Hamburger Hill

Hamburger Hill

3.0 5
Director: John Irvin

Cast: Anthony Barrile, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle

     
 

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Though the anti-war sentiments of Hamburger Hill come through loud and clear, the film is squarely on the side of those courageous, much-maligned Americans who fought and died in Vietnam. Based on a true incident, the story takes place in 1969, as the 101st Airborne Division confronts the Vietcong in a bloody battle over Hill 937 (aka "Hamburger Hill") in theSee more details below

Overview

Though the anti-war sentiments of Hamburger Hill come through loud and clear, the film is squarely on the side of those courageous, much-maligned Americans who fought and died in Vietnam. Based on a true incident, the story takes place in 1969, as the 101st Airborne Division confronts the Vietcong in a bloody battle over Hill 937 (aka "Hamburger Hill") in the Ashua Valley. During the next 10 days, both sides incur heavy losses, but the Cong refuse to surrender the hill. The ultimate American "victory" turns out to be a hollow one indeed. Scripted by Vietnam war vet Jim Carabatsos, Hamburger Hill not only underlines the futility of the war but also the pressures brought to bear upon the troops by an insensitive, often hostile media. By utilizing a cast of unknowns, director Jim Irvin deftly avoids the Hollywoodized slickness of such bigger-budgeted efforts as Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
John Irvin's visceral, grunt's-eye view of one of the most notoriously savage battles of the Vietnam War is a solid, beautifully directed film somewhat undercut by a perfunctory script. The film focuses on a dozen or so members of a rifle platoon assigned to take Hill 937 in the A Shau Valley in May of 1969. In Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film Platoon (1986), the unit's dissension reflected the reality of a divided nation. Hamburger Hill, however, raises an equally painful issue from this unique conflict: most U.S. front-line troops were simple, uneducated, and often apolitical kids, trying to come to grips with fighting a war on which public opinion was split. This is most poignantly illustrated by a scene in which one of the grunts (Tommy Swerdlow) is deeply hurt by a letter from his girlfriend telling him she can no longer write to him because she has been told that the war is immoral. While the film doesn't hide its hawkish sympathies, it's essentially about the muddy, bloody horror of this gruesome action, in which 70 percent of the platoon was either killed or wounded. Irvin emphasizes the grunt sense of Sisyphean futility, as they battle their way up and down the side of the hill over the course of 11 brutal days, and his stunning combat photography can stand comparison with any on film. It is less successful in its non-combat sequences, which feature too-familiar scenes reflecting the tensions and friendships among the soldiers. Their mantra, "Don't mean nothin'," also suggests what's missing from the film in terms of an ordering pattern of metaphor. But at its best, in the thick of combat, this is a stirring tribute to the men who fought and died on Hill 937.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/12/1999
UPC:
0012236049500
Original Release:
1987
Rating:
R
Source:
Live / Artisan
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:50:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anthony Barrile Langulli
Michael Boatman Motown
Don Cheadle Washburn
Michael Dolan Murphy
Don James McDanile
Dylan McDermott Sgt. Frantz
M.A. Nickles Galvin
Harry O'Reilly Duffy
Daniel O'Shea Gaigin
Tim Quill Beletsky
Tommy Swerdlow Bienstock
Courtney B. Vance Doc Johnson
Steven Weber Sgt. Worcester
Tegan West Lt. Eden
Kieu Chinh Mama San
Doug Goodman Lagunas
J.C. Palmore Healy
J.D. VanSickle Newsman

Technical Credits
John Irvin Director
Cecille Baun Makeup
Jim Carabatsos Producer,Screenwriter
Tot Castillo Art Director
Alfred Cleveland Songwriter
Mary Colquhoun Casting
Larry de Waay Co-producer,Producer
Bob Dylan Songwriter
Philip Glass Score Composer
David Hildyard Sound/Sound Designer
Soc Jose Asst. Director
David Korda Executive Producer
Calvin Lewis Songwriter
Peter MacDonald Cinematographer
Barry Mann Songwriter
Ken Metcalfe Casting
Marcia Nasatir Producer
Jerry Offsay Producer
Jerry Offsay Executive Producer
Carl Penzabene Songwriter
Helga Penzabene Songwriter
Rodger Penzabene Songwriter
Spencer Savis Songwriter
Neville Smallwood Makeup
Austen Spriggs Production Designer
Peter Tanner Editor
Mel Tillis Songwriter
Cynthia Well Songwriter
Steve Winwood Songwriter
Muff Winwood Songwriter
Norman Withfield Songwriter
Andrew Wright Songwriter

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Scene Index

Scene Index
0. Scene Index
0. Menu Group #1 with 36 chapter(s) covering 01:49:30
1. Hamburger Hill [2:23]
2. Move Out [2:48]
3. New Guys [4:39]
4. We Don't Start Fights [2:01]
5. Boom Boom [2:40]
6. Back from R & R [3:13]
7. Proper Dental Hygiene [1:50]
8. Survival [3:46]
9. Cool Down [2:01]
10. Pfc [2:37]
11. Incoming [3:22]
12. Unknown Soldier [1:26]
13. What's My Name? [3:21]
14. Going Back in [4:19]
15. 10 May 1969 [3:56]
16. Where's the Body? [1:45]
17. Don't Mean Nothin' [3:43]
18. Preparations [1:08]
19. 11 May [2:58]
20. Like a Shadow [3:07]
21. 15 May [4:04]
22. Friendly Fire [5:07]
23. News from Home [4:50]
24. 16 May [:51]
25. Worrying About Nothing [2:11]
26. 17 May [2:48]
27. Brother Blood [3:00]
28. 18 May [3:43]
29. Goin' Home [3:06]
30. That's Why I'm Here [4:23]
31. 20 May [5:22]
32. Remember Me [:47]
33. Top of the Hill [2:33]
34. Rock Up [3:09]
35. Dead Calm [2:44]
36. End Credits [3:32]

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