Edit
Platoon (1986) Poster

(1986)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (10)
According to Oliver Stone, he intentionally cast Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe against type (Berenger, who played the ruthless, sadistic Sergeant Barnes, was mostly famous at that point for playing good guys, while Dafoe, who had primarily played villains up until then, played the heroic, compassionate Sergeant Elias). The casting worked, and both men received Oscar nominations for their work.
535 of 538 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In a television interview, Charlie Sheen credited Keith David with saving his life. While shooting in an open-door Huey gunship, the helicopter banked too hard and Sheen was thrown towards - and would have gone through - the open door. David grabbed him and pulled him back in.
400 of 404 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In many U.S. military leadership classes, the character of Lieutenant Wolfe is used as an example of how not to behave as a junior officer.
263 of 265 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to his DVD commentary, the scene in which Chris saves a Vietnamese girl from being raped was inspired by an incident in which Oliver Stone intervened in an assault on a villager in Vietnam.
361 of 365 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Director Oliver Stone was very rough and abusive in his treatment of the actors during filming. According to John C. McGinley, everyone hated Stone for the entire duration of the shoot, but this was Stone's specific aim, in order to expose the cast to something resembling the horrors of war and get the most realistic performances. Most cast and crew members agree that Stone's behavior sometimes bordered on psychotic, from a combination of sleep deprivation, post-traumatic stress disorder and the intensity of the shoot itself. The editor claimed that one day, Stone yelled at him for taking away footage of a scene that they hadn't even shot yet. Johnny Depp recalled that during one particularly stressful scene, he was so intimidated by Stone's aggressive behavior that he came close to vomiting. Stone still insisted on a second take.
221 of 223 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone wrote the first draft of "Platoon" in 1971, and sent it to Jim Morrison in hopes that he would play the part Charlie Sheen would ultimately play. Morrison had the script on him when he was found dead in Paris. It is unknown whether he would have been cast had he lived. However, Stone eventually made "The Doors (1991)" based on Morrison's life.
468 of 477 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Technical advisor Dale Dye was also the door-gunner on one of the Hueys after the church ambush. He made sure that his visor was down to disguise the identity of the gunner, as Dye also played Captain Harris.
100 of 100 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Before shooting commenced, all of the actors had to undergo an intensive two-week basic training in the Philippines under the supervision of military adviser Dale Dye. Oliver Stone's intention was not to have the men bond and act as one unit, but to deprive them of sleep, and make them utterly exhausted, so that they would be burnt out, and therefore in character.
209 of 212 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Originally, Charlie Sheen was turned down for the main role of Chris, because it was felt he was too young for the part. His older brother Emilio Estevez was offered the part, but the project fell apart due to financial problems. Two years later, the project was given the go-ahead, but Estevez had already committed to other projects. Charlie Sheen again read for the part, and won it.
202 of 205 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Special packs of Marlboro cigarettes were made for the movie on the insistence of Oliver Stone, who wanted the cherry-red color on the pack to more closely match those made during the late 1960s.
165 of 167 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The movie poster depicting Elias with his hands in the air is a recreation of a 1968 photograph by Art Greenspon. This photograph was recognized as the thirteenth greatest military photograph in a September 2000 issue of the Army/Navy/AF Time.
260 of 265 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Several of the actors wrote messages on their helmets worn throughout the movie. Charlie Sheen's helmet reads, "When I die, bury me upside-down, so the world can kiss my ass", while Johnny Depp's simply reads, "Sherilyn", a tribute to Sherilyn Fenn, whom Depp was dating at the time. Mark Moses (Lieutenant Wolfe) had on his helmet a drawing of MAD magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman with the phrase "What, me worry?" and, according to Tom Berenger, this caused Oliver Stone to laugh hysterically once during filming.
259 of 264 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The U.S. Department of Defense declined to cooperate in the making of the film. Military equipment was loaned from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
158 of 160 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Aside from editing the film (and winning an Oscar for her work), Claire Simpson also suggested to Oliver Stone that he use Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" over some of the more emotional footage.
157 of 159 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
At one point, a character is warned not to drink from a river because he might get malaria. During filming, Willem Dafoe got thirsty and drank water from a river, not knowing that a dead pig was not far upstream. He was sick for 24 hours, but not with malaria.
282 of 288 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Vietnam banned the film because of its depiction of the Vietnamese. Malaysia banned it for excessive profanity and violence.
