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We Were Soldiers (2002)

 -  Action | Drama | History  -  1 March 2002 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 78,770 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 733 user | 144 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it.

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(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast

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Storyline

In a place soon to be known as The Valley of Death, in a football field-sized clearing called landing zone X-Ray, Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and 400 young troopers from the elite newly formed American 7th "Air" Cavalry, were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the tunnel warren mountainside. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history and is portrayed here as the signal encounter between the American and North Vietnamese armies. We Were Soldiers Once... And Young is a tribute to the nobility of those men under fire, their common acts of uncommon valor, and their loyalty to and love for one another. Written by PHD in CT USA

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

400 U.S paratroopers. 4000 Vietnamese soldiers. 12 000 miles away from home. 1 man led them into battle. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sustained sequences of graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lost Patrol  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$319,086 (Brazil) (9 August 2002)

Gross:

$495,567 (Brazil) (16 August 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ammunition pouches used by many of the characters in the movie were the "short" version designed to accommodate the 20 round M-16 magazines. These pouches, however, were not issued until 1968, 3 years after the film is set. Before this film was made, the short style pouches were common and readily available. But because the props department bought so many for filming, they are now very rare collectibles on the surplus market. See more »

Goofs

Greg Kinnear's character, Major Bruce Crandall, and Mark McCracken's character, Captain Ed Freeman, are helicopter pilots; and wear the branch insignia US Army Corps of Engineers. This is not incorrect. Army Aviation did not exist as a branch from 1947, when the US Air Force separated from the Army, to 1983 when a new Army Aviation Branch was created wearing the old Army Air Force branch insignia. From 1947 to 1983, Army aviators were trained in and designated as belonging to other branches prior to entering flight training, and wore their basic branch insignia even when assigned to flying duties. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Galloway: [Narrating; voice-over] 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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Crazy Credits

A list of the names of the actual men who died during the battle as well as the city and state where they are from is featured before the ending credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Jon Stewart/India.Arie (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold On I'm Coming
Written by Isaac Hayes (as Isaac Hayes Jr.) & David Porter
Performed by Tommy Blaize
Produced by Nick Glennie-Smith
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
BRAVEHEART Meets THE GREEN BERETS
28 September 2003 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Does anyone remember BRAVEHEART ? It starred Mel Gibson who also directed and was scripted by Randall Wallace . The film contains over 200 errors . Does anyone remember THE GREEN BERETS ? That`s the John Wayne western where the Duke saves a homestead called Vietnam from a bunch of injuns from the commie tribe . If you watch WE WERE SOLDIERS you can`t help but be reminded of these two films .

First of all what`s with that Scottish lament that`s played three times in the movie , four if you count the end credits ? I mean what`s the connection between Scotland and `Nam ? Maybe Wallace is using it in the vain hope that because BRAVEHEART was bombarded - Undeservedly I might add - with several Oscars then so might this film ? Whatever reason it`s included it really jars . Gibson plays Hal Moore as a cross between William Wallace and John Wayne and I was expecting him to say something like " They`ll never take our freedom - The hell they will " and it`s impossible not to notice other similarities with THE GREEN BERETS like the subplot of a journalist picking up a gun and turning into a warrior and Moore telling the journalist about guilt in a scene almost identical to the one seen in the Wayne movie

When not reminding the audience of other movies WWS also fails to stand on its own legs , it`s based on real events in 1965 but seems to lack an integrity needed to do the story justice , it never feels like 1965 and lacks a sense of time and place probably because it was filmed in America not Asia . Hal Moore might have brushed up on the French experience in Indo-China but if that`s the case then he was unique because the American military went out of their way not to read up on the French Indo-China war , indeed when asked about the previous conflict Westmoreland replied he had nothing to learn from the French " Who haven`t won a war since the days of Napoleon " so I was confused as to the portrayal of the NVA in this movie , when in 1965 the American high command , brimming with hubris held the North Vietnamese and VC in contempt . It`s like history has been rewritten in order to show the rice farmers of Vietnam are superlative warriors . They are , but very few Americans believed this in the mid 1960s

There`s a couple of other things that confused me like how the wives back home get telegrams telling them their husbands are dead ? No bodies are shown being flown back to base and no one on screen is seen referring to who`s been killed in the La Drang valley . Likewise we`re not seen reinforcements arrive on screen so how do we suddenly see the Americans out number the NVA ? I put these down as directorial/ editing blunders on the part of Wallace who doesn`t strike me as much of a director , and his biggest problem seems to be communicating the horror of the battle . Take the scene where the American burned to a crisp is flown away screaming " Tell my wife I love her " . This should have an emotional impact similar to THAT death scene in PLATOON but here there`s no impact . In fact I found the scene cliched and patronising , and he`s not the only character to mouth the words " Tell my wife ... " while mutilated or dying , I counted at least two other characters use the phrase . Did characters actually say this at the battle ? I`ve no idea but since Randall Wallace wrote the script I do have reservations

I sat in shocked awe watching APOCALYPSE NOW , PLATOON and THE KILLING FIELDS made my eyes water , I laughed at FULL METAL JACKET , I kept looking at my watch with THE DEER HUNTER , and after seeing WE WERE SOLDIERS I felt totally patronised


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