A group of Vietnam veterans are sent to the Golden
Triangle as a special narcotics team. Writers: Ken Metcalf
and Bobby A. Suarez. Stars: Christopher Mitchum and John
French documentarian Pierre Schoendorffer served as a
combat soldier in Vietnam in the 1950s during France's
quagmire. In the fall of 1966, he returned with a
cameraman and spent six weeks with an American infantry
platoon. This film, which won a 1968 Best Foreign
Documentary Oscar, is stark and riveting. Commanded by a
West Point graduate, Lieutenant Joseph Anderson, the
33-man platoon Schoendorffer traveled with was a
cross-section of America.
An American military assassin journeys up river into
Cambodia on an assignment to find and kill an American
colonel who has gone beyond the limits of the military's
code of warfare. Considered by many to be the
quintessential anti-war movie. Based on Joseph Conrad's
Heart of Darkness. Writers: John Milius, Francis Ford
Coppola, and Michael Herr. Stars: Martin Sheen, Robert
Duvall, and Marlon Brando.
Starring: Gene Hackman, Danny Glover.
Based on William Wharton's transcendent novel of the same
name, this film is about many things: friendship, war,
and, of course, birds. The framing device is an effort by
a horribly scarred combat soldier (Nicolas Cage) to break
through to his best friend, Birdy (Matthew Modine),
hospitalized after seemingly being driven mad by fighting
in the Vietnam War.
Born on the Fourth of
Powerful and realistic story of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic,
who joined the Marines as a gung-ho recruit and came back
home paralyzed. He then endured an ordeal of physical and
mental rehabilitation before becoming an antiwar activist.
Writers: Oliver Stone and Ron Kovik, from the memoir by
Ron Kovik. Stars: Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Caroline Kava,
and Raymond J. Barry.
A Bright Shining Lie
Based on Neil Sheehan's controversial book about the
making of the Vietnam war, this HBO production is told
from the perspective of Lt. Colonel John Paul Vann (Bill
Paxton), one of the original military advisers sent in
1962 to prop up the fledgling South Vietnamese army
against the Viet Cong.
A soldier watches helplessly as his squad kidnaps and
rapes a Vietnamese girl; later he manages to bring the
squad to justice. Writers: David Rabe, from a New
Yorker article by Daniel Lang. Stars: Michael J. Fox
and Sean Penn.
Writer: George Fernandez from his play "Vietnam Trilogy."
Stars: Don Johnson and Lisa Blount. A veteran is still
disturbed by his war experience fifteen years later, but
he refuses to admit he has a problem until another veteran
While her Marine captain husband is in Vietnam, a woman
volunteers at a V.A. hospital and becomes emotionally and
intimately involved with one of the patients. Her husband
comes home, disillusioned by the war, and tries to cope
with his wife's infidelity. Writers: Waldo Salt and Robert
C. Jones, from a story by Nancy Dowd. Stars: Jane Fonda,
Jon Voight, and Bruce Dern.
The Cu Chi Tunnels
During the war in Vietnam, thousands of people in the
Vietnamese province of Cu Chi lived in an elaborate system
of underground tunnels. Originally built in the time of
the French colonial occupation, the tunnels were enlarged
during the American presence.
The Deer Hunter
Three patriotic steel workers go to Vietnam and find that
the experience alters their sense of self and community.
One of the first and still most controversial major films
about the war. Stars: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John
Savage, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep.
A Vietnam veteran who has been hiding with other vets in
the mountains comes out when a friend commits suicide. He
tries to join society by taking a job and getting to know
the son he never knew. Writer: Robert Stitzel. Stars: John
Lithgow, Ralph Macchio, and Kerrie Keane.
A narrow-minded sheriff harasses a drifter without
realizing that he is a Green Beret who has been shoved
around by everybody since his return from the Vietnam War.
The vet, John Rambo, resolves to fight back this time and
demolishes the sheriff's town. Like John Wayne, Stallone
never served in the military. Writers: Michael Kozoll,
William Sackheim, and Sylvester Stallone, from the novel
by David Morrell. Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Richard
Crenna, and Brian Dennehy.
Flight of the
Pilots from an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam
resolve to bomb Hanoi and are shot down. Writers: Robert
Dillon and David Shaber, from a novel by Stephen Coonts.
Stars: Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Brad Johnson, and
For the Boys
Two USO entertainers tour the fronts in World War II, the
Korean War, and finally Vietnam where the woman's only son
is killed. Writers: Marshall Brickman, Neal Jimenez, and
Lindy Laub. Stars: Bette Midler and James Caan.
A group of soldiers develop dehumanized personalities in
their training and it shows in their tour of duty in
Vietnam. Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
A touching, insightful look at stateside military life
during the Vietnam War.
Go Tell the
Set in the early 60s. Lancaster is an advisory group
commander who is starting to have his doubts about the
war. He leads a group of experienced, disheartened
soldiers to the defense of a useless, abandoned village
that the French had once tried and failed to defend.
Writer: Wendell Mayes, from Daniel Ford's novel,
Incident at Muc Wa. Stars: Burt Lancaster and Craig
An Armed Forces radio disk jockey is a hit with the
American soldiers and Vietnamese but antagonizes his
superiors. Based on the life of Adrian Cronauer. Writers:
Larry Brezner and Mitch Markowitz. Stars: Robin Williams,
Forest Whitaker, and Tung Thanh Tran.
