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A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writer:

Oliver Stone
Reviews
Popularity
584 ( 435)
Top Rated Movies #187 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Sgt. Barnes
Keith David ... King
Willem Dafoe ... Sgt. Elias
Forest Whitaker ... Big Harold
Francesco Quinn ... Rhah
Kevin Dillon ... Bunny
John C. McGinley ... Sgt. O'Neill
Reggie Johnson ... Junior
Mark Moses ... Lt. Wolfe
Corey Glover ... Francis
Johnny Depp ... Lerner
Chris Pedersen ... Crawford
Bob Orwig ... Gardner
Corkey Ford Corkey Ford ... Manny
David Neidorf ... Tex
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Storyline

Chris Taylor is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two non-commissioned officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin. A line is drawn between the two NCOs and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon. Written by Jeremy Thomson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vietnam war | vietnam | 1960s | gore | afi | See All (101) »

Taglines:

The first casualty of war is innocence.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Platoon See more »

Filming Locations:

Luzon, Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$241,080, 21 December 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$138,530,565
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale,Cinema 86 See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

With this movie, Oliver Stone became the first Vietnam veteran to direct a major motion picture about the Vietnam War. He was already the first Vietnam veteran to win an Oscar, for Midnight Express (1978), and became, with this film, the first Vietnam vet to win an Oscar for Best Director. As of 2016, he is the last veteran of any war to win an Oscar for Best Director, other than Clint Eastwood, who served in the Army during the Korean War, but never went to South Korea. See more »

Goofs

When King is getting ready to board the helicopter to take him back to the rear before the final battle, he places two 100 round belts of M-60 ammo over his shoulder and chest. In reality, he would not be taking ammo back to the rear with him. The soldiers in the field would have taken it for use in a future enemy encounter. He, also, had a water proof bag in his hand that he would not have carried like a laundry bag in the field. It would have been inside his rucksack. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pvt. Gardner: [seeing body bags] Oh, man. Is that what I think it is?
Sergeant: All right, you cheese-dicks, welcome to the Nam. Follow me!
See more »

Alternate Versions

TV version has much of its dialogue redubbed and shots refilmed, replacing such lines as "He thinks he's Jesus F---in' Christ!" with "He thinks he's George Freakin' Washington!" See more »

Connections

Featured in The Greatest Ever War Films (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

ADAGIO FOR STRINGS
Written by Samuel Barber
Arranged and Conducted by Georges Delerue
Used by arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Perfection... or as close to it as we're ever likely to see
28 April 2004 | by blinkchesterSee all my reviews

Its hard to know where to start with such a breathtaking film. Oliver Stone's Platoon is quite simply the best Vietnam war film ever made in my opinion. Everything about it is as close to perfection as we are likely to see. Charlie Sheen plays the lead, and Willem Defoe and Tom Berenger play the two sergeants that form a key part of the plot.

Chris Taylor (Sheen) is torn between the sergeants. Barnes (Berenger) is the battle hardened, brutal murderer, who uses the war as an excuse to tender to his sadistic pleasures. Elias (Defoe) is the other side of the spectrum. We get the sense that he has wrestled with his inner demons, but he has successfully come through to the other side. He has compassion for his fellow man, and he uses drugs as a form of escapism from this brutal war. The two symbolise the struggle that Taylor must face if he is to survive out in Vietnam.

Oliver Stone perfectly captures war. The shooting is frantic and impossible to follow. It perfectly disorientates us, just as the soldiers were. We have no idea who is being shot at, and neither do they. We follow the war at ground level, and see the brutalities first hand. Having served in Vietnam, the film is loosely based on Stone's time out there, and Taylor loosely based on himself.

Full Metal Jacket showcases how inhumane the war was, Apocalypse Now turns it into a story about life in general, and hopelessness, but Platoon has everything. Trying hard to avoid the old cliché, but if you only watch one war film, make sure it is this one. Nothing else can come close.


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