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A telling of the 1st Battalion, 7 Cavalry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division's battle against overwhelming odds in the La Drang valley of Vietnam in 1965. Seen through the eyes of the battalion's commander, Lt. Col. Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson), we see him take command of the battalion and its preparations to go into Vietnam. We also see how the French had, years earlier, been defeated in the same area. The battle was to be the first major engagement between US and NVA forces in Vietnam and showed the use of helicopters as mobility providers and assault support aircraft. Written by
875,000 feet of film was shot - roughly 150 hours. It took the editing team 6 days - day and night - to watch it all. See more »
Not all of Vietnam's terrain is "is incredibly dense". There ARE areas without "a lot of tropical vegetation due to the hot humid climate that is found throughout Vietnam", particularly the Central Highlands where the Battle of Ia Drang took place, with elevations of up to 2,400 feet allowing for more temperate vegetation. Lt Gen Harold G. Moore, the central figure of the film played by Mel Gibson and the co-author of the book upon which the film is based, scouted several locations around the world before deciding on the hills of Fort Hunter Liggett, California as the terrain best matching that of the Ia Drang Valley. Photographs taken during the battle by Joe Galloway, the war correspondent played by Barry Pepper and the other co-author of the original book, show the terrain of Landing Zone X-ray as being open and surrounded by thinly wooded forest. See more »
These are the true events of November, 1965, the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, a place our country does not remember, in a war it does not understand. This story's a testament to the young Americans who died in the valley of death, and a tribute to the young men of the People's Army of Vietnam who died by our hand in that place. To tell this story, I must start at the beginning. But where does it begin? Maybe in June of 1954 when French Group Mobile 100 moved ...
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This film is so different from the traditionally cynical (and rightly so) Vietnam War movies. While it goes without question that this film depicts the bloody and gruesome horrors of the tragedy of the first major conflict of the war, it does so while juxtaposing the story with that of stories of the home front and the enemy. The enemy in this film is not the animalistic, silent enemy we are used to. We hear this enemy speak, we see his love for his family and his devotion to his cause. While being bombarded with images of death and destruction on the battlefield, we are brought back home to see the wives as they face the death themselves.
While of course not a flawless movie, it was without a doubt moving, and I highly recommend it.
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