Lt. Col. Iceal "Ham" Hambleton is a weapons countermeasures expert and when his aircraft is shot over enemy territory the Air Force very much wants to get him back. Hambleton knows the area he's in is going to be carpet-bombed but a temporary shortage of helicopters causes a delay. Working with an Air Force reconnaissance pilot, Capt. Bartholomew Clark, he maps out an escape route based on golf courses he has played. Along the way however, he has to face enemy forces and the death of some of his fellow soldiers.Written by
Bat 21 was the call sign of Hambleton's EB-66 Destoyer. Hambleton's personal call sign for that mission was Bat-21-Bravo, which was based on the plane's call sign. See more »
The "Jolly Green Giant" helicopter is actually a Siskorsky S-61, a type built for the U.S. Navy. The Siskorsky HH3-F was used by the U.S. Air Force and featured a ramp at the rear of the fuselage. The S-61 did not have a ramp. See more »
Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton:
Bird Dog, I killed a man today. He wasn't even a soldier; he just kept coming. I couldn't stop him. I didn't want to do it. I never had to do anything like that before in my life.
Capt. Bartholomew Clark:
Listen here, Bat 21. I never met you, but you don't sound like a killer to me. I'm sure you couldn't stop it from happening.
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I bought this 80's Vietnam movie ('based on a true story') in the $4.99 bin at the grocery store, staring Gene Hackman as a missile intelligence Lt. Col. and Danny Glover as a reconnaissance pilot. The main story is that Hackmann gets shot down in enemy land and has to try to survive on the VC infested ground until the choppers can pick him up, something as a mere war 'strategist' behind the front lines he's never has to do before. The whole movie is basically him in radio contact with the pilot Glover and their emotional-moral dialog...think Bruce Willis' character is Die Hard's relationship with Reginald VelJohnson, it's like that but the centerpiece of the movie.
It's a good patriotic story that has a more or less balanced and realistic portrayal of the war; the American's knowingly and reluctantly firebomb a village with civilians, but the VC sadistically kill wounded American soldiers, all based in reality. I didn't really recognize any of the other cast members, and the director it seems mostly does TV stuff. The movie was filmed in Malaysia, and has a lot of great helicopter footage. The napalm scenes are extensive and well done. More of a story about a man's personal struggle than a straight forward kill the bad guys plot, but definitely worth checking out and is fast paced action.
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