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We Were Soldiers (2002)

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The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.

Director:

Randall Wallace

Writers:

Harold G. Moore (book) (as Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore), Joseph L. Galloway (book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,268 ( 837)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Lt. Col. Hal Moore
Madeleine Stowe ... Julie Moore
Greg Kinnear ... Maj. Bruce 'Snake' Crandall
Sam Elliott ... Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley
Chris Klein ... 2nd Lt. Jack Geoghegan
Keri Russell ... Barbara Geoghegan
Barry Pepper ... Joe Galloway
Duong Don ... Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An
Ryan Hurst ... Sgt. Ernie Savage
Robert Bagnell ... 1st Lt. Charlie Hastings
Marc Blucas ... 2nd Lt. Henry Herrick
Josh Daugherty ... Sp4 Robert Ouellette
Jsu Garcia ... Capt. Tony Nadal
Jon Hamm ... Capt. Matt Dillon
Clark Gregg ... Capt. Tom Metsker
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Storyline

A telling of the 1st Battalion, 7 Cavalry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division's battle against overwhelming odds in the La Drang valley of Vietnam in 1965. Seen through the eyes of the battalion's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson), we see him take command of the battalion and its preparations to go into Vietnam. We also see how the French had, years earlier, been defeated in the same area. The battle was to be the first major engagement between U.S. and N.V.A. forces in South Vietnam, and showed the use of helicopters as mobility providers and assault support aircraft. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

400 U.S paratroopers. 4000 Vietnamese soldiers. 12 000 miles away from home. 1 man led them into battle. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sustained sequences of graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Vietnamese | French

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lost Patrol See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,212,543, 3 March 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$78,122,718

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$114,660,784, 4 July 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS-ES | Dolby Digital EX | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wives are watching television, which is airing the famous "Why we are in Vietnam" speech, by President Johnson, from July 28, 1965. See more »

Goofs

In the film credits the following appears "With special thanks to: ...And the 3RD Ranger Training Battalion..." No such unit exists or ever has. There is a 3RD Battalion, 75TH Ranger Regiment and 4TH through 6TH Ranger Training Battalions. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Galloway: [Narrating; voice-over] These are the true events of November, 1965, the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, a place our country does not remember, in a war it does not understand. This story's a testament to the young Americans who died in the valley of death, and a tribute to the young men of the People's Army of Vietnam who died by our hand in that place. To tell this story, I must start at the beginning. But where does it begin? Maybe in June of 1954 when French Group Mobile 100 moved ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Trailers include a scene where Julie Moore explains that the last thing most dying soldiers say is "Tell my wife I love her". This is not included in the theatrical release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shock and Awe (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Wrtten by Harry Noble
Performed by Tommy Blaize
Produced by Nick Glennie-Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Entertainment, or factual account?
25 March 2004 | by speakcSee all my reviews

It's quite sad to read some of the reviews of this film. "full of clichés" "typical weak war film" etc. I would like for the writers of such comments to look at the film they "coughed up their reddies" for, and ask what they were really after? Do they know what the film was about? The director's aim was to create an honest depiction of a real life event. To tell the story of a battle and war in a way that would make people who weren't there understand what it may have been like. To bring home the stark realisation of how scary the battlefield would be, and explore the wider picture of how families, and even the enemy were affected by events too. Many of the words used by the dying men are documented as being the actual words. In the editors commentary, he explains "these were the true dying words 'tell my wife I love her'. In that situation, it is the reality of what is on people's minds. I'm sorry they couldn't have come up with something more melo-dramatic for the theatre audience." The line that really bought it home for me though was that soldiers who had fought in that battle thanked the director. They said he had managed to show the realities of an event in their lives that they had, to that point, never managed to fully explain to their families. If the people who were there say this is a realistic account of events and emotions, then that's the best accolade a film can have. I was scared and moved by it and would recommend it highly. PS. to the plot critics out there... would you rather they sexed up a true story? Surely that would be a grave tragedy.


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