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How Sleep the Brave (1982)

A squad of young fresh American soldiers are sent to Vietnam. Immediately upon their arrival, they are sent on a very hazardous mission into the jungle losing a couple of them on the way. ... See full summary »

Director:

Lindsay Shonteff (as Lyndon James Swift)

Writer:

Robert Bauer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lawrence Day Lawrence Day ... Lieutenant Young
Luis Manuel Luis Manuel ... Stess
Thomas M. Pollard Thomas M. Pollard ... Flak
Christopher Muncke ... Captain Hansen
Daniel Foley Daniel Foley ... Orvil
Gerramy Quarto Gerramy Quarto ... Johnson
George Gabriel George Gabriel ... Burns
Steve Ballantine Steve Ballantine ... Peters
Earl Rhodes ... Weaver
Edward Wylie Edward Wylie ... Riley
Tony Hiew Tony Hiew ... Scott
Bill Fellows ... Jamieson (as Billy Fellows)
Mel Taylor Mel Taylor ... Batchelor
Billy Campbell ... Strickner (as Bill Campbell)
Richard Speight ... Parks
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Storyline

A squad of young fresh American soldiers are sent to Vietnam. Immediately upon their arrival, they are sent on a very hazardous mission into the jungle losing a couple of them on the way. As soon as they return to camp they have no time to rest and are sent out again on a long jaunt to destroy a V.C. village. After destroying the village they embark on the journey back to camp. Written by <dave.sherry@epson-telford-ltd.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

During the swinging 60's a forgotten few walked into hell...

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1982 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time in Vietnam See more »

Filming Locations:

Martinique See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Vietnam, Berkshire.
6 June 2003 | by gavcrimsonSee all my reviews

How Sleep the Brave is one of the more peculiar offerings from jack-of-all-genres Lindsay Shonteff and his late producer-wife Elizabeth Gray (or 'Lyndon James Swift' and 'Elizabeth Laurie' as they're billed here). Once earmarked as a competent gun for hire filmmaker capable of delivering black and white chillers like Devil Doll and second feature sex films like Permissive, Shonteff's latter day projects tend to be out of time James Bond spoofs, a genre most other filmmakers put to bed at the end of the Sixties. By the early Nineties Shonteff was this genre's one and only practitioner.

A cheapjack Vietnam War epic produced at a time when such a subject spelled poison at the box office, How Sleep the Brave is another demonstration of Shonteff's stunning indifference to trends or public taste. The end result was by and large a financial failure for the director and remains seen by only the few. Gavcrimson encountered a tape of the film at the bottom of a bargain bin under the nonsense re-title 'The Forgotten Parallel'. In a typical tightwad move the (quite literally) bottom of the barrel video distributor had heavily edited the film to fit on a bog standard one hour tape. Despite Shonteff's stated serious intentions which include ending the film with a quote from the commander of the Viet Cong Forces in Vietnam puzzlingly over the suicidal heroism demonstrated by American troops, How Sleep the Brave is bereft of much intelligence and is distinguished from your run of the mill euro-war movie only by its poverty row status. The film was shot in the UK, or more specifically with Berkshire locations posing as Vietnam, an audacious touch that only ultra low-budget practitioners like Shonteff or Mancunian action man Cliff Twemlow would have dared to pull off. A bunch of nobody actors play an inexperienced platoon trapped behind enemy lines and surrounded by the Viet Cong. From a tent in the middle of a field their hot-headed, cigar chomping boss makes a futile attempt to save them by sending out a helicopter. Most of the film alternates between the men bitching to each other about Vietnamese prostitutes and being polished off at the hands of 'Charlie'. You can tell when anything tragic is about to occur because Shonteff insists on scoring every casualty to a 'Greensleeves' type instrumental number. Shonteff also uses his Permissive technique of cryptically flashing forward to the horrors to come, and earns his chops as a low budget man by convincingly passing off leafy English locations as anything but. Unfortunately the latter piece of deception dictates much of How Sleep the Brave be shot in tight close-ups which combined with the sameness of the film's woodland settings makes this a visually repetitious experience. Kitted up in rented soldiers uniforms the Brit actors manage to maintain convincing American accents, but their performances aren't helped by abysmal dialogue like 'I should be at home selling grass, man', as well as a script seemly written by someone in the throws of Tourette's syndrome. The characters all remain clichéd gung-ho action men with little attempt made to get under their skin, nor is there any effort to shed light on the motivations of the Viet Cong. The film invests the Chinese actors with as much personality as extras in a badly dubbed kung-fu film. In the end How Sleep the Brave is about as insightful as a Vietnam recreation by a bunch of paintball enthusiasts, which is sadly what the film often resembles. The fact that it pre-dates 80's Hollywood fixation for Vietnam alongside having Berkshire double as a war zone gives the film a passing curiosity value.. but not enough to warrant tracking it down.


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