6.4/10
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47 user 12 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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Col. Jason Rhodes
... MacGregor
... Wilkes
... Blaster
... Sailor
... Kevin Scott
... Johnson
... Charts
Alice Lau ... Lai Fun (as Lau Nga Lai)
Kwan Hi Lim ... Jiang
Kelly Junkerman ... MacGregor (as Kelly Yunkerman)
... Frank Rhodes
... Helen Rhodes
... Mrs. Wilkes
... 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:

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

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Last River to Cross  »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patrick Swayze replaced James Remar. See more »

Goofs

While in the destroyed village, Johnson explains that Ypres is a town in France where mustard gas was used for the first time by the Germans. Ypres is actually in neighboring Belgium. See more »

Quotes

Col. Cal Rhodes: You know, for years, I couldn't sleep after Korea. My nightmares all had to do with the Chosin Reservoir. The ground there was so frozen, we couldn't bury our dead. We had to pile 'em on trucks and lash them up against the tanks. For years I'd wake up with those dead, frozen faces staring at me.
Wilkes: Did it ever go away?
Col. Cal Rhodes: No... I finally made friends with them, though.
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Connections

Spoofed in Tropic Thunder (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Badman
Written and Performed by Ray Kennedy
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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 See 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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