251 of 256 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
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.
248 of 253 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Some of the Vietnamese cast members were actually tourists who were vacationing in the Philippines at the time. The Vietnamese villagers were played by real Vietnamese refugees living in the Philippines.
186 of 189 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Toward the end of the film, when the reinforcements arrive after the battle, Rhah (Francesco Quinn) reaches into a dead VC's breast pocket, pulls something out, and keeps it, while looking around nervously. The item he is removing is heroin, which VC soldiers used as a painkiller. Many heroin-addicted U.S. troops did the same thing. The scene implies that Rhah's mystical quality is a symptom of a larger problem.
286 of 293 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The final battle in the movie was a recreation of an actual event that was witnessed by technical advisor Dale Dye, who was a combat correspondent with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines.
133 of 135 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the opening credits, Big Harold (Forest Whitaker) falls and rolls down a hill. Whitaker claims it was a real, unintentional fall.
182 of 186 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Prior to the scene where Elias' half of the platoon is smoking marijuana, the actors actually did smoke marijuana. Unfortunately for them, Willem Dafoe reported, by the time the stage was set and they actually filmed everyone had come off their high and felt awful.
275 of 283 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Tom Berenger lost 28 pounds during the pre-filming boot camp. Filming for the movie began the day after the camp ended. Oliver Stone didn't want the actors to lose their edge.
125 of 127 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Roger Ebert said in his review: "François Truffaut once said that it was impossible to make an anti-war film; that the act of depicting war, glorified it and ended up making it look like fun. I wish he had lived to see Platoon. Here is a movie shot at the ground level, from the infantryman's point of view, and it does not make war look like fun."
199 of 204 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Drawn from Oliver Stone's own personal experiences as an Army combat infantryman in Vietnam. He wrote it quickly upon his return from action, and partly to counter the false depiction of war he had seen in John Wayne's "The Green Berets (1968)."
192 of 197 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Military advisor Dale Dye witnessed Oliver Stone suffer an attack of post-traumatic stress disorder on-set while filming the village scene. He claimed that they had a good cry together afterwards, based on their mutual experience in Vietnam.
192 of 197 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
First part of Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy. The other two are Heaven & Earth (1993) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Many of the Platoon (1986) actors have bit parts in "Born."
91 of 92 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dale Dye's wife Katherine was the Vietnamese woman who was thrown into a mass grave by two American soldiers after the final battle.
86 of 87 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone considered casting Johnny Depp for the lead role of Private Chris Taylor, but Depp was too young for the part, and unknown at the time. Stone said that Depp would someday become a huge star, and is thus one of the first filmmakers who introduced Johnny Depp to Hollywood.
259 of 268 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Tom Berenger's life-like scar required three hours of make-up work every day of shooting.
192 of 198 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The movie is narrated by Charlie Sheen, eerily echoing his father Martin Sheen's narration of "Apocalypse Now (1979)," also filmed extensively in the Philippines.
230 of 238 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
All of the actors had to endure a harsh fourteen-day boot camp in the Philippines before the shooting of the film commenced. The actors were given military haircuts, were required to stay in character throughout the camp, ate only military rations, were not allowed to shower or use toilets, had to carry real weight, slept in the jungle, and even had rotations for night watch. Military adviser Dale Dye also simulated several combat situations to teach the actors how to respond under intense stress, and had many conversations with the cast about PTSS and the sensation of being shot.
170 of 175 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone originally was looking for a Native American actor to play Sergeant Elias. When he failed to do so, he cast Willem Dafoe instead. Several scenes with Elias reflect Stone's original idea of the Native American spirit embodying Elias.
116 of 119 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dale Dye is in a body bag being taken off a truck at the start of the film.
88 of 90 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Johnny Depp says when he left for the Philippines for this movie at the age of 22, it was his first time out of the United States.
156 of 162 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Shot in only 54 days.
139 of 144 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Sandy and Sal search the bunker, they come across a box full of maps and "S2 stuff". "S2" was, and is, Military Intelligence, meaning those papers would be handed over to S2 for analysis, after the platoon's return to base.
55 of 56 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The cast and crew arrived in the Philippines in early 1986, just before the Edsa Revolution of 1986, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos. Willem Dafoe said that a day or two after he arrived in Manila, he awoke to see a column of tanks rolling down the streets. He was told that the movie was probably canceled, and that certainly no one could leave the country. Director Oliver Stone reportedly had to bribe the new government to allowing them to start filming.
