The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
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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
One of the real-life officers, who survived the battle, was Lieutenant Rick Rescorla, who is the main figure on the cover of General Moore's book, on which the movie was based. A biography of Mr. Rescorla's very interesting life was published in the mid 2000s, called "Heart of Lion". He died in the 9/11 attacks, while employed as Head of Security for Morgan Stanley, while making sure all of the company's employees had gotten out of the World Trade Center (they had). See more »
Joe Galloway's Nikon camera shown throughout the movie is a model "F Photomic FTN", first sold in Sept. 1968, but it was November 14, 1965 at 10:48 a.m., when Lt. Col. Hal Moore and his young troopers touched down at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang. 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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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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