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We Were Soldiers (2002)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  1 March 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 95,911 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 741 user | 141 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.



(book) (as Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore) , (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Matt Dillon
Capt. Tom Metsker


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 newly formed 1/7th Cavalry Regiment of the US 1st Air Cavalry Division 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


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


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:






| |

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lost Patrol  »

Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,212,543 (USA) (1 March 2002)


$495,567 (Brazil) (16 August 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first scenes in Vietnam show a Battalion sign that says "Garry Owen". This was the famous marching song of the 7th Cavalry and is actually one word, "Garryowen". See more »


When Barry Pepper's character Joe Galloway puts his camera down and picks up a rifle to help defend the position, he places the camera on the ground at the base of a small tree. Later, when he goes to retrieve the camera and start taking photographs again, the camera is hanging from a tree branch. However, a fair amount of time passed and significant activity took place around that area, so anyone could have moved the camera and its changed location is consistent with this. See more »


[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 ...
See more »


Referenced in Battlefield: Vietnam (2004) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Entertainment, or factual account?
25 March 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

It's quite sad to read some of the reviews of this film. "full of clichés" "typical weak war film" etc. I would like for the writers of such comments to look at the film they "coughed up their reddies" for, and ask what they were really after? Do they know what the film was about? The director's aim was to create an honest depiction of a real life event. To tell the story of a battle and war in a way that would make people who weren't there understand what it may have been like. To bring home the stark realisation of how scary the battlefield would be, and explore the wider picture of how families, and even the enemy were affected by events too. Many of the words used by the dying men are documented as being the actual words. In the editors commentary, he explains "these were the true dying words 'tell my wife I love her'. In that situation, it is the reality of what is on people's minds. I'm sorry they couldn't have come up with something more melo-dramatic for the theatre audience." The line that really bought it home for me though was that soldiers who had fought in that battle thanked the director. They said he had managed to show the realities of an event in their lives that they had, to that point, never managed to fully explain to their families. If the people who were there say this is a realistic account of events and emotions, then that's the best accolade a film can have. I was scared and moved by it and would recommend it highly. PS. to the plot critics out there... would you rather they sexed up a true story? Surely that would be a grave tragedy.

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