82 of 85 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The Vietnamese child that Kevin Dillon and Charlie Sheen shoot at had cataracts, but his family was too poor to pay for treatment. Reportedly, Dillon and Sheen felt so bad about this that they pooled money together so that the boy could have surgery.
34 of 34 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone had an actual RPG fired towards the end. This added to the effect's realism.
85 of 89 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Bunny tries to encourage Junior by saying "You're hanging out with Audie Murphy here my man!". Audie Murphy was one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War II. He received the Medal of Honor, and at least 32 other medals during his war-career. Murphy became a household name after he was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in 1945, and his subsequent movie roles.
72 of 75 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone at one point wanted Mickey Rourke for Sergeant Barnes, and Nick Nolte as the experienced Sergeant Elias. Both were offered the parts, and both turned them down.
100 of 106 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In one scene Sgt. Barnes dismisses marijuana ( "I don't need this shit") while taking a swig of whiskey. This reflects Oliver Stone's personal beliefs that the soldiers who smoke marijuana were more stable than the ones who drank alcohol.
41 of 42 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Most of the voices heard over the radios are provided by Dale Dye.
64 of 67 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
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).
64 of 67 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When they are cleaning the latrines, you can hear "Good morning Vietnam". A recording of the real Cronauer. This film came out a year before that movie.
39 of 40 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When the platoon meets with their Captain, Barnes refers to him as "dai uy" (pronounced die wee) which is Vietnamese for "Captain".
38 of 39 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sergeant Barnes drags two women out of a hole in the village and asks Tony for a "Willie Pete" grenade, which he throws into the hole. "Willie Pete" is slang for "White Phosphorus" (WP), more specifically, the M34 White Phosphorus Smoke Grenade. It was frequently used in the Vietnam War, due to its effectiveness in confined spaces, such as bunkers and tunnels. The burning white phosphorus absorbs oxygen, causing the victims to suffocate, or suffer serious burns.
36 of 37 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The character of Bunny takes at least some of his lines and characteristics from the book 'Nam by Mark Baker. 'Nam is a collection of first hand accounts of soldiers who were in the Vietnam War, first published in the early 1980s. The line, "The only worry you had was dying, and if that happened, you wouldn't know it anyway. So, what the fuck?" comes directly from the "Baptism of Fire" chapter of the book (page 67). In addition, a soldier in the "Grunts" chapter of the book "had a scalp hanging off his helmet" at the back, as does the character of Bunny in the film.
55 of 58 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
By the end of production, it only took half an hour to apply Tom Berenger's facial scarring. Berenger would only wear it when necessary, as it ended up hurting his face.
45 of 47 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sergeant Barnes threatens Junior with a court-martial. To which Junior responds: "Send me to f*cking Long Binh". Long Binh Jail was a U.S. military stockade in Vietnam, established in 1966, for soldiers guilty of military offenses. It was located about 33 kilometers from Saigon (modern day Ho Chi Minh city).
32 of 33 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
On the Jay Mohr podcast, Charlie Sheen said that the intensity Tom Berenger brought to his role of Sergeant Barnes was the result of a recent divorce.
66 of 71 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The part of Sergeant Barnes was originally offered to Kevin Costner. He turned it down because he didn't want to disrespect his brother, who was a Vietnam veteran. Oliver Stone would later cast him in "JFK (1991)."
73 of 79 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Before Sergeant Barnes goes after Elias, Barnes threatens to "Article 15" Taylor unless they return to the base camp. Article 15 is a section of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that allows superiors to mete out non-judicial punishment under certain conditions. Specifically, it spells out U.S. Military punishment for serious insubordination.
65 of 70 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Just before the initiation of the end fight, an NVA soldier is seen planting a yellow "axe" made of bamboo. The "axe" was a pointer to guide the NVA soldiers to the American base.
87 of 95 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
At one point, Junior and several other black soldiers are talking about the situation in the platoon. Sergeant Warren remarks that they should trust Barnes, while Junior retorts that Warren's ideas of a good leader may be contaminated by the "shit" he "shoots up". This is a reference to Sergeant Warren's addiction to morphine, which was left ambiguous in the final movie.
76 of 83 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Because of the film's low budget, cinematographer Robert Richardson had to cut corners. Come the release of the DVD, however, he was able to tweak the hues in the ways he had only imagined before.
