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Small Boat Navy in Vietnam (1968)

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Short | Documentary | War

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Vietnam Era US Navy Propaganda Film
24 July 2008 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a relatively short (20 minute) propaganda film produced by the US Navy depicting small boat river action by the Navy in Vietnam, narrated by Raymond Burr, who went on location to shoot certain establishing scenes. Some of the footage was indeed actually filmed during combat, including the apparent destruction of a sampan boat hauling explosives. Interesting counterpoint to APOCALYPSE NOW in that the PBR crews here are performing the same sort of activities that the fictional crew in that movie were supposedly used to doing.

It is propaganda, however, meant to paint the war in a positive light and boost morale at home by depicting our heroic soldiers doing what they did best, including bringing aid & comfort to the friendly indigenous peoples. I find these short Defense Department films fascinating and this one along with many others can be found on a four disc box set called "Vietnam: America's Conflict" that costs about $10 dollars. Worth every nickel I think, because it gives you the flipside to the the traditional coin on how Vietnam War documentaries usually are presented. It's doublethink and twisted for sure but exceedingly well made, history buffs will do themselves a favor by taking a look.

No rating: Propaganda cannot be judged artistically, though it can be thought of as kitsch.


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