The Vietnam ConflictAn Academic Information Portal For Education and Research

                       Vietnam Conflict Films

 De Anza College DeCillis Collection Videos

 1969
Two friends, Ralph and Scott live in a small minded town at the offset of the Vietnam war. While Scott's brother enlists, he and Ralph are outspoken in their opposition to the war. Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce Dern, Mariette Hartley, Winona Ryder.
 84 Charlie Mopic
 For training purposes, a camera is taken on a "routine" patrol in Vietnam.
 

 Air America
 A traffic helicopter pilot is enlisted to work for Air America, a CIA airline flying  contraband into Laos during the Vietnam War. While there, he learns that they are also shipping opium out of the country for the local drug lords. One of the few comedies about the war. Writers: John Eskow and Richard Rush, from Christopher Robbins' book. Stars: Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr.
 

 American Commandos
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 Phillip Law.
 

The Anderson Platoon
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.
 

Apocalypse Now (1979)
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.
 

 

Bat 21
Starring: Gene Hackman, Danny Glover.
 

 

Birdy
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 July
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.
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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.
 

 

Casualties of War
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.
 

 

Cease Fire
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 commits suicide.
 

 

Coming Home
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.
 

 

Distant Thunder
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.
 

 

First Blood
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 Intruder
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 Rosanna Arquette.
 

 

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.
 

 

Full Metal Jacket
A group of soldiers develop dehumanized personalities in their training and it shows in their tour of duty in Vietnam. Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
 

 

Gardens of Stone
A touching, insightful look at stateside military life during the Vietnam War.
 

 

Go Tell the Spartans
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 Wasson.
 

 

Good Morning, Vietnam
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.
 

 

The Green Berets
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.
 

 

Hamburger Hill
Re-creation of the 1969 battle involving the 101st Airborne Division. Writer: Jim Carabatsos. Stars: Michael Dolan, Anthony Barrile, and Michael Patrick.
 

 

The Hanoi Hilton
Stars: Michael Moriarty, Aki Aleong and Paul Le Mat. POWs persevere for years in Hanoi's notorious prison.
 

 

Heaven and Earth
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 here either.
 

 

In Country
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.
 

 

Indochine
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 Jean Yanne.
 

 

The Iron Triangle
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 to survive.
 

 

Jacknife
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 Baker.
 

 

Jacob's Ladder
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.
 

 

The Lover
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.
 

 

Missing in Action
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.
 

 

Off Limits
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.
 

 

Operation Dumbo Drop
Based on a true story about Green Berets and an elephant. One of the few comedies from the Vietnam War. Stars: Danny Glover.
 

Platoon
 

Platoon Leader
 

Purple Hearts
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 Gloria
 

 

Some Kind of Hero
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 Healing
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 work.
 

 

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.

 

Three Seasons
 

Tigerland
 

Uncommon Valor
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.
 

War Dogs
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.
 

 

American Flag Bar