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Uncommon Valor (1983)

Ten years after his son went M.I.A. in Vietnam, U.S. Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in P.O.W. camps in Laos.


Ted Kotcheff


Joe Gayton




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Colonel Rhodes
Robert Stack ... MacGregor
Fred Ward ... Wilkes
Reb Brown ... Blaster
Randall 'Tex' Cobb ... Sailor
Patrick Swayze ... Scott
Harold Sylvester ... Johnson
Tim Thomerson ... Charts
Alice Lau Alice Lau ... Lai Fun (as Lau Nga Lai)
Kwan Hi Lim ... Jiang
Kelly Junkerman Kelly Junkerman ... MacGregor (as Kelly Yunkerman)
Todd Allen ... Frank Rhodes
Gail Strickland ... Helen Rhodes
Jane Kaczmarek ... Mrs. Wilkes
Gloria Stroock ... Mrs. MacGregor


A group of Vietnam War veterans re-unite to rescue one of their own left behind and taken prisoner by the Vietnamese. Led by his father (a retired Marine Colonel) and supported by a rich businessman whose son is also a P.O.W., the group engages in a dangerous and violent adventure trying to rescue the P.O.W.s, and at the same time, re-direct their lives. Written by Luis Alvarez

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"C'mon... we're going home." See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Director Ted Kotcheff once said of this film around the time of its first release: "I've always been interested in outsiders. Those who have been rejected by society have always intrigued me. The veterans in Uncommon Valor (1983) are truly forgotten men. Their journey back to Southeast Asia resolves the unanswered questions that have filled their lives ever since the war." See more »


Mr Jiang repeatedly gets Colonel Rhodes rank wrong, Calling him General Rhodes at least twice. See more »


Mrs. Wilkes: It's taken me TEN YEARS to get that damn war out of his head!
Rhodes: Oh yeah? Well it looks like it's still in there strong.
See more »


Referenced in Body for Hire: Bodyguard Training Videos (1997) See more »


Sunshine of Your Love
Written by Jack Bruce, Pete Brown (as Peter Brown) & Eric Clapton
See more »

User Reviews

The Dirty Dozen go to Vietnam
24 September 2011 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

This DIRTY DOZEN reimagining sees army colonel Gene Hackman leading a crack squad of former soldiers into the steamy jungles of Laos in search of American soldiers declared missing in action a decade previously. The story template is familiar but the central theme of hunting for MIA soldiers in Vietnam is good enough to have inspired later, more popular action films like the Chuck Norris MISSING IN ACTION vehicles and the Stallone-starring RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II.

Uncommon Valor is both similar to and different from those populist movies. In terms of last reel action, it more than holds its own with an explosive climax that involves storming a prisoner of war camp. However, there's much more to it as this film follows the DIRTY DOZEN mould closely, with plenty of time being taken up with recruitment and training. The characters are well drawn and there are enough decent actors around to make this a highly entertaining viewing experience. No-frills director Ted Kotcheff also handled the first Rambo outing, FIRST BLOOD, and he does another confident and assured job here.

And…what a cast! One of the most interesting ensembles from the early 1980s. Hackman, as always, is the highlight of the film: tough, no-nonsense and yet filled with emotion lurking beneath that hard surface. Fred Ward (ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ) shows up as a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress, while bargain-basement muscleman Reb Brown (STRIKE COMMANDO) handles some comic scenes nicely. Then there's the larger-than-life Randall 'Tex' Cobb making an impression, Tim Thomerson prior to his B-movie career with Charles Band and, last but best of all, an extremely young Patrick Swayze giving a subtle and nuanced turn as the rookie of the group. You can see why Swayze went onto bigger and better things on the strength of his performance here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Last River to Cross See more »


Box Office


$14,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,144,367, 18 December 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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