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.

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

So you don't believe in glory. And heroes are out of style. And they don't blow bugles anymore. So take another look at the special forces in a special kind of hell! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia Pictures, having bought the book's pre-publication film rights, was not able to produce a script that was approved by the Army while producer David L. Wolper, who also tried to buy the same rights, could not obtain finance for filming. A screenplay was written by George Goodman who had served with the Special Forces in the 1950s as a military intelligence officer and had written a 1961 article about the Special Forces called The Unconventional Warriors in Esquire Magazine. Columbia sent Goodman to South Vietnam for research. Robin Moore felt the Pentagon pressured Wolper into breaking an agreement with Moore. Wolper acquired the rights to film The Devil's Brigade (1968), an account of the World War II 1st Special Service Force in 1965, and produced that film instead. See more »

Goofs

Many scenes show the soldiers with their battle knives taped upside down to the chest of their web gear! No experienced military/combat personnel in their right minds would ever dream of committing this fatal mistake. See more »

Quotes

Hamchunk: Was my Peter-san brave?
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

The River Seine
(La Seine)
(uncredited)
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

Hugely Misunderstood Film
2 May 1999 | by bjones-2See all my reviews

It is probably impossible to assess the content of this film in other than the context in which it was developed and presented. My own first viewing was in 1968 a matter of mere weeks before having to report for duty in the US Armed Forces. At that time I did not know whether or not I would have to go to Viet Nam as many of my friends already had. Some had already been killed or wounded in action. In this context, the film is one I will never forget.

John Wayne made this as a political film in an attempt to counter the rising tide of what he and others like him saw as treasonous protests against the government and the military over the conflict in Viet Nam. This horrid almost-war was tearing many families apart in controversy. Wayne wanted to make a patriotic statement of support for the Armed Forces who had been so good to him. He was denied several attempts at enlistment in WWII and was classified 4F. He made films to support the allied war effort then and hoped to show support again even though this was never a real war. Instead he was widely ridiculed by a rabid leftist press.

Yes, the film was definitely not accurate in the way we have come to demand of today's films. Such accuracy may have been impossible in the political climate of the day. There was deep seated anger in the upper military echelon for not being allowed to wage an actual war. Every engagement between forces was won by the Americans, but they were forbidden from the beginning to the end from pressing an attack. The result was perhaps history's worst military "Catch 22"; fight and then wait for the enemy to regroup, rearm and reattack. I still know military people who hate the entire media for the brow-beating they gave the military and Congress, who - in turn - forbade the military from pressing more aggressive action.

Wayne was also attempting to counter people in the entertainment industry whom he and others considered traitors (then and still) such as Jane Fonda, who visited and spoke in support of North Viet Nam.

It was this climate Wayne stepped into. His effort was genuine but it resulted in a cameo of the war rather than something palpable. Something that good has yet to be made. Much of what went on, real high drama and touching personal stories, has been almost entirely ignored by Hollywood. Thus, this also remains one of the few films of the hugely controversial era.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Batjac Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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