PlatoonDirector: Oliver Stone, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen
Oliver Stone's breakthrough as a director, Platoon is a brutally realistic look at a young soldier's tour of duty in Vietnam. Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a college student who quits school to volunteer for the Army in the late '60s. He's shipped off to Vietnam, where he serves with a culturally diverse group of fellow soldiers under two men who lead the platoon: Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), whose facial scars are a mirror of the violence and corruption of his soul, and Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe), who maintains a Zen-like calm in the jungle and fights with both personal and moral courage even though he no longer believes in the war. After a few weeks "in country," Taylor begins to see the naïveté of his views of the war, especially after a quick search for enemy troops devolves into a round of murder and rape. Unlike Hollywood's first wave of Vietnam movies (including The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, and Coming Home), Platoon is a grunt's-eye view of the war, touching on moral issues but focusing on the men who fought the battles and suffered the wounds. In this sense, it resembles older war movies more than its Vietnam peers, as it mixes familiar elements of onscreen battle with small realistic details: bugs, jungle rot, exhaustion, C-rations, marijuana, and counting the days before you go home. This mix of traditional war movie elements with a contemporary sensibility won Platoon four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, and a reputation as one of the definitive modern war films.
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- Original Release:
Cast & Crew
|Tom Berenger||Sgt. Barnes|
|Willem Dafoe||Sgt. Elias Grodin|
|Charlie Sheen||Chris Taylor|
|Forest Whitaker||Big Harold|
|John C. McGinley||Sgt. O'Neill|
|Adam J. Glover||Sanderson|
|Li Mai Thao||Rape Victim|
|Li Thi Van||Village Chief's Daughter|
|Nick Nicholson||Mechanized Soldier|
|Matthew Westfall||Terrified Soldier|
|Mark Moses||Lt. Wolfe|
|James Terry McIlvain||Ace|
|Steve Barredo||Fu Sheng|
|Andrew B. Clark||Tubbs|
|Bernardo Manalili||Village Chief|
|Than Rogers||Village Chief's Wife|
|Clarisa Ortacio||Old Woman|
|Romy Sevilla||One-Legged Man|
|Warren McLean||Mechanized Soldier #2|
|Oliver Stone||Officer in Bunker|
|Dale Dye||Capt. Harris|
|Rodell Cruz||Art Director|
|John Daly||Executive Producer|
|Yves de Bono||Special Effects|
|Georges Delerue||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Derek Gibson||Executive Producer|
|A. Kitman Ho||Co-producer|
|Simon Kaye||Sound Mixer|
|Bruno Rubeo||Production Designer|
|Gordon J. Smith||Makeup|
|Doris Sherman Williams||Art Director|
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If you are watching this film for the first time 25+ years later, you may be shocked to learn this film won 'Best Picture' (and other awards) in 1986. For long stretches, it resembles a cheesy action movie from that time period (perhaps starring Schwarzenegger or Stallone) and has some almost camp acting that can make you laugh out loud (Charlie Sheen in 'freak out' mode, anyone?). So why did it win? Because it had some real energy and fearlessness behind it, which helped many see the Vietnam war in a way they hadn't before. There are a ton of well-known and quality actors in the movie, led by very good performances from Defoe and Berenger. It also is unsparing in its depiction of the brutality of war (e.g., anytime a Sgt puts a gun to the head of a ~4 year old, and you know he's not bluffing, that will wake you up). However, beyond the doped out depiction of the dissatisfaction/disillusionment of the soldiers, there are copious action scenes that are put to shame by many, more recent movies. The explosions almost all look fake, and a plane coming to drop a bomb looks like it was a prop on a stick. See it once, perhaps, esp if you like war movies, but it hasn't aged well.
Heard of this but hadn't it. This got a little weird, really sad too.
Platoon is a real hands on experience of vietnam the movie tells the story of a young man in vietnam with all the awesome war like sequences it makes the viewer feel like hes actually there in the feild fightin the battle the brave young men did in the sixties the film is by far the best war film ever and the sound is unbelieveable the film is good for young and old people the film tells what really happend in vietnam
Great movie! Loved it! The dvd cover really made me buy it. I thought that the stance on the dvd cover was the greatest stance ever----(it's like screaming to god "why?" and getting shot with bullets.) So it's a great film, not to watch with your family tho- due to a lot of swearing, gore, and a rape scene(almost rape scene). So overall great movie!
