6.7/10
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117 user 32 critic

Hamburger Hill (1987)

Trailer
2:53 | Trailer
A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director:

John Irvin

Writer:

James Carabatsos (as Jim Carabatsos)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Barrile Anthony Barrile ... Pvt. Vincent 'Alphabet' Languilli
Michael Boatman ... Pvt. Ray Motown (as Michael Patrick Boatman)
Don Cheadle ... Pvt. Johnny Washburn
Michael Dolan Michael Dolan ... Pvt. Harry Murphy
Don James Don James ... Pvt. Elliott 'Mac' McDaniel
Dylan McDermott ... Sgt. Adam Frantz
Michael A. Nickles ... Pvt. Paul Galvan (as M.A. Nickles)
Harry O'Reilly Harry O'Reilly ... Pvt. Michael Duffy
Daniel O'Shea ... Pvt. Frank Gaigin
Tim Quill ... Pvt. Joe Beletsky
Tommy Swerdlow ... Pvt. Martin Bienstock
Courtney B. Vance ... Spc. Abraham 'Doc' Johnson
Steven Weber ... Sfc. Dennis Worcester
Tegan West Tegan West ... Lt. Terry Eden
Kieu Chinh ... Mama San
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Storyline

A brutal and realistic war film focuses on the lives of a squad of 14 U.S. Army soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the brutal 10 day (May 11-20, 1969) battle for Hill 937 in the A Shau Valley of Vietnam as they try again and again to take the fortified hill held by the North Vietnamese, and the faults and casualties they take every time in which the battle was later dubbed "Hamburger Hill" because enemy fire was so fierce that the fusillade of bullets turned assaulting troops into shredded hamburger meat. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

War at its worst. Men at their Best. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The paratroopers of U.S. Army's famous 101st Airborne Division, known as "The Screaming Eagles" due to their distinctive shoulder patch (a gold-beaked, red-tongued white-headed bald eagle on a black shield), were feared and respected by their North Vietnamese and Viet Cong enemies in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Communists called 101st troops "Chicken Men" because of the eagle shoulder patches, and had a cautious saying about them - "beware of the Chicken Men." See more »

Goofs

When Sgt Franz is calling in an arty strike, he repeats "Rounds out" every time he heard an arty piece being shot. The correct radio comm procedure would have been the arty unit to call "Rounds over". Franz would have responded "Rounds out". 2-3 seconds before the rounds impacted, the arty unit would have radioed. "Splash over". Franz would have responded, "Splash out". This lets friendly units know rounds are coming down range and time to get down. See more »

Quotes

Doc: Brush your teeth in a rapid, vertical motion. That's up and down for all you rebels.
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Crazy Credits

The following poem is shown at the beginning of the credits: If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam See more »

Alternate Versions

The Magna Pacific DVD Release: Sep 18, 2002 UPC: 9-315841-999491 is cut as when Duffy kills an NVA soldier with his M-60 the body explodes in gore and when Duffy is then killed by another NVA soldier that soldier is then shot in the back of the head and blood spurts out. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Movies: The Eighties (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town
Performed by Waylon Jennings
Courtesy of RCA Records, a label of BMG Music
Written by Mel Tillis
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User Reviews

 
Realism and Radicalism
23 April 2001 | by artzauSee all my reviews

This is an excellent depiction of the insanity that was the war in Viet Nam. My view as a naval officer during a scenic tour of the Mekong near the Cambodian border and the Vietnamese city of Chau Phu, permitted me to be a witness to many, many occasions involving the wholesale abuse of humans by humans. The strain on mind, body and soul takes years (if ever) to repair and this film captures it. There are brief glimpses of this agony in some of the other films mentioned here in the reviews, e.g., Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket and Platoon. Each of these films have merit but are deeply flawed. Apocalypse Now is steeped in moral allegory to the expense of an accurate portrayal of the war; Full Metal Jacket is only 2/3 completed; Platoon becomes a Levi-Straussian moral tale with an arch villain and virtuous hero-- the latter heinously slain by the former with revenge exacted by the weary sojourner on the odyssey. OK. What do we have here with Hamburger Hill? A story? Heroic acts? Action? Not really. What we have is the horror and insanity of war. The film ends on the same pointless note as it began. But, you know what? Reading through the detractors of this film who touted the other potential three and slammed this one, I would not hesitate to bet they were never there. I could glance at the reviews and pick out the vets-- not just on the basis of whether they liked this film or not but of how they reacted to it. I know and know damn well. I too was there, brothers. See this film. It's well produced, directed and the cast is damn good. Check it out.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

28 August 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hamburger Hill See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,360,705, 30 August 1987

Gross USA:

$13,839,404

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,839,404
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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