Col. Mike Kirby picks two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam. First off is to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy the second mission is to kidnap a North Vietnamese General.


James Lee Barrett (screenplay), Robin Moore (novel)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Col. Mike Kirby
David Janssen ... George Beckworth
Jim Hutton ... Sgt. Petersen
Aldo Ray ... Sgt. Muldoon
Raymond St. Jacques ... Sgt. Doc McGee
Bruce Cabot ... Col. Morgan
Jack Soo ... Col. Cai
George Takei ... Capt. Nim
Patrick Wayne ... Lt. Jamison
Luke Askew ... Sgt. Provo
Irene Tsu ... Lin
Edward Faulkner ... Capt. MacDaniel
Jason Evers ... Capt. Coleman
Mike Henry ... Sgt. Kowalski
Craig Jue Craig Jue ... Hamchunk


U.S. Special Forces troops ("Green Berets") under the command of Colonel Mike Kirby defend a firebase during the Vietnam war. War correspondent George Beckwith accompanies Kirby and objects to both the war and the means by which it is executed. Kirby's firebase is overrun and his troops fight bravely to retake it. Kirby and a select group of his men are then ordered on a special mission to capture a high-level Viet Cong officer. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Green when they the color of their berets...but when the going got rough...they became the toughest fighting force on earth! See more »


Drama | War


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Despite agreeing to compose the music, Miklós Rózsa admitted he disliked both the film and its message. See more »


At (01:31) A small group of soldiers is gathered with Colonel Kirby (John Wayne) as the "Mike force" is landing in helicopters. Sgt. Provo (Luke Askew) loses his boonie hat as the second chopper in the stick touches down. The cover is seen to fly straight up and is presumably pushed a distance away from the rotor wash. Provo remains without a hat until a closeup scene a few seconds later when he is miraculously wearing it again though he hasn't left the group. See more »


George Beckworth: How do you know we should be fighting for this present government of South Vietnam? They have no constitution. They haven't had any free elections. And six months ago, a committee was appointed to form a constitution... and still no constitution.
Sergeant Muldoon: The school I went to, Mr. Beckworth, taught us that the thirteen colonies, with proper and educated leadership, all with the same goal in mind, AFTER the Revolutionary War, took from 1776 to 1787, eleven years of peaceful effort, before they came up ...
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Alternate Versions

141 minute version minus several scenes is what was shown on The Military Channel's "An Officer and a Movie". See more »


Referenced in The Factor: Episode dated 27 March 2008 (2008) See more »


The River Seine
(La Seine)
Music by Guy Lafarge
French lyrics by Guy Lafarge and Flavien Monod
English lyrics by Geoffrey Parsons
Sung by Liselotte Malkowsky
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User Reviews

Overlong though spectacular Vietnam film that resulted to be a typical as well as thrilling John Wayne vehicle
26 September 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Col. Mike Kirby (John Wayne who traveled to Vietnam in June 1966 and got the idea to make this picture about the army special forces on that trip) picks two teams of crack Green Berets ( Aldo Ray , George Takei , Jim Hutton , Edward Faulkner , Raymond St Jacques , Patrick Wayne , John's son , among others) from U.S. Special Forces troops for a mission in South Vietnam . Being accompanied by cynical War correspondent George Beck (David Janssen) briefing about the American military involvement in the war in Vietnam . First off is to build and control a camp that is attempting to be taken by the Viet Cong , the second assignment is to Kirby and a select group of his men are then ordered on a special mission to capture a high-level enemy Colonel .

This exciting wartime picture contains thrills , violence , noisy action , breathtaking battles and absurd situations . Don't miss the ending scene where the sun sets in the East , including a patriotic as well as famous music . Nice acting by John Wayne , as usual , he was prompted to make the film as a response to the growing anti-Vietnam War movement in the US . John Wayne's character , Col. Mike Kirby, is based on the real-life Lauri Törni, who later on called himself Larry Thorne . The latter was a Finnish army captain who fought in the Second World War during the Winter War (1939-40) and Continuation War (1941-44) against the Soviet Union . He emigrated to the US in the late 1940s and in 1954 joined the US Army . Very good support cast , plenty of familiar faces such as Jim Hutton , Aldo Ray , Raymond St. Jacques , Bruce Cabot , Patrick Wayne , Edward Faulkner and Luke Askew . The film was panned by reviewers , general public and many soldiers serving in Vietnam found the film offensive . Being partially based on real events , as the defensive battle that takes place during the second half of the movie is very loosely based on the Battle of Nam Dong , during which two Viet Cong battalions attacked a small outpost in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam . Even George Takei (he missed nine episodes of Star Trek) has admitted in interviews that while he was grateful to be cast in this film , he nevertheless strongly disagreed with the film's pro-war message and felt the finished movie was very bad . Green Berets was released soon after the Tet Offensive and the My Lai Massacre getting negative critiques , too . However , a lot of critics deemed this war film much better than its reputation would suggest . Possibly due to the film's extremely lousy critical reactions , it's been a long-held belief by many people that it was also a box-office flop . Actually , it was one of John Wayne's biggest box-office successes , attracting millions of moviegoers and ending up being the 13th highest grossing movie of 1968.

Colorful cinematography in Panavision by Winton Hoch , filmed on location in Columbus, Georgia , and Ft. McClellen, Alabama . Much of the film was shot in 1967 at Ft. Benning, Georgia, hence the large pine forests in the background rather than tropical jungle trees . Good production design , some of the "Vietnamese village" sets were so realistic they were left intact, and were later used by the Army for training troops destined for Vietnam . Impressive and rousing musical score by Miklós Rózsa , similarly composed to previous epics as Ben Hur , King of Kings , El Cid . Lavishly produced by Batjac , Wayne's company and Warner Bros was concerned about letting John Wayne direct the movie because of the fact that his previous directorial effort , El Alamo (1960), had been an expensive flop . They therefore only agreed to let him do the film if he agreed to co-direct with a more experienced director, and Wayne chose Ray Kellogg . The studio agreed, despite Kellogg's only having ever directed a few "B" pictures such as : ¨The Giant Gila Monster , My dog buddy , The killer shrews¨ , because of his impressive track record as a second unit director on a number of major studio releases . Being John Wayne's final war film , although Undefeated (1969) and Río Lobo (1970) contained some war scenes .

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English | Vietnamese | German | Danish

Release Date:

27 July 1968 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Green Berets See more »

Filming Locations:

Ft. McClellen, Alabama, USA See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Batjac Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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