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I did two tours in Vietnam and on the last tour 24 days before going home, I lost both legs, right hand and I was blinded in one eye by a booby trap explosion. At least I didn't die, I wanted to at first, but I'm glad I didn't. Get this movie, great movie.
Love this movie!! I had enlisted in the ARMY, the same year it came out and all of my “ARMY brothers” and I went to the Post movie theater to see it...Left an “indelible mark” on me back then, as it still does today. God Bless our Military and all of those who served and gave all, especially on this Memorial Day 2019!! 🇺🇸
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
All the Vietnam vets say this film is so real. It didn’t get much worse than in the a shau valley...especially the year before in March 1968. Just ask the Marines, if you can find one that made it. I do recommend this movie to get a glimpse of what it was like. Very moving film. (too bad about the trailer on Amazon Prime tho...it’s the dumbest scene choice for a Vietnam film)
Jesus Christ, I just couldn't watch this flick past the halfway point. It's so fake...even in combat their hair is nicely styled and clean!! They just do not look ragged...genuinely ragged like the the guys in Platoon, Apocalypse etc. I just can't believe how many people gave this thing five stars...people with low expectations and those that fall for Hollywood's pipe dream of what war is and what men in combat look like. In my opinion the only three Nam movies worth watching are "Apocalypse", "Platoon", FMJ" and that's it, period! Coppola, Stone and Kubrick got it right. All the rest are rank amateurs!
Somehow I missed this great Vietnam movie, maybe because 3 came out in a relatively short time?
There are a few must-see Vietnam War movies, and here I will try to list them:
Best Entertaining Art FILM about VW: Full Metal Jacket (Surreal story, direction, masterful) Best Entertaining MOVIE about VW: Platoon (Written and directed by someone who was there) Best Thoughtful Poetic/Existential FILM about VW: Thin Red Line (Malick=Its Own Experience) Best VW FIlm For Realism: Hamburger Hill (It's like being right there, with pointlessly terrifying deaths...)
None of these 4 are superior; They must all 4 be watched and held on equal ground IMHO.
SO get past the name, this is a great one. A Great One.
Writing on all levels is as cliched as it gets. Characters are one dimensional and even actors that would go on to be big names had no connection to their characters and especially their situation (those really are the tightest shave lines I have ever seen on beards worn by dudes under constant fire for a week straight...), you could tell they were going home and living their lives seconds after the last take of the day.
People call it a realistic war movie, but every action scene had huge elements that simply made no sense except to advance the "plot" in the most direct fashion possible. Characters would up and run towards the enemy, with no clear intent, and die by machine gun fire...even though they had an indirect fire grenade launcher. The STUPID was so thick I was rooting for the bad guys.
This is actually a pretty good movie. It has a lot of good action and you really get to know and feel for these likable, noble characters. I would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for the following minor drawbacks: 1. Although the war action is very good complete with realism and gore; it is not on an epic scale with big battle war movies like Saving Private Ryan since it is all light arms fighting except for a few brief flyovers from air support. 2. After seeing a fairly weak portrayal of a cluster bomb, I was starting to wonder if all the explosions in the movie were going to be cheap and cheesy, but nope there were a lot of realistic, albeit relatively small explosions.
I will say this in favor of the action though. The action is just as emotional and compelling as that in Saving Private Ryan sans tanks, heavy artillery and thousands of extras.
3. Consistency: the unit took off in about 6 or 7 helicopters with a few troops in each. I'd say about 50 troops total maximum. Then as the movie goes on , they go through this meat grinder and guys are dropping like flies left and right..... YET they never seem to run out of troops and they never show replacements coming in until a couple new kids show up near the very end. Even then, it was not clear how they got there.
btw, if you are black you have a lot to be proud of in this movie. The black characters in it are exceptional, NOT 60's hip stereotypical. They are portrayed as intelligent, charming, compassionate and dedicated. And individually as well as collectively they add a lot of value to the movie. No I didn't get any compensation to write this and I'm not affiliated with the producers in any way. Everybody should see it!
