6.5/10
1,321
22 user 7 critic

A Bright Shining Lie (1998)

R | | Drama, War | TV Movie 30 May 1998
Trailer
1:09 | Trailer

On Disc

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True story of Army man John Paul Vann, whose military success provided him the fulfillment he never found in his personal life.

Director:

Terry George

Writers:

Neil Sheehan (book), Terry George (teleplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Paxton ... John Paul Vann
Bo Eason Bo Eason ... Officer Tally
William L. Mansey William L. Mansey ... Officer Conroy
Karina Logue ... Barmaid
Amy Madigan ... Mary Jane Vann
Robert L. Hull Robert L. Hull ... Bureaucrat Soldier
Donal Logue ... Steven Burnett
'Josh' Somsak Orajan 'Josh' Somsak Orajan ... Vann's ARVN Driver
Harve Presnell ... MACV General
Robert John Burke ... Frank Drummond
Bill Whelan Bill Whelan ... Ron Dray
Kay Tong Lim Kay Tong Lim ... Colonel Cao Huynh Van
Seng Kawee Seng Kawee ... VC Leader (as Kawee 'Seng' Sirikhanerut)
Kajie Khan Kajie Khan ... Madame Nhu (as Kajie Kahn)
Vivian Wu ... Lee
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Storyline

Something in his past keeps career Army man John Paul Vann from advancing past colonel. He views being sent to Vietnam as part of the US military advisory force a stepping stone to promotion. However, he disagrees vocally (and on the record) with the way the war is being run and is forced to leave the military. Returning to Vietnam as a civilian working with the Army, he comes to despise some South Vietnamese officers while he takes charge of some of the U.S. forces and continues his liaisons with Vietnamese women. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In war as in life the difference between truth and deception is what a man allows himself to believe.

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for war violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

30 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mentiras de guerra See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amy Madigan and Bill Paxton also appeared together in Streets of Fire (1984). See more »

Quotes

John: It is not true that we are here to solve problems, sir. WE are the problem.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Sorry
Written by Ronnie Self & Dub Allbritten
Performed by Brenda Lee
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under License from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A good effort
24 June 2000 | by jkchouSee all my reviews

For a TV Movie, this film was good. The film didn't look amateurish and the overall quality was generally very good. One scene that especially stood out was when Bill Paxton rushed to the village only to see it get destroyed. However, this movie could have been much better. The most critical error of this movie is that it tries to cover too many elements and ultimately fails to fully address them to any satisfying extent. It lacked focus. There were a lot of good ideas, such as the hidden propaganda, the conflict of war strategy of various people, the familial problems, to the questionable moral and ethical values of the main character..., but most of them were dealt with not more than a dozen lines! In short, this movie needed to be more developed and needed another revision before it was released.


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