6.7/10
21,150
103 user 28 critic

Hamburger Hill (1987)

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director:

John Irvin

Writer:

James Carabatsos (as Jim Carabatsos)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Barrile Anthony Barrile ... Pvt. Vincent 'Alphabet' Languilli
Michael Boatman ... Pvt. Ray Motown (as Michael Patrick Boatman)
Don Cheadle ... Pvt. Johnny Washburn
Michael Dolan Michael Dolan ... Pvt. Harry Murphy
Don James Don James ... Pvt. Elliott 'Mac' McDaniel
Dylan McDermott ... Sgt. Adam Frantz
Michael A. Nickles ... Pvt. Paul Galvan (as M.A. Nickles)
Harry O'Reilly Harry O'Reilly ... Pvt. Michael Duffy
Daniel O'Shea ... Pvt. Frank Gaigin
Tim Quill ... Pvt. Joe Beletsky
Tommy Swerdlow ... Pvt. Martin Bienstock
Courtney B. Vance ... Spc. Abraham 'Doc' Johnson
Steven Weber ... Sfc. Dennis Worcester
Tegan West Tegan West ... Lt. Terry Eden
Kieu Chinh ... Mama San
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Storyline

A brutal and realistic war film focuses on the lives of a squad of 14 U.S. Army soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infanty Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the brutal 10 day (May 11-20, 1969) battle for Hill 937 in the A Shau Valley of Vietnam as they try again and again to take the fortified hill held by the North Vietnamese, and the faults and casualties they take every time in which the battle was later dubbed "Hamburger Hill" because enemy fire was so fierce that the fusillade of bullets turned assaulting troops into shreded hamburger meat. Written by Matthew Patay <1792a@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War ever filmed . Because it's the only one that's true. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

28 August 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

937: Posición de combate See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,360,705, 30 August 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,839,404
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was released a month after Full Metal Jacket (1987), which also takes place during the Vietnam War, was released. As a result of this, Full Metal Jacket received more notoriety than Hamburger Hill. See more »

Goofs

A gravity bomb or napalm tank is moving at the speed of the plane when released, and only picks up downward velocity at 32.2 ft/sec per second. So it drops 16 ft the first sec, 48 ft the second sec, another 80 ft the 3rd. It's moving forward about 300 mph or 440 ft/sec, roughly the field of vision or six lengths of an F-4 in a second. So the F-4s dropped their loads about a second or over 400 feet before you even see them. The film has it right. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Frantz: Now unass my AO!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The following poem is shown at the beginning of the credits: If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam See more »

Alternate Versions

The Magna Pacific DVD Release: Sep 18, 2002 UPC: 9-315841-999491 is cut as when Duffy kills an NVA soldier with his M-60 the body explodes in gore and when Duffy is then killed by another NVA soldier that soldier is then shot in the back of the head and blood spurts out. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Panting at the Opera (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

I Second That Emotion
Written by Al Cleveland (as Alfred Cleveland) and Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson, Jr.)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The meat grinder effect.
22 May 2015 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Unfairly forgotten and left in the slipstream of critical darlings Platoon and Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill can proudly fly its own worthwhile flag. There's nothing preachy or political here, director John Irvin and writer James Carabatsos approach the subject with a refreshing humane honesty, making us viewers privy to the American soldiers mindset as they cope with life in Vietnam before an assault on some turd pile strategic hill, a battle that the survivors of that particular bloody conflict would call Hamburger Hill.

No matter what one feels about the war, the politics of such etc, the fact that quite often Vietnam films zoom in on the misdemeanours and egotistical sides of the American presence in Vietnam, tends to detract from the bravery of men and boys who were doing the job their government decreed they should do. Hamburger Hill addresses this, proudly so. Pace is deliberate and literate, building up to the assault on Hill 937, with little slices of kinetic action inserted along the way to tantalise and torment in equal measure.

Not all the acting is smart, there's a cast of up and coming thesps on show that features some who have gone on to be "name" actors, while others that were out of their depth subsequently found a level more befitting their abilities. Yet this is also a cunning tactic in the film's favour, no stars needed here, young adult actors without baggage or headlines kind of feels appropriate for this portrayal of soldiers in an alien world, many of whom would lay their shattered bodies down in the mud at Hamburger Hill. 8/10


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