17 user 4 critic

Purple Hearts (1984)

In middle of the Vietnam War, a Navy surgeon and a nurse fall in love. Their affection for one another provides a striking contrast to the violence of warfare.


Sidney J. Furie




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Wahl ... Don Jardian
Cheryl Ladd ... Deborah Solomon
Stephen Lee ... Wizard
Annie McEnroe ... Hallaway
Paul McCrane ... Brenner
Cyril O'Reilly ... Zuma
David Harris ... Hanes
Hillary B. Smith ... Jill (as Hillary Bailey)
R. Lee Ermey ... Gunny (as Lee Ermey)
Drew Snyder ... Lt. Col. Larimore
Lane Smith ... Cmdr. Markel
James Whitmore Jr. James Whitmore Jr. ... Bwana
Kevin Alyn Elders Kevin Alyn Elders ... CIA Driver (as Kevin Elders)
Sydne Squire Sydne Squire ... Nurse (as Sydney Squire)
David Brass David Brass ... Lt. Grayson (as David Bass)


It's sometime during the Vietnam War. Lieutenant Don Jardian of the US Navy, who would have just started a lucrative medical practice if he was still in the States funded in large part by his girlfriend Jill's father, is entering his third month working as a surgeon at a mobile hospital unit in Vietnam. While working hard to do whatever he can to ensure that anyone on his operating table makes it home with a Purple Heart instead of in a body bag, he admits that his emotions to the people he sees on his operating table has been numbed due to the overall horrors of the war. In accompanying one of those patients to the naval hospital in Da Nang, he encounters Lieutenant Deborah Solomon, a surgical nurse at that hospital, she who, for the first time since he's arrived at Vietnam, makes him "feel" again. In falling for Deborah, Don does whatever he can to go back to Da Nang over and over again with the intent purpose to see her. Conversely, Deborah is slower to succumb to her attraction to... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Dr. Don Jardian. Age: 29. Surgeon. Drafted. Vietnam. Nothing could have prepared him for the danger, the fear, the violence ... or the woman.


Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The picture opens with a dedication to the 347,304 Purple Heart recipients from the Vietnam War. See more »


In the opening scene Gunny (Lee Ermy) can be heard giving instructions to his men and a new Lieutenant on a UH1 (Huey) helicopter as it lands in a rice paddy with two or three others. There'd be little point in trying to speak to someone on a Huey in flight. The noise anywhere near a Huey is so loud you can't hear yourself speak let alone anyone else. See more »


[first lines]
Gunny: All right men, this is supposed to be a secure area. But chances are there's VC all over the goddamn place. As soon as you hit the deck I want to see nothing but assholes and elbows heading for that tree line.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film is dedicated to the 347,309 Americans who received the Purple Heart awarded for wounds suffered in the Vietnam Conflict See more »


Referenced in Misery (1990) See more »

User Reviews

I like Purple Hearts (1984)
10 November 2015 | by davidevans-36321See all my reviews

I have heard that this film got some negative reviews when it came out. I am not surprised. It was not politically correct in a movie about this war to present those who served as other than crazies, drug users, etc. The large majority of us weren't. This is not a great film. But. I think it is a really good one. I served in the Navy, and spent time in Vietnam, including at Da Nang (1972). I will tell you that a lot of what you see in this film is fairly realistic, or at least is far more so than what is seen in most "Vietnam movies." I think Cheryl Ladd played a main role in getting this film made. She, Ken Wahl, and the rest of the cast did a first class job. She and they showed high integrity in this film. Another thing different about this film than 90% of the American movies that were made about this war is that it respects those who served. You will care about these characters. It also happens to be a great love story.

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English | Vietnamese | Spanish

Release Date:

31 August 1984 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Soldier See more »

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Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

The Ladd Company See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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