Whatever you can say about Oliver Stone's films, politics, or his arrogant demeanor, one must be in awe of this film. Partly based on Stone's own experiences in Vietnam and literary and poetic imagery, this movie became the film to the Vietnam War as Phillip Caputo's memoir A Rumor Of War was to literature. Everything in the movie was fairly unique for that time period it told the story of the regular grunt in the field, has a contradictory look at war (from Chris liking it in the beginning to despair at the end), and it also diverged from many of Stone's films because he wasn't trying to make a statement. There are no politics here, unless you take into account the fighting between Barnes and Elias, it is a highly personal, and presumably cathartic film for Stone. Clearly, Stone had feelings from that war that only a veteran can have. It is made all the more radiant by the melancholy symphony of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.
Platoon is a Great War movie that was told from a person that was and went to war in Vietnam. He had told it from his point of view and how it happened. It was about two enemies that went to war with each other in Vietnam. At the end when the guy was going back home in the helicopter he said that they didn’t fight the enemy they had fought each other and killed most of their own men. I love watching war movies because of family history of being in the military. I just like to go out and buy them just to watch them to see what it was like to be fighting in the military and to see what they use and how they used them. I like to feel of what a person is feeling while fighting and being away from. I put myself in each person’s shoes that talks. I just put myself in the person’s position to get how it feels to be where they are and how they are feeling.
When I took my son and wife to see the movie in 1987, at the end I told them that Oliver Stone had to be across the perimeter from me on Jan. 1, 1968. I just found out that he was with me at FSB Burt.
Although Oliver Stone's critical reflections in Platoon are unique and moving, they are more symbolic renditions of the conflict. The movie seeks to show the various physical and idelogical struggles that moved and shaped the American public during the Vietnam War. The political ideologies; how low-intensity guerilla Cold War conflicts took a toll on public opinion in that protracted conflict; how socio-economic strife such as racism and poverty manifested themselves in the military. The character played by Charlie Sheen is seens as the all American fall-guy: a boy with a naive view about patriotism who volunteers to duty as opposed to being drafted and so becomes a man. His political beliefs are challenged by two opposing platoon sergeants: Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe) and Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger). The character played by DeFoe has a liking for Sheen's as he sees the same man in him when he first joined the war. Barnes is the opposite; there doesn't need to be a just purpose for him to serve in a war; there just needs to be a war: he does his job so well he actually enjoys it. The conflict between Barnes and Elias seems to reflect the deeper social divisions at home. Barnes symbolizes the conservative establishment demonstrating the view that fighting for your country is reason enough to go to war. Elias is the conscience and voice of wisdom in the film; reflecting the changing public views that the Government going to war is, in and of itself, not good enough of a reason to support a war if it doesn't make sense to the people. By Barnes killing Elias in the end, Stone seeks to show how the war was taken over by war mongers for whom the war was the end in and of itself. Sheen's character comes back as the redeemer whe he finally vindicates Elias and his position on the war. Overall a touching movie more focused on symbolism and imagery than other films such as Kubrick's 'Full Metal Jacket'; not as much as 'Apocalypse Now' but still more of a poetic vision rather than realistic.
Platoon is probably the greatest war film of our time, or any other time that will ever be. I think it captures the truth and the brutality of warfare unlike some films, which end up glorifying combat. Platoon doesn't make combat seem glamorous. Instead, it opens your eyes to help you see how horrible and deeply tragic killing our fellow man really is. The lead character Chris speaks in a monologue at the end of the film stating, ''...be that as it may, those of us who did it make it, have an obligation to build again...to try and teach to others what we know...and try the best with our lives, to find the goodness and meaning in this life.'' I couldn't agree more.
This is hands down one of the best films about the Vietnam war. It doesn't just show a war story, it tells it from the point of view of the soliders. Baseing the film on his own experiences in Vietnam, Oliver Stone made the film on a fairly low budget and won the oscar for Best Director.
Platoon in my view is the best Vietnam movie. It touches on subjects that other Vietnam don't. It shows very well what war can do to young men that get drafted to war and aren't prepared for it. Platoon is a great movie and anyone wanting to join the army should watch this movie. 5 Stars!!