Selection of Vietnam War movies

Although initially the Vietnam War did not call attention to the cinema industry. In the eighties the production of films on the subject flourished with very prominent titles such as Apocalypse Now and Platoon. Hollywood’s attention contrasted with the lack of interest shown by French cinema.

Unlike the historical analysis and even American society itself, the film industry did not know how to assimilate the American defeat. Thus passed the patriotic and implausible Green Berets, which shows some members of U.S. Special Forces in their fight against the evil communists, sidestepping the terrible tortures recounted that the original book, to a more critical Apocalypse Now, which preferred to reach astronomical budgets rather than surrender to censorship of the Pentagon.

Selection of Vietnam War movies

Selection of Vietnam War movies

Meanwhile, Oliver Stone made between 1986 and 1993, three movies. Platoon,” “Born on the 4th of July” and “Heaven and Earth”. Platoon received four Academy Awards and upset some American veterans because they were not portrayed as heroes (appear on fragging, raping girls, killing, burning villages). “Born on the 4th of July,” just won two “Oscars” one for best director, but “Heaven and Earth” swept the Golden Globes.

Born on the 4th of July

Born on the 4th of July

Based on the books by Le Ly Hayslip, it tried to approach the Vietnamese view of the conflict emphasizing the hardships endured by a young Vietnamese to which, in turn, became the film’s narrator in a version from the neutral point of view, recounting the horrors and atrocities committed by both sides.

Another classic on the subject is “Full Metal Jacket” by Stanley Kubrick. There was also Hamburger Hill by John Irvin.

Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket

Indeed various studies have created tapes of all kinds. Thus perhaps the most fictional cinematic vision to this conflict is given by Rambo, a hero who closely resembles a Vietnam veteran like Superman.

But other evidence provides analysis closer to reality as shown by Francis Ford Coppola in Gardens of Stone, where the mature veterans tell the impulsive boy that this war cannot be won and he replied that they forget their firepower and its high-tech bows and arrows against the Vietnamese, a clear metaphor for one of the causes of defeat, thinking you can beat an underdeveloped people based only bombs.

Gardens of Stone

Gardens of Stone

An absence in many of these films is the Vietnamese position, with few exceptions such as Vietnam showing the involvement of Australian and Vietnamese in the villages. We had to wait until the twenty-first century to see We Were Soldiers which delved a little more to life in the tunnels with northern soldiers.

Platoon Trailer


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