6.7/10
23,142
116 user 32 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)

Photos

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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 Infantry 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 shredded hamburger meat. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

While the rest of the world wondered why, the Screamin' Eagles fought and died in the fiercest battle of America's bloodiest war. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The closing credits include a famous poem about the war written by Major Michael Davis O'Donnell on January 1, 1970. O'Donnell was declared missing in action on March 24, 1970 after piloting a helicopter on an extraction mission inside Cambodia. He was declared killed in action in 1978. His remains were recovered and identified with DNA testing many years later, and were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 2001. See more »

Goofs

None of the F-4 jet aircraft that 'bombed' the Hill numerous times had any bombs on them. Any ordnance on an F-4 is visible, those pictured had none, not even wing (fuel) tanks. See more »

Quotes

Motown: It don't mean nothing, man. Not a thing.
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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 Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town
Performed by Waylon Jennings
Courtesy of RCA Records, a label of BMG Music
Written by Mel Tillis
See more »

User Reviews

One of the best Vietnam War movies
2 March 2002 | by wildcatt268See all my reviews

This is one of the very best and most realistic movies on the Vietnam War. There is no politicizing angst like "Platoon" and no flights of fantasy and metaphysics like "Full-Metal Jacket" or "Apocalypse Now". Those movies were too full of themselves and their "message" (and Oliver Stone, in particular, sought more to advance his political viewpoints by distortion rather than show realistic combat). These guys in the 101st Airborne were engaged in a brutal, actual battle. From the first ambush scene through each of the assaults on the hill, realism was achieved. The North Vietnamese hiding safe in their bunkers during air-strikes, only to emerge and start shooting and rolling grenades down the hill again on the paratroopers--all real. The conversations among the troops, about what they would do when they got home, what kind of car they would buy, are all typical of what I remember from my year over there in the infantry. There was no pontificating about good and evil as with Oliver Stone's much overrated "Platoon". Most of all, it showed guys trying just to take care of each other, while still carrying on with a meat-grinder of a mission. The actors were all virtually unknown at the time this was made, but acquitted themselves well. This movie was unfortunately underpromoted and slipped virtually unnoticed through the theaters, leaving most of us to catch it in the video stores. I am glad I came across it. If you missed this one, go rent it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

28 August 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hamburger Hill See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,360,705, 30 August 1987

Gross USA:

$13,839,404

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,839,404
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Pictures See more »
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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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