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Hearts and Minds (1974)

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An examination of the conflicting attitudes of the opponents of the Vietnam War.

Director:

Peter Davis
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tin Chan Tin Chan ... Himself (as Faither Chan Tin - Saigon)
Chau Diem Chau Diem ... Himself - Editor of Trinh Bay Magazine
Ngo Dinh Diem ... Himself (President of South Vietnam) (archive footage)
John Foster Dulles John Foster Dulles ... Himself (Secretary of State 1953-1959) (archive footage)
Kay Dvorshock Kay Dvorshock ... Herself
Dwight D. Eisenhower ... Himself (President of the United States) (archive footage)
David Emerson David Emerson ... Himself - Concord, Massachusetts
Mui Duc Giang Mui Duc Giang ... Himself - Coffin Maker
Chi Minh Ho ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Hoey Charles Hoey ... Himself - Air Force, Saigon
Stan Holder Stan Holder ... Himself - Corporal, Placitas, New Mexico
Jerry Holter Jerry Holter ... Himself - Air Force, Saigon
Vo Thi Hue Vo Thi Hue ... Herself - Hung Dinh Village
Lyndon Baines Johnson ... Himself (archive footage) (as Lyndon Johnson)
John F. Kennedy ... Himself (President of the United States) (archive footage)
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Storyline

This film recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Vietnam War using archival news footage as well as its own film and interviews. A key theme is how attitudes of American racism and self-righteous militarism helped create and prolong this bloody conflict. The film also endeavors to give voice to the Vietnamese people themselves as to how the war has affected them and their reasons why they fight the United States and other western powers while showing the basic humanity of the people that US propaganda tried to dismiss. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Vietnamese

Release Date:

17 November 1975 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Hearts and Minds See more »

Filming Locations:

Linden, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,556, 22 October 2004

Gross USA:

$28,754
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Davis spent two years conducting all the interviews that made up the film. In total, he had over 200 hours of footage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Clark Clifford, Aide to President Truman: When the second World War was over, we were the one great power in the world. The Soviets had a substantial military machine; but, they could not touch us in power. We had this enormous force that had been built up. We had the greatest fleet in the world. We come through the War economically sound. And, I think that in addition to feeling a sense of responsibility, we also began to feel the sense of a world power - that possibly we could control the future of the world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The listed translators credited in the movie (Le Thai To, Trung Trac, Le Thanh Tong and Trung Hung Dao) were all Vietnamese generals who had defeated the Chinese in various times from the first century C.E., to the fifteenth century C.E. The translator listed as Nguyen Ai Quoc was an early alias of Ho Chi Minh, founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party. I have no knowledge of the last listed translator, Barbara Gore. Apparently, someone played a good joke on the producers of this film, if it wasn't the translators themselves. See more »

Connections

Features This Is the Army (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Over There
(uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan
Performed by Arthur Fields
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best Documentaries Ever.
5 November 2015 | by tjgoalie13See all my reviews

Hearts and Minds is a powerful documentary directed by Peter Davis, that exemplifies what a documentary can and should be. Rightfully so Hearts and Minds won the Oscar for Best Documentary, and remains a powerful, yet unsettling viewing experience. Hearts and Minds exemplifies a great documentary, because it tells an important and relevant real story, it remains as objective in it's presentation as possible, and it never holds back. All of this being said the film really features so much disturbing imagery, only so many people can willingly watch it, and more than likely many more will avoid it.

The scope of the film is quite large, in terms of time, as it really covers about a ten to fifteen year period. The scope combined with the impact of the Vietnam War, make the story the documentary is telling all the more relevant, and important. When looking at real events in United States history that show an evolution, and are "film" worthy the Vietnam War is on the top of that list. Even more impressive is Davis method of telling his story, as there was probably a story to be told about the war exclusively, but Davis chose to show how the war affected the country. This made the scope larger, and the story even more relevant.

Davis did a great job of showing the Country's borderline unflinching faith in its government, and that by the end of the war, the attitudes of almost everybody had changed, in some way. With so many different views, and such a complex issue, it would have been easy for Davis to focus on one side, but he went out of his way to show almost all viewpoints, and even portray them in a way where the audience can empathize with most of them. This makes his presentation all the more powerful, as the audience is almost forced to feel conflicted. Davis used this tactic to show the polarizing aspects of war, as well as "thinking revolution" that the country underwent with Vietnam.

To fully understand the "Thinking Revolution" Davis had to show the atrocities of war, so that the audience, whenever they may watch it would fully understand why there was a thinking revolution. The film never really holds back, it shows every different viewpoint, as well as what happened in the war, however disturbing it may be. Throughout the film the audience is subjected to terrible imagery, that is even scarier because it's real, and uncensored. Watching this an audience member could finally realize how glorified films are, as none of them capture the nauseating imagery this film is full of. In the end the message seems anti-war, as it never presents that message, but it also bombards the audience with mostly negative imagery.

In the end Hearts and Minds is a powerful, albeit disturbing experience, not meant for the weak-stomached or weak-willed. The film brilliantly shows an evolution of multiple societies, as well as the polarizing and negative aspects of the Vietnam War. The film should be commended for showing various different viewpoints and rarely treating any viewpoint with irreverence. Hearts and Minds, truly is a disturbing yet necessary experience.


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