A Green Beret command defends a military outpost and
kidnaps a Viet Cong leader. Typical hawkish John Wayne
(who never served in the military) flick. Be sure to catch
the final scene, when the sun sinks into the East. Writer:
James Lee Barrett, from the novel by Robin Moore. Stars:
John Wayne, David Janssen, and Aldo Ray.
Re-creation of the 1969 battle involving the 101st
Airborne Division. Writer: Jim Carabatsos. Stars: Michael
Dolan, Anthony Barrile, and Michael Patrick.
Stars: Michael Moriarty, Aki Aleong and Paul Le Mat. POWs
persevere for years in Hanoi's notorious prison.
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Joan Chen, Haing S. Ngor, and Hiep
Thi Le. A Vietnamese girl suffers at the hands of the
South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese, and Americans during
the war. Eventually she marries an American soldier and
comes to America, but discovers that there is no utopia
From Bobbie Ann Mason's novel. Stars: Emily Lloyd, Bruce
Willis, John Terry, and Joan Allen. A girl struggles to
learn about her father who died in Vietnam before she was
born and about the war he fought in.
In 1930s Indochina, a woman manages her rubber plantation
but loses her French lover, a naval officer, to her
adopted Indochinese daughter. The lush scenery is
spectacular. Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, and
From a diary found on a dead Vietnamese soldier. Stars:
Beau Bridges, Haing S. Ngor, and Liem Whatley. An American
officer is captured by a young Vietcong , but when a Hanoi
Communist official tries to claim the prisoner, the
Vietnamese soldier and the American learn to work together
A Vietnam vet reunites with a war buddy, who suffers from
survivor's guilt, and encourages him to put the war behind
him. Writer: Stephen Metcalfe, from his play Strange
Snow. Stars: Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, and Kathy
A veteran learns that he was a victim of military
experiments while in Vietnam and that he might actually be
dead. Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin. Stars: Tim Robbins,
Elizabeth Pena, and Danny Aiello.
The Long Road Home:
Vietnam Revisited, 1969
The story, photographed and written by a young Army
photographer in 1969, reveals the beauty of South Vietnam
and captures the customs of its people.
The Lost Command
French soldiers fail courageously at Dien Bien Phu and go
on to fight for a losing cause in Algeria. Writer: Nelson
Gidding, from The Centurians by Jean Larteguy.
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alain Delon, and George Segal.
An adolescent French girl becomes the lover of a
well-to-do Chinese man in 1920s Saigon, but their love is
forbidden by the social order of the era. Filmed in
Vietnam. Not really a war movie, but well worth watching
just for the spectacular Vietnam scenes. Writers: Gerard
Brach and Jean-Jacques Annaud, from the novel by
Marguerite Duras. Stars: Jane March and Tony Leung.
A former POW returns to Vietnam to confirm that American
prisoners still exist by rescuing some of them. Pure
fantasy. Writer: James Bruner, from story by John Crowther
and Lance Ho. Stars: Chuck Norris, M. Emmett Walsh,
Leonore Kasdorf, and James Hong.
Two pros from the Criminal Investigation Detachment (CID)
track down the killer of Vietnamese prostitutes in 1968
Saigon. Writers: Christopher Crowe and Jack Thibeau.
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Gregory Hines, and Amanda Pays.
Based on a true story about Green Berets and an elephant.
One of the few comedies from the Vietnam War. Stars: Danny
Navy doctor falls in love with feisty nurse in Vietnam.
Stars: Ken Wahl and Cheryl Ladd. One of the few romances
about the war.
Regret to Inform
This beautiful, shattering documentary by photographer
Barbara Sonneborn began production in 1992 but was
spiritually born in 1968 with the death of her husband and
high school sweetheart, Jeff Gurvitz. Eight weeks into his
tour of duty in Vietnam, Gurvitz was killed during a
mortar attack at Khe Sanh while attempting to rescue a
comrade. A tape-recorded letter he had just sent to his
wife appeared in Sonneborn's mailbox some time after his
awful sacrifice. Sonnenborn put it away and did not listen
to it until her decision to make this film, which concerns
the losses and agonies endured by women on both sides of
America's disastrous military campaign in Southeast Asia.
The Seige of Firebase
Some Kind of
A returning Black POW of six years finds that his wife
wants to drop him, the military wants to ignore him, and
society wants to forget him. Writers: James Kirkwood and
Robert Boris, from the novel by James Kirkwood. Stars:
Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder, and Ray Sharkey.
A Story of
In January, 1997, a team of five nurses, four
anesthesiologists, and three plastic surgeons arrive in
Vietnam from the United States for two weeks' of volunteer
That Year In Saigon: A Screenplay
This fresh Vietnam War comedy-drama, filled with colorful
characters, snappy dialogue, and biting political
commentary, centers around three twentysomething American
women, who learn about life and love while working at the
USO in 1971-72 Saigon.
An American colonel brings together the remaining members
of his son's platoon for an attempted POW rescue sortie.
Based on a true incident. Writer: Joe Gayton. Stars: Gene
Hackman, Robert Stack, Fred Ward, and Patrick Swayze.
Recounts the great untold story of the Vietnam War.
Witness the emotionally powerful, real-life story of
several thousand courageous dogs that fought with allied
soldiers and saved countless lives.