5.4/10
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29 user 18 critic

Platoon Leader (1988)

R | | War, Drama | October 1988 (USA)
A young officer, just out of West Point is sent to Vietnam, where the men don't respect him until he gets wounded and returns to be a wiser soldier and a better commander

Director:

Aaron Norris

Writers:

Andrew Deutsch (screenplay), Rick Marx (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Dudikoff ... Lt. Jeff Knight
Robert F. Lyons ... Sgt. Michael McNamara
Michael DeLorenzo ... Raymond Bacera
Jesse Dabson ... Joshua Parker
Rick Fitts ... Sgt. Robert Hayes
Tony Pierce Tony Pierce ... Jan Shultz
Daniel Demorest Daniel Demorest ... Duffy
Brian Libby ... Sgt. Roach
Michael Rider ... Pvt. Don Pike
William Smith ... Major Flynn
Al Karaki Al Karaki ... Kemp
Evan J. Klisser Evan J. Klisser ... Larsen
Evan Barker Evan Barker ... Klinski
A.J. Smith A.J. Smith ... Lt. Riley
Dean Raphael Ferrandini ... Medic
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Storyline

West Point graduate lieutenant Jeff Knight meets cynicism when taking command of sergeant Michael McNamara's tour veterans platoon in a Vietnamese trench camp. Unlike his predecessor, who hid till the end of his tour, Jeff takes charge, experiences the manual doesn't allow coping with all realities and gets wounded. He returns, now fully respect by men and superiors. Besides the Vietcong, the platoon wrestles with the inscrutable villagers, which the GIs officially protect, but also fear as some collaborate with them, other covertly with the Cong, either way subject to bloody reprisals. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

War is hell. This was worse...

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nam See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,348,771

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,348,771
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The only film directed by Aaron Norris to not have his brother Chuck Norris in it. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Jeff Knight: What's it like?
Sgt. Michael McNamara: What's it like?
Sgt. Michael McNamara: You go out on patrol, and you kill a few of them.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: Then they kill a few of yours.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: Then you go back to base.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: Eat.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: Sleep.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: Next day, same thing.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: Before you know it, you're either dead, or you're going home.
Sgt. Michael McNamara: It's good.
See more »


Soundtracks

Move It On Over
Written by Del Shannon and Dennis Coffey
Performed by Del Shannon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not prepared for the rules in Vietnam
10 August 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I guess to capitalize on the critical and financial success of Oliver Stone's Platoon, this other film Platoon Leader was made. Though hardly a classic, Platoon Leader is a film with grit and guts like it took to be in Vietnam and never knowing who to trust.

Michael Dudikoff is the newly minted lieutenant straight from West Point where classes on classic military theory don't prepare you for jungle warfare in Vietnam. But he's a quick learner and not eager to breakdown and spend the war in the dugout the way his predecessor did.

Like Platoon the men don't respect the newby until he's bloodied. Once he is and shows willingness to learn he earns the respect of platoon sergeant Robert F. Lyons on down.

In addition to Platoon some aspects of John Wayne's Green Berets are seen in Platoon Leader. The night attack on the base by the Viet Cong scene is almost a copy of one from Green Berets.

I should also single out Michael DeLorenzo who gets through his days in Vietnam with a little help from illegal pharmaceuticals. He's a most unmilitary soldier and his is a tragic end.

The best war films are usually with lots of historical perspective after the conflict. Platoon Leader is no exception.


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