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Platoon (1986)

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0:31 | Trailer
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
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Popularity
497 ( 223)
Top Rated Movies #214 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith David ... King
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
Tom Berenger ... Sgt. Barnes
Willem Dafoe ... Sgt. Elias
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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

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver Stone wanted James Woods, the star of his previous film Salvador (1986), to have a role in the film. Remembering the hectic, grueling shoot in Mexico, Woods turned Stone down. Woods once said of this, "I couldn't take the mud". Although Woods was later interested in being in JFK (1991), he would not work with Stone again until Nixon (1995). See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie we are informed it is September 1967 (somewhere near the Cambodian Border). Not much later, after Chris returns from his first injury, he is cleaning out the latrines with King and Crawford. King has 39 days left on his tour (unknown end date) and Crawford 92 days (end date April 17 1968). Taylor has 332 days left so he has been there for a little over a month. This means the current date must be somewhere toward the end of October 1967, meaning King's last day should be mid December 1967. And Crawford has a whole lot more than 92 days left. Later on, the bunker and village scene occurs on New Year's Day 1968 (It's important that it occurred at the start of 1968 as this is likely a metaphor for the changing US view of the war both on the home front and at the strategic level. This is the time the platoon clearly begins to disintegrate, and Barnes takes control while the platoon's factions become far more open). In the prelude to the final scene in the movie which occurs during or later than Jan 1968, King exclaims "I'm too short for this s**t" but he gets a lifeline when his home orders come in. Despite being months overdue he is happy when he thinks they have made a mistake in his favour, when in reality he should have been long gone by this point. 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

Referenced in Jesus, Bro! (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

OH! SUSANNA
(1848) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Sung a cappella offscreen by 'Keith David'
See more »

User Reviews

 
One Of The Best Movies Of The 1980s
3 September 2003 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

The 1980s in general and the mid 1980s in particular aren't highly regarded where pop culture is concerned , this is most especially true in cinema where films seemed to be written around their soundtrack in much the same way as Hollywood movies nowadays seem to be written around their special effects . PLATOON is one of the very few films from that period that has an emotional impact , an impact that it still retains while watching it in 2003.

Everyone else seems to have mentioned what makes PLATOON a classic anti-war ( Note it's anti-war , not anti American or anti soldier ) movie along with being a classic movie , so I won't go over old ground except to say THAT death scene is up there with all the other tear jerking scenes from 20th century cinema , don't be ashamed to say you cried

If PLATOON has a flaw it's in its duality , there's the good Sarge/bad Sarge , good officer/bad officer , good white guy/bad white guy , good black guy/bad black boy etc which is maybe a bit clichéd and possibly leads me to believe Stone is making an excuse/reason that the Americans lost in Vietnam because that spent so much fighting each other rather than the VC ( Though I do concede I'm possibly misinterpreting that as an excuse or even a reason since no one will confuse the politics of Stone with the politics of John Wayne ) while Taylor's character comes across as being more of a literary device rather than a real human being , but these are minor flaws

It's a shame to see war films from the last few years devoid of scathing anti-war sentiments like the ones seen here . PLATOON screams at you " War is hell and whatever the rights and wrongs of conflict you need a bloody good reason to wage war . Vietnam wasn't a good enough reason to sacrifice human lives "


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 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

Gross USA:

$138,530,565

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$138,545,632
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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