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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

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Col. Jason Rhodes
Robert Stack ... MacGregor
Fred Ward ... Wilkes
Reb Brown ... Blaster
Randall 'Tex' Cobb ... Sailor
Patrick Swayze ... Kevin Scott
Harold Sylvester ... Johnson
Tim Thomerson ... Charts
Alice Lau Alice Lau ... Lai Fun (as Lau Nga Lai)
Kwan Hi Lim 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


Seven men with one thing in common... See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






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, 16 December 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,503,151, 10 February 1984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Though Gail Strickland starred in the movie, she never had any lines. See more »


The helicopters used in the opening scene, in South Vietnam in 1972 are incorrect for the aircraft type. The US Military never deployed Bell 212 (Military UH1N) helicopters there. The correct type for that year would be Bell 205 (UH1D or H) models. The error can be easily spotted by the twin engine configuration the Model 212 has as opposed to the single enginged 205. See more »


Col. Cal Rhodes: [Introducing the Vietnamese cook to the men at the Texas training camp] Oh, this is Mr. Ky. We'll be eating nothing but Vietnamese food from now on.
Col. Cal Rhodes: [All the men groan disapprovingly] We don't want to be tramping through the jungles, smelling like Americans.
See more »


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


Written and Performed by Ray Kennedy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best underrated Vietnam flick and the best early work from my favorite young Patrick Swayze his best film
9 October 2016 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Uncommon Valor (1983) is a underrated Vietnam war flick that I have grown up with it, it is one of the best classic Vietnam films from Patrick Swayze, alongside with Gene Hackman! I really love this film to death. I grew up watching this movie it was all time my favorite war film. This movie was made before Missing in Action and Rambo: First Blood Part II was released. This film shows a great courage and heroism to US soldiers who served in Vietnam who were missing in action and were held captive in Vietnam camps. This movie is about a U.S. Marine officer who puts together a team of Vietnam vets who served in Vietnam and he try's to rescue his son, who he believes is among those still held in Laos after the Vietnam War. Directed by Ted Kotcheff who previously directed First Blood (1982). I used to had this movie on VHS but I don't have it anymore and I can't get the Blu-ray because it is not released yet. This is my first number 1 Patrick Swayze movie he ever made. It is his best work from the 80's, even tough he had a small role. I really had a blast and fun watching him in this movie, playing a Marine Kevin Scott.

"Boy, you just bought the whole can of whup-ass!" "Boy, you usin' that oriental martial bulls**t on me's gonna get real expensive."

Plot: Ten years after his son went MIA in Vietnam, U.S.Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in POW camps in Laos.

What I love about this movie is: you have a solid excellent cast: Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, Fred Ward, Reb Brown, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Harold Sylvester, Tim Thomerson and Robert Stack. This is a fantastic war movie, it has drama, action and humor. This film has it all and it done so well with it is heart sleeve. I don't understand why this movie is so underrated and forgotten, like no one mentions this movie today. This was Randall "Tex" Cobb's second film later he played another Vietnam vet in MacGyver (1985) Season 3 Episode 16 (1987), I love the fight scene between Sailor (Randall "Tex" Cobb) and Kevin Scott (Patrick Swayze), Swayze using his martial arts on Sailor was epic, fantastic. This is my favorite best scene in the film ever, and I love Sailor's dialogue I absolutely love everything about this movie!

You have a training sequences, you have a real mission with a real Viet Congs. You have a beautiful music theme song from James Horner which I love it and I love the song Brothers in the Night by Ray Kennedy. This film was filmed and released in the year 1983, that year when I was born. This film is the first and the best 'Vietnam rescue mission' movie. I have the film in my top list for a long time. Sad that out of the cast, the youngest, Patrick Sawyze, is the only one of the team who is dead in real life. Its a great movie, good script, well directed action and nicely rounded characters that live with you well after the movie is over.

I really love Patrick Swayze, who was US marine in this movie and he was kicked out of the unit for striking a radio operator who fall a sleep. I love Patrick's character Kevin Scott, I love Reb Brown in this movie as Blaster. But I love to death Randall "Tex" Cobb as Sailor, I love this character to death! I love Fred Ward as Wilkes, he was a Tunnel rat, he doesn't like close spaces, after the fight with Kevin and Sailor we found Kevin's story, why he want's to be In this mission, it is because his father was shot down in Vietnam and he is missing in action. I love how Patrick kills one of the Viet Congs, he saves on the end Charts (Tim Thomerson). He cared about Sailor when he was killed.

In this movie we also have Kwan Hi Lim from Magnum P.I. who played Lieutenant Yoshi Tanaka the actor is also dead from this movie who sadly passed away in 2008. This movie has beautiful acting, it is more smarter Vietnam war film. I think it is very underrated and unappreciated.

Again it is my favorite fourth Vietnam film, the first three will always be Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and we Were Soldiers. Uncommon Valor is my fourth favorite Vietnam War film.

R.I.P. - Patrick Swayze (1952 - 2009) I really miss you so much and I wish you could do more bad ass action movies, I am your biggest fan and so was my mom we all miss you and we all love you, I love you to death! Uncommon Valor (why doesn't THAT film get the cult/appreciation/notice of this POS), Steel Dawn (underrated), Road House and Black Dog are my top 4 favorite Patrick Swayze movies he ever did! This movie get's 10 out 10 the best underrated Vietnam movie ever made!

Uncommon Valor is a 1983 war film written by Joe Gayton and directed by Ted Kotcheff, about a U.S. Marine officer who puts together a team to try to rescue his son, who he believes is among those still held in Laos after the Vietnam War.

10/10 Score: Bad Ass Seal Of Approval Studio: Paramount Pictures Starring: Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, Fred Ward, Reb Brown, Randall "Tex" Cobb, Harold Sylvester, Tim Thomerson, Robert Stack, Kwan Hi Lim, Lau Nga Lai Director: Ted Kotcheff Producers: David Brown, Michael Tolkin, Nick Wechsler, Buzz Feitshans, John Milius Screenplay: Joe Gayton Story by Wings Hauser Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 45 Mins. Box Office: $30,503,151

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