6.4/10
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51 user 13 critic

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.

Director:

Ted Kotcheff

Writer:

Joe Gayton

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Colonel Braddock launches a mission deep into the jungles of Vietnam to find the POW camp that he escaped from and free the Americans still held captive there.

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Last River to Cross See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Due to the U.S. Government's perception that the film's story was anti-government, the U.S. Department of Defense refused to rent the production military-spec Huey or Jet Ranger helicopters. As such, helicopters were bought and repainted for use in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Gene Hackman's character arrives to pick up the weapons and the police officer tells him that the guns will be confiscated, during two shots we see the truck driving off behind him. See more »

Quotes

Col. Cal Rhodes: We'll need transportation... preferably four-wheel drive.
Wilkes: Buy it or "borrow" it?
Col. Cal Rhodes: Steal the fucker!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Brothers in the Night
Written by Ray Kennedy, Kevin Dukes & David Ritz
Performed by Ray Kennedy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Did this film provide the inspiration for Rambo: First Blood, Part II?
21 October 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Gene Hackman is always a pleasure to watch, and he lifts this implausible POW-rescue escapade with a mature and convincing portrayal of a father strugglingto come to terms with the fact that his son was listed missing-in-action during the Vietnam War. The whole cast is quite impressive actually, consisting of old pros (Hackman and Robert Stack), future stars (Patrick Swayze, Fred Ward) and familiar bit players (Tim Thomerson, Harold Sylvester, Randall Tex Cobb, Reb Brown).

Hackman plays a retired army officer - a veteran of the Korean War - who desperately seeks closure on the matter of his son's disappearance in Vietnam. In the early '80s, he receives photographic evidence that American POWs are still being held in the south-east Asian country of Laos. In fact, one of the prisoners on the photo looks like his son. He assembles a team of ex-Vietnam vets, trains them for a return to combat, and heads off with them to Laos on a clandestine rescue mission.

This film seems to have been the starting point for Chuck Norris's 1984 offering Missing In Action, and Sylvester Stallone's 1985 hit Rambo, First Blood Part II. However, Uncommon Valor is much better than both of those overblown comic-strip follies. Although the action in this movie takes liberties with credibility, the character development is at least quite decent and the mental impact of fighting and losing friends in a war is explored. The cast give good performances (Swayze in particular, still a relative unknown here, gives the best performance of his career to this day). Ted Kotcheff directs well, conveying disparate moods - angst, humour, horror, excitement - very nicely in a variety of scenes.

Uncommon Valor is hard to swallow in terms of believability, but it is a well-made, well-acted and entertaining jungle rescue film.


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