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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
1,434 ( 528)
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

Mel Gibson calls the real Moore an "old knight in shining armor." See more »

Goofs

In the final battle scene, an NVA soldier is manning a German MG34 machine gun. Although used extensively during WW2, the MG34 was captured from the Germans and used by many combatants, notably French and Russian and saw service life in the PAVN, Korean People's Army and Viet Cong. 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

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

Featured in History Buffs: We Were Soldiers (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Mansions of the Lord
By Nick Glennie-Smith and Randall Wallace
Performed by the United States Military Academy Cadet Glee Club
Also performed by Metro Voices
Produced by Nick Glennie-Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Factual to the point of pain
9 October 2003 | by RebBacchusSee all my reviews

I should never be surprised that people, who wouldn't recognize Principle, much less Honor, Duty, or Country if it introduced itself, see virtue as vice. As one who served in that war, I found the movie to be factual to the point of pain. Those who call this movie racist, lack vocabulary. or an understanding of racism. I don't know which is sadder. This movie tells a part of a soldier's story very well. Soldiers march to a different drummer, how tragic that so many, today, still refuse to honor those who protected them.

The millions in Indo-China murdered at the hands of the Communist cry that our "racism" was so poorly lead at the highest civilian levels that we abandon them. Their blood is not on my hands or on the hands of my fellow soldiers. It is on the hands of those who are so blind they refuse to see. A valid case could be made that that there are errors in the story, certainly it doesn't tell the rest of the story, or of the next part of this battle where US casualties were 40%. What it does tell it tells very well. Those men were volunteers, and their nobility shows in this movie. I recommend it, especially for any who would want to understand those who served at that time.


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