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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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1,848 ( 239)
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:

We were... young, brave, husbands, wives, sons, mothers, daughters, soldiers. 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

Hal Moore was a retired Lieutenant General (3-star). See more »

Goofs

When Barry Pepper's character Joe Galloway puts his camera down and picks up a rifle to help defend the position, he places the camera on the ground at the base of a small tree. Later, when he goes to retrieve the camera and start taking photographs again, the camera is hanging from a tree branch. However, a fair amount of time passed and significant activity took place around that area, so anyone could have moved the camera and its changed location is consistent with this. 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 ...
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Alternate Versions

Film was released in Germany in an uncut FSK-18 rated version and in an edited FSK-16 rated version. This version does removes about 12 minutes of footage (including Mel Gibson's speech at the farewell party, vietnamese soldier trying to stab Mel Gibson with his bayonet and getting shot in the head) but still includes some rather violent (for a FSK-16 version) shots (the throat-hit of the french soldier in the opening-scene and the napalm-attack, complete with the pulled off skin of Jimmy's legs is intact). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: The Average Homeboy (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Sgt. MacKenzie
By Joseph Rizza Kilna
Performed by Joseph Rizza Kilna (as Joseph Kilna MacKenzie)
Produced by Joseph Rizza Kilna (as Joseph Kilna MacKenzie) and Seoras Wallace
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Seeing the enemy and home in a different light
10 March 2004 | by KristinMarie419See all my reviews

This film is so different from the traditionally cynical (and rightly so) Vietnam War movies. While it goes without question that this film depicts the bloody and gruesome horrors of the tragedy of the first major conflict of the war, it does so while juxtaposing the story with that of stories of the home front and the enemy. The enemy in this film is not the animalistic, silent enemy we are used to. We hear this enemy speak, we see his love for his family and his devotion to his cause. While being bombarded with images of death and destruction on the battlefield, we are brought back home to see the wives as they face the death themselves.

While of course not a flawless movie, it was without a doubt moving, and I highly recommend it.


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