44 of 47 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the battle near the church ruins, Big Harold calls out "SHORT!! SHORT ROUNDS!!!" Short Rounds is a term used to describe artillery rounds dropped short of target, and possibly on top of friendly armed forces, another example of Lieutenant Wolfe's incompetence as a combat platoon leader, as he was the one who called in said artillery strike.
44 of 47 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to Charlie Sheen, he kissed the ground when he returned home from filming in the Philippines.
84 of 93 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Platoon (1986) was the third highest grossing film of 1986. Australian hit Crocodile Dundee (1986) was the second biggest film of the year, with Top Gun (1986) coming in first. It took $138.5 million in the U.S.
40 of 43 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Val Kilmer auditioned for the role of Sergeant Elias. According to Oliver Stone, he gave a bizarre audition, where he portrayed the character as an Indian shaman.
64 of 71 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Keanu Reeves and John Cusack both turned down the part of Chris Taylor.
45 of 49 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Denzel Washington lobbied for the role of Sergeant Elias.
74 of 83 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
One of three Vietnam-based films released within nine months of each other in 1986-87. The other two were Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987) and John Irvin's Hamburger Hill (1987).
55 of 61 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone remembered that while casting the movie, Kris Kristofferson was thrown around by some as a potential Sergeant Elias, since he was in real life close to the character in type, and had been an Airborne Ranger. Stone, however, was not keen, as Kristofferson was "way too old", and had not had a hit movie since "Convoy (1978)."
49 of 54 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
It was during this shoot that Oliver Stone presented Charlie Sheen with a handwritten contract to sign for his next movie Wall Street (1987).
35 of 38 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Sergeant Elias, in addition to the 25th Infantry Division patch on his left sleeve, also has 1st Cavalry Division insignia on his right; known as Shoulder Sleeve Insignia- Former Wartime Service or SSI-FWS, indicating the wearer served with that unit during a combat rotation. The 1st Cavalry Division was in fact the first American division to see major action in the Vietnam War, and in this case, Elias may have been a participant in those battles. Elias makes a reference while talking with Chris about Ia Drang in '65, which is a reference to the battle involving the fight at LZ-X-ray. The battle included a squadron of the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division and is the main focus of the book by Lieutenant General Hal Moore and Joseph Galloway titled, "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young" on which the movie by the same title was based. Elias also seems to have been Airborne-qualified, as he has the Airborne tab on his headband.
40 of 44 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
James Woods turned down a role, saying he "couldn't face going into another jungle with Oliver Stone."
61 of 69 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Another reference to Sherilyn Fenn can be seen on Johnny Depp's guitar in the scene where they are smoking marijuana: the carved initials S.F.
33 of 36 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone personally detonated the pyrotechnic explosions for shots in which the camera is moving, so the timing of the explosions would occur when he wanted.
27 of 29 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone suggested that the cast and crew camp out on-location while filming an early scene on a hill they could only reach by hiking in. Everyone agreed to that at first, but that night, after hiking up the hill and finishing their day's work, everyone ran back down to the valley.
37 of 41 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Several times in the movie, a character will use the phrase "xin loi" (pronounced zin-loy). This is Vietnamese for (roughly) "Sorry about that".
12 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
As Taylor and Gardner arrive in-country, they pass by some troops rotating out. One of them comments "365 and a wakeup". American soldiers arrived in Vietnam on a one year rotation (hence 365), every soldier kept track of how many days he was "short", that is, eligible to DEROS (date eligible to return from overseas service). Your last day was considered a wakeup, as you woke up and rotated home.
12 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Based on Oliver Stone's personal experience during the Vietnam War, and based on a screenplay he finished around 1971. Numerous studios passed on it, until he finally got approval, and starting filming in early 1986.
42 of 48 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
At the initiation of the end fight, Rhah tells Taylor air cover is coming in with "snake and nape", meaning the typical Vietnam CAS load out 250 pound Mk-81 Snakeye bombs, and 500 pound M-47 napalm canisters.
32 of 36 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The dog tags which make up the double O's in the poster for the film are those of Willem Dafoe's character, Sergeant Elias Grodin. Grodin, Elias K. 3365664125 USKC-987654
48 of 56 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The film's VHS was the first to have a $99.95 MSRP. At the time, VHS releases typically debuted at $89.95 for major films and $69.95-$79.95 for smaller movies.
