col. Mortimer
Maria Koltay
Kordy Mounir
Richard Lester
Luciano Pigozzi ...
Phil Lawson's father (as Alan Collins)
Brad Fletcher
Jene Davis
Antonella di Marco
David Light
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Storyline

Ten years after the end of the war in Vietnam, four ex-Marines decide to return to S.E. Asia to investigate reports of American POWs still being held there. These four include Roger, whose daughter's just been married, the unemployed James, Mark, who's quit his job at an Arizona roadside tavern, and Richard, recently a patient at a mental hospital. In the jungles of S.E. Asia they discover American POWs but also find out about a U.S. Government plot to keep this knowledge a secret. Written by dinky4 of Minneapolis

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Genres:

Action | War

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Release Date:

23 July 1986 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Operation Nam  »

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Connections

Followed by Cobra Mission 2 (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a typical Fabrizio De Angelis-produced cheapo action outing with the occasional surprise.
7 March 2002 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the main appeal in watching De Angelis's films (for me) is in coming in with low expectations and every now and then being surprised by how well some of the elements work. COBRA MISSION is a weird example because it features an excellent cast of B-movie stalwarts and even some cameos by Enzo G. Castellari, Luciano Pigozzi, Gordon Mitchell, and possibly Dardano Sacchetti. Francesco De Masi composed a moving, yet jarring and unmemorable orchestral score for the film but it is seldom used in favor of stock music from De Masi's previous films with De Angelis (a good call maybe, but distracting).

There's lots of action and explosions but most of the time it's ruined by veteran producer Fabrizio De Angelis's budget-minded approach to filmmaking. At times the film is edited and shot in a very hands-off and lazy fashion. For some reason De Angelis likes to end his scenes with something exploding, but unlike in THUNDER WARRIOR uses his slow motion really infrequently. Some of the non-slow-mo explosions don't look very dramatic at all, and it seems like an incredible waste considering how much De Angelis must have dished out on the transportation and production costs associated with making the Philippines look like Vietnam.

Maybe the most surprising aspect of the film is its fairly well-done downbeat ending. Christopher Connelly does some pretty hilarious scenery chewing, but in the end the audience really does feel sympathy for Ethan Wayne as the soldier that got left behind. The final shot of Wayne kneeling in the field while the camera pulls away from him to reveal a huge army of advancing Vietnamese soldiers surrounding him is one of the best and most memorable shots I've seen in a low-budget action movie.

As is the case with DEADLY IMPACT, THUNDER WARRIOR, and THE MANHUNT, it's a mid-80's De Angelis film which I know is bad, but for some reason I just love watching it over and over.


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Great action b-movie! Should have Bo Svenson in the cast! BrunoMatteisNumberOneFan
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