10 Best Vietnam Military Movies

Friday, February 25 by Katherine Johnson

These movies are 10 of the best Vietnam military movies ever made. Each film is set in a different year and region of the war, but each movie is a powerful reminder of the long and troubling Vietnam war

  1. "Good Morning, Vietnam" Based on a true story, this military movie is about a controversial DJ on the Armed Forces Radio Service that likes to stir up trouble while on the air. The DJ breaks all the army's rules about what can be played on the radio and violates rules that specify what type of humor is appropriate on the radio. The DJ, Adrian Cronauer, is played by actor Robin Williams. 
  2. "Full Metal Jacket" Stanley Kubrick's only foray into the Vietnam movie genre follows the training and deployment of a group of Marine recruits. The movie explores the effect that war has on soldiers starting with basic training and ending with the film's last fight scene in Vietnam. 
  3. "Apolcalypse Now" This film is probably one of the most bizarre Vietnam war movies ever made. The movie follows two Army Special Operations officers who are sent to assassinate a rogue Army officer that commands his own troops somewhere in the jungle. The officer has completely lost his mind and is also a cult leader. 
  4. "Platoon" This war movie gives viewers a firsthand view of what it was like to engage in geurilla-style warfare. The main characters are "grunts" who do the dirty work of war with little appreciation. While these guys have some fun during their tour of duty, they mostly know only pain and suffering.
  5. "Hamburger Hill" Based on the actual fight that took place on Hill 937, this Vietnam war movie has frequently been criticized for being too gory. The movie follows a group of young Army recruits as they go through basic training and eventually fight to take Hamburger Hill. The film also explores how disillusioned many soldiers were once they returned home because of the negative opinion of the war in the US at the time. 
  6. "The Deer Hunter" This war movie follows three friends from the same small town as they go off to fight in the Vietnam war. The movie deals with many controversial issues like suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, death, depression, and mental illness. 
  7. "Rambo:  First Blood"  Sylvester Stallon stars as John Rambo, a disillusioned and misunderstood Vietnam veteran. He has returned from the war only to find hostility from the local sheriff. Rambo terrorizes the small town until his former  commanding officer finally talks him down. The movie is often overlooked in the Vietnam movie genre because the sequels were not of the same quality.  
  8. "The Killing Fields" Set in Cambodia, "The Killing Fields" is based on the true story of Dith Pran who escaped from the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge.  Haing S. Ngor, the man that plays Dith Pran, was actually a survivor of the Khmer Rouge propaganda camps. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
  9. "A Bright Shining Lie" Based on a book written about U.S. military officer Joh Paul Vann, this Vietnam war movie starts before anyone was even drafted in the U.S. to fight in the war. Vann was an early critic of the war and the Saigon government, but he was not able to influence military policy and tactics, he began to leak information to the press corps in order to change U.S. policy on the war to save lives and increase the chance of winning.   
  10. "We Were Soldiers" This Vietnam war movie recreates the Battle of la Drang, a battle between the American and North Vietnamese troops in 1965. The movie initially follows the 400 American troops as they bravely fight over 4,000 armed North Vietnamese troops. 
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