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.
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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
Jon Hamm later said, in tribute to Sam Elliott, that the fifty-eight year old actor participated in the boot camp training of the cast, without exemption. See more »
Not all of Vietnam's terrain is "is incredibly dense". There ARE areas without "a lot of tropical vegetation due to the hot humid climate that is found throughout Vietnam", particularly the Central Highlands where the Battle of Ia Drang took place, with elevations of up to 2,400 feet allowing for more temperate vegetation. Lt Gen Harold G. Moore, the central figure of the film played by Mel Gibson and the co-author of the book upon which the film is based, scouted several locations around the world before deciding on the hills of Fort Hunter Liggett, California as the terrain best matching that of the Ia Drang Valley. Photographs taken during the battle by Joe Galloway, the war correspondent played by Barry Pepper and the other co-author of the original book, show the terrain of Landing Zone X-ray as being open and surrounded by thinly wooded forest. See more »
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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A scene in pre-release promotions shows Barbara Geoghegan (Keri Russell) talking in her kitchen to Julie Moore (Madeleine Stowe) about how her husband Jack (Chris Klein) did not need to go to war because of his missionary work. See more »
In November of 1968, the North Vietnamese still held to the old principle of "Control the Central Highlands and you control Vietnam". Three years to the month after the battle of LZ X-Ray, I led a LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol)team from Duc Co south toward the Ia Drang River. We never made it to the river. Instead, we spent a very long afternoon of E&E, along with intermittent combat. Thus, my worst day of the war was within 1/2 mile of LZ X-Ray.
I know that area well. The locations for the movie were excellent. LTG. Moore's principle was still in use, ie, when the Air Force choppers I had contacted on an emergency radio picked us up, my foot was the last to leave the ground. (Not heroism, just the way we did it.) By the way,Those aren't "radio towers", they are parachute training towers on Eubanks Field, Fort Benning Ga. (Almost the same shot as in "The Green Berets" when Wayne saw the airborne recruits running shirtless in formation.
I was in college during the battle, but what I learned later I saw confirmed in the book and movie. Thank you General Moore and Mr. Galloway for the book and thank you Mel Gibson and Randall Wallace for the movie. (Being of Scottish descent, I also thank you two for "Braveheart")
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