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.
After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
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 <email@example.com>
John Wayne said he believed the extremely negative reviews probably helped the film's box-office performance. He further said that he felt critics were attacking the war itself rather than his film. See more »
At the start of the movie, the orientation team is a part of the 3rd Special Forces Group. Muldoon and McGee are wearing 3rd Group flashes on their berets. The next time we see them, they are with Col. Kirby watching Peterson. They are then wearing 5th Group flashes. See more »
A lot of reviewers of this film seem to be more upset by the alleged leftist political views of those who dislike the movie, rather than taking a look at why this motion picture is, sadly, an embarrassing joke.
Prior to the Tet Offensive, there was still a good deal of support for the Vietnam War in the USA. Indeed, it was far more likely that the production of a pro-Vietnam War movie was going to be undertaken at this point than an anti-Vietnam War film. Those anti-war (and far superior) films wouldn't come until the 1970's and 1980's. But movies like "Coming Home", "Apocolypse Now", "Platoon", etc., weren't better because they were often perceived as anti-war, they were just better.
The problems with this production are legion. Sure, there may be pine trees, deserts and a variety of terrain in South Vietnam. So what? This movie looks like a movie filmed on a soundstage that's SUPPOSED to look like South Vietnam and DOES NOT. The war wasn't fought in Georgia. This looks like Georgia.
Secondly, John Wayne, in the latter portion of his career could be quite effective on screen. His performances in "The Shootist" and "True Grit" come to mind immediately... and an under-rated Wayne film, Mark Rydell's "The Cowboys" in 1972, has a marked right-wing bent, and is a terrific movie. Having said that, Wayne is truly at his worst in this picture. He is simply too old, fat and immobile to play his role convincingly. David Janssen, another compelling actor, is totally wasted as a stereotypical liberal journalist. Not one character in this movie rings true.
That's the main problem with this picture. It isn't its sloppy attention to detail (yeah, sorry previous posters, but the sun setting on the wrong side of the planet IS terrible film making, even if it is possible to see it that way in some portions of South Vietnam), it's the jingoistic simplicity of the film's entire approach and cardboard characterizations.
You've got every form of tired, old stereotypical World War II soldier... the brave commander, the tough-as-nails with heart-of-gold field grunt, the subservient natives, the soldier who dies so we've got villainy to hang our anger on... no need to go on.
What the pro-Vietnam contingent deserved was a three-dimensional picture that wasn't geared toward 14-year-olds, but to adults who, even though they were pro-war, might have had compelling reasons to doubt - as all adults do in times of stress an conflict. This movie demanded characters that didn't superficially deal with the intense difficulties that the war brought up at home and abroad. The whole film is marred by these omission - and by an unrealistic story, badly filmed in TV movie of the week fashion. The battle scenes just don't hold up and production seemed rushed. No amount of revisionist reviewing will make this absurdly insulting film any better. It's a truly horrible movie.
John Wayne was a talented actor who deserved better, but time and time again got stuck with turkeys like this.
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