It is very realistic and the acting was exceptional. It shows the dark side of war, the constant struggle between the races, even on the battlefield, the moral decay that war causes in the lives of men who do not believe that they will see tomorrow, the obliviousness of those not at war living back home comfortably, seeking to live a rosy life, and the sheer waste of human life (all for nothing "we are nothing," a line from the movie) and degradation to the environment caused by war.
5.0 out of 5 starsRAIN & MUD, BULLETS & BLOOD, CHAOS & BRAVERY.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2020
This is a review of the 2009 Region B2 Blu-ray from Lions Gate Home Entertainment. This is a superior product, with an excellent HD picture and very good sound.
There are a lot of films about Vietnam. Some focus on the fighting, some include the training, others consider the aftermath, and the consequences for those who survived, but at a cost. Pretty well every one concludes that ‘War is Hell’, and that THIS War was particularly brutal, divisive and questionable. Some of these films have become pretty well intrinsic to any discussion of the Vietnam War itself ~ ‘The Deer Hunter’(1978); ’Apocalypse Now’(1979); ‘Platoon’(1986) and ‘Full Metal Jacket’(1987) stand out, and stand on their merits as some of the finest war films ever made.
This film, also from 1987, tends not to be included in this list of iconic Vietnam films. Perhaps this is because it APPEARS to be a less ambitious film; it is a very tightly focussed account of one single action, taking place over just 10 days, to capture one heavily fortified hill on the border with Laos (Hill 937, subsequently renamed with the ironic title ‘Hamburger Hill’), held by the People’s Army of Vietnam. The brutal and costly action to take ground that was actually of little strategic value, proved highly controversial. The assault was undertaken by a joint force of American and South Vietnamese troops, with the American 101st Airbourne centrally involved. The film follows a single platoon.
Unlike the other films mentioned, where we get some lead-in to the battle, here, we are plunged into the action very early on. Interestingly, the director is John Irvin, a Geordie with extensive TV experience, notably directing the BBC’s superb 1979 miniseries of John le Carré’s ‘Tinker Tailor…’. Here, he demonstrates a similar skill in painting sharp, clear character sketches with a few brief strokes. There is little time before the fighting starts, but we quickly see the men who will engage. Also unlike the other films, the ensemble cast contains no major ‘A’ list stars, but they are uniformly excellent, with stand-out performances from Dylan McDermott, best known for his TV roles, as the highly experienced Staff Sgt. Adam Frantz (war weary but not the usual ‘grizzled’ old timer) and from acclaimed stage actor Courtney Vance as the Medic, ‘Doc’.
With the Philippines standing in for Vietnam, the film is a simple, bold, brutal account of the 10 day action. The choreography by Irvin is exemplary, the action is riveting, the performances faultless. The rain and the mud, the bullets and the blood, and the sheer, petrifying chaos, are terrifyingly authentic. The action is difficult to follow, it is not always clear what is happening, which of the characters is involved, even if we are watching GIs or the Vietnamese ~ but that is rather the point.
This is a powerful, skilful portrayal, brutal but authentic. 5 forceful Stars.
4.0 out of 5 starsone of the better Vietnam War movies
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2017
One of the better Vietnam war movies... It tells the story of the assault on Hill 937 at the A Shau Valley in 1969.
It starts with the arrival of a bunch of FNGs, that is F***ing New Guys, who are green to Nam... The jargon is about right, and it does show some of the darker side of the war, like the brothels and friendly fire. The battle scene are quite good, but we hardly see the POV of the NVA or VC, they seem to be an invisible enemy. Maybe that was the point, but there were two sides to this battle...
Not much of a story here, but if you ever wanted a film that fully demonstrated the grim, unrelenting, utterly terrifying misery of modern warfare, then this is it. I struggled to make out what was being said a lot of the time. I don't know if that's the fault of the actors, the DVD or my ageing ears, but it was pretty hard work.
5.0 out of 5 starsEat hamburgers and prepare to get hilly with this classic.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2018
One of the only independent Vietnam war movies, attempting to showcase the day-to-day lives of infantrymen in the 101st Airborne Division, their interactions with the Vietnamese they encounter, racial tensions within the US military during the sixties, and finally, the brutal attempt to take Hill 937, the aftermath of which caused what could be considered a turning point in American public opinion about military involvement in Vietnam.