11 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Oliver Stone worked for producer Dino De Laurentiis on Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Year of the Dragon (1985), on the basis that he would finance this film. However, a string of box office disappointments led to the collapse of Dino's filmmaking operation, and the movie remained in limbo for several years. Ironically, had De Laurentiis produced it, it would probably have saved his studio, as it went on to gross $138.5 million on a budget of just $6 million.
21 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #86 Greatest Movie of All Time.
33 of 38 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, who deemed it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 2019.
10 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Jeff Bridges was considered for Sergeant Elias.
41 of 49 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Forest Whitaker tried to be as bulky as possible to play Big Harold, but the vigorous boot-camping training, bad food and rough shoot caused him to lose a lot of weight. When he noticed Whitaker was getting thinner, Oliver Stone said to him, "What are you doing? You're supposed to be 'Big' Harold".
14 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
John C. McGinley's mother was still recovering from brain surgery during filming. He later said that his manic freak-outs near the end of were mostly real, the result of him mentally trying to cope with the grueling intensity of the shoot.
11 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Very little is known about anyone's life back home. The film states or implies that: only Chris dropped out of college and volunteered for service (his dad served in WWII, his Grandpa served in WWI), O'Neill has a wife or girlfriend, Crawford is a surfer from California, King is from Tennessee, and Gardner has a girl named Lucy Jean.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The last few days Chris is in Vietnam, are stated to be the first few days of 1968. Meaning that he was evacuated shortly before the Tet Offensive, which is considered the major turning point in the War. It's also when the Vietnam scenes of "Full Metal Jacket" begin. "Full Metal Jacket" was released less than a year after "Platoon."
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Features Tom Berenger's only Oscar nominated performance.
13 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Only one-third of Georges Delerue's original music score ended up in the finished film. The rest of the unused material was released twice, first in the 1995 Prometheus records label and then in the 2018 Quartet Records expanded and complete edition. Oliver Stone said that Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings was originally a temp track, which eventually was used, when it turned out to be more effective in its usage than Delerue's own score. Delerue also wrote his own adaptation of Adagio, however, it was rejected because his version was not up to Stone's expectation. His version, especially the finale, was deemed heterophonic (different versions of a melodic line coming in one go), a complete antithesis against Barber's original version that was homophonic (different voices going together in a melodic line). He also acknowledged that some critics had written to him explaining that there were at least three of Delerue's original cues, which they had pointed out, that should have remained in the finished product.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Chris arrived in Vietnam sometime in September 1967 and left in early January 1968. The movie shows three short time periods in that span; his first week when he doesn't know anything and gets wounded in his first combat action. When he returns three weeks later and bonds with many of the guys at the party at base camp. New Year's Day 1968 when they destroy the village, are ambushed the next day, have the climactic battle the next day, and he's evacuated the next. Meaning at most 12 days of his roughly 100 days there are shown.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
At the end of the scene where Willem Dafoe and John C. McGinley are arguing about whose team should have to pull perimeter watch, John C. McGinley's character says, "Guy's in three years and he thinks he's Jesus F'n Christ or something." Dafoe went on to play Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).
71 of 113 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
John Spencer was originally cast as Sergeant O'Neill, and John C. McGinley was originally offered the part of Tony. But Spencer dropped out, and Stone offered McGinley the larger role. Ivan Kane ended up playing Tony.
11 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the cabin, when Junior talks with Bunny, is a pin-up poster by Alberto Vargas dated 10/67.
11 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The film is "Dedicated to the men who fought and died in the Vietnam War".
44 of 70 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The U.S. Army refused to support the film (such as with military equipment) because it was deemed to be overly critical of the Vietnam War.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The line of 'nape' the aircraft drop during the climatic battle used real napalm and was around 300 meters (984 feet) in length.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
First-time credited film role for Francesco Quinn, Bob Orwig, Reggie Johnson, Mark Moses, Corey Glover, Paul Sanchez, Ivan Kane, and several of the other actors in the film.
23 of 35 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Forest Whitaker and Oliver Stone - the latter has a cameo role; and three Oscar nominees: Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and Johnny Depp.
17 of 25 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Keanu Reeves turned down the role of Private Chris Taylor.
31 of 50 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Was #9 on Roger Ebert 's list of the "Best Films of 1980s."
13 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In his DVD commentary, Captain Dale Dye says that one of the biggest problems he faced in the film was the deer Taylor sees after he wakes up after the final battle. According to Dye, the deer would not stay still and would run into the jungle forcing the Captain to wrestle it and get the vegetation out of its antlers. To keep it from running off, they had to tether one of its legs.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Crawford talks about going back to California when he gets out, where "the surfing's gonna be good." In Point Break (1991) he plays a California surfer.
22 of 39 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Kevin Dillon would once again work with Oliver Stone in The Doors (1991) as John Densmore, drummer for the titular band.
13 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The role of Chris was originally offered to Kyle MacLachlan, who turned it down.
21 of 38 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
19 of 35 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A young Ben Stiller auditioned for a part in the movie, but reportedly, director Oliver Stone immediately rejected him before Stiller could even read his lines because he found him "cute". Stiller would later lampoon Stone in a segment of The Ben Stiller Show (1992) called "Oliver Stoneland", and Platoon (1986) itself in Tropic Thunder (2008).
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The rock band Sprung Monkey use a sample of the argument between Barnes, Elias, and the Lieutenant at the village torching scene in their song "Bleeding" from their 1993 album "Situation Life".
8 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
8 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Bunny uses a Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun with open blade sights throughout the film.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Of the entire cast and crew of the film, only three members were actual Vietnam War veterans. Director Oliver Stone, also playing the battalion commander being blown up in the bunker in the final battle. Stone served with the 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Thunder) in 1967-1968. Many scenes in this film were based around his experiences overseas.

Captain Dale Dye served as the film's military adviser and as Captain Harris on screen. He served with the US Marine Corps as a war correspondent and received the Bronze Star Medal for valor and three Purple Hearts.

The last was James Finnerty, serving as the film's key grip. He has a cameo as the pudgy Master Sergeant in the final battle who yells at the two charging North Vietnamese sappers, yelling, "...where the f*ck you going!" before he is shot.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The Ak-47s featured are not Russian-made. At the time of production, Russian AKs were not commercially available in the West. The rifles featured here are Communist Chinese Type 56, a clone of the AK. Though similar in appearance, there are many differences between the two, like the bayonet attached under the barrel that would snap forward and lock around the muzzle. During the Vietnam War, Communist China supplies North Vietnam with thousands of Type 56 rifles and would be used more by the Vietnamese than a Russian-made AK-47.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Thomas F. Wilson was almost cast in the movie. He applied for the role of Sergeant Barnes, but lost out to Tom Berenger.
6 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
John C McGinley and Tony Todd would later appear together as Marines in The Rock (1996)
9 of 17 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Before the final battle, Junior tries to get out of fighting by contracting Trench Foot, only for Sgt. Barnes to threaten him with a court-martial if he does it again. Junior then dares to be sent to Long Binh. The Long Binh Jail, or Long Binh Stoackade, was a military prison 20km north-east of Saigon that housed US military prisoners convicted of various crimes including being AWOL or desertion. Time served in the stockade, called 'Bad Time', did not apply to the soldier's days serving in Vietnam. They would have to make up for it when they were released.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Willem Dafoe is carrying a Cold Steel Tanto taped to his H harness. Berenger is also carrying a Cold Steel push dagger on his as well. Neither of these knives were available during the Vietnam conflict.
10 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Though O'Neill and Barnes are implied to have been friends for some time, even before the war, and are both sergeants, Tom Berenger is actually ten years older than John C. McGinley.
3 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The M1911A1 is the standard sidearm for all of the NCOs and Officers in the film. It is most prominently seen used by SSG Elias (Willem Dafoe) when he does tunnel rat duty and SSG Barnes (Tom Berenger) when he uses it to threaten a little girl in the village to get her father to talk. Historically the M1911 was also carried by private soldiers in the field as a backup weapon - Though this was technically a breach of the military rules of the times very few serious attempts were ever made to prevent the practice.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Charlie Sheen and Keith David would later co-star in Men at Work (1990).
7 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
William Petersen turned down an unspecified role because the filming schedule would have kept him abroad from his family for six weeks. Petersen previously appeared with Willem Dafoe in To Live and Die in L.A. (1985).
6 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The version of "Oh! Susannah!" sung a capella early in the film, as the troops are "humping" along, was sung by Keith David (King).
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
HBO Video was set to release the film on home video in October 1987. The release was delayed due to an extended legal dispute regarding Hemdale's output deal with Orion, and Hemdale's existing contract with Vestron Video to release their films. Ultimately, the case was settled out of court, and HBO distributed the rental version in March 1988, followed by a priced-to-own release from Vestron later that year. The covers are almost identical, with the same black-and-white image and a gold-embossed title. However, the Vestron release has the credits on the front of the box, rather than the back.
4 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Barnes gives Elias' posse a rambling speech where he casually insults them all, calling them a bunch of potheads trying to escape from reality, whereas he 'is reality.' The entire time he's absolutely slugging Jack Daniels and is obviously hammered on the stuff.
4 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Sound.
4 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Virtually the entire movie takes place outdoors. The party in the bunker at Base Camp and Barnes later berating Elias' friends in the same bunker are the only two indoor scenes in the entire movie.
2 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Forrest Whitacker's first Vietnam era movie, the other one was Good Morning Vietnam (1988)
2 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Elias, Barnes and Wolfe are all carrying carbine type variants of the Colt AR-15/M16. The production did not have the cooperation of the US Military, so those depicted were not used in Vietnam. However, beginning in 1966, some special units used the even shorter GAU/5A-A, XM177E1 and XM177E2 variants which had short barrels and larger flash hiders to compensate for the larger muzzle blast and flash. They came to be known as CAR-15's and would continue to be used by Army, Navy and the Air Force into the early 1990's. The M4 Carbine has since become the primary weapon for most infantry units in the military.
3 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the scene where Taylor and King are cleaning the Latrine , on the radio the DJ says good morning Vietnam , Forrest Whitaker was in Good Mornings Vietnam (1988)
1 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Director Cameo 

Oliver Stone: An officer at the bunker that gets destroyed by a suicide runner.
69 of 73 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The movie was filmed nearly sequentially. As soon as their characters were killed in the movie, the actors returned home. The emotion that Charlie Sheen shows in the closing helicopter scene was largely real, knowing that he was finally going home.
233 of 233 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Pockets of fake blood intended to simulate gunshot wounds to Elias' body during the famous "arm-raising" scene malfunctioned and never exploded. However, Willem Dafoe's performance in that take was considered so impressive, that the scene was left as is.
187 of 189 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The paper pinned to Manny's (Corkey Ford's) dead body is a South Vietnam safe conduct pass. These papers were dropped en masse over South Vietnam in an unsuccessful attempt to get the VC and NVA to surrender. The enemy troops are showing their contempt for the Americans by attaching the pass to Manny's corpse.
94 of 95 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
After Taylor (Charlie Sheen) takes his revenge on Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), the other platoon arrives to look for survivors, and someone asks Taylor if he's okay. As he does, Taylor quickly drops a grenade. The script didn't call for it, but Sheen thought his character would be suicidal at that point in the movie. Oliver Stone liked it, and kept it in the movie.
156 of 161 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the aftermath of the end fight, Francis stabs himself in his leg with a knife, in order to get out of Vietnam. When Francis is seen leaving on the medical chopper, Rodriguez is also seen with a bandaged leg, suggesting he too may have stabbed his own leg in order to get out of future military service.
111 of 114 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
For the climactic death sequence of Sgt. Elias, Willem Dafoe was required to detonate "bullet-hit" squibs on his body with a handheld device as he tried to escape enemy fire. It's clear the device is in his left hand as he stumbles along, but he claims it can be seen flying from his hand at one point which would explain why some of the explosives did not go off as planned.
41 of 41 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
As Chris (Charlie Sheen) is flying out at the end of the movie, he says he feels like the child of Barnes and Elias. At the time, he has a wound on his right cheek that resembles Barnes' scar, and is wearing a bandana like Elias.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
King is the only main character from the platoon to be shown leaving Vietnam unscathed. All others are either killed, wounded, or still there by the end of the film.
11 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the immediate aftermath of the ambush battle at the beginning of the film, Barnes finds a wounded VC soldier, and mercilessly put him down by firing a couple rifle rounds into his chest. At the end of the film, Chris puts Barnes down in an identical situation, in a scene that is practically a mirror image of the prior one.
23 of 33 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Red goes to Barnes to try to cash in some leave before the Final Battle, because he has a strong premonition that he isn't going to make it out alive. Barnes denies it as the platoon is very shorthanded. Red is one of the only members to come out completely unscathed, mainly because he hid under a body for the entire battle. As the only remaining sergeant left in the platoon, Captain Harris promptly gives him the newly-deceased Barnes' job as platoon sergeant.
13 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed