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Green Berets

The Green Berets

4.5 8
Director: Ray Kellogg

Cast: John Wayne, David Janssen, Jim Hutton


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The Green Berets is an exciting war film that was lambasted by critics who at the time of its release opposed the war in Vietnam. Wayne's role is similar to his part in The Longest Day (1963), but it was evident to the worldwide public that the same bravado that flew well in World War II crash-landed in 1968 in the wake of a very different war and


The Green Berets is an exciting war film that was lambasted by critics who at the time of its release opposed the war in Vietnam. Wayne's role is similar to his part in The Longest Day (1963), but it was evident to the worldwide public that the same bravado that flew well in World War II crash-landed in 1968 in the wake of a very different war and political time. Wayne plays the hard-nosed rough-and-ready Colonel Mike Kirby who heads a courageous bunch of tough-as-nails Green Berets determined to capture an important enemy general. They are accompanied by a skeptical reporter who soon becomes a gung-ho red-white-and-blue patriot as the Colonel and the others lecture and show him why they must defeat the "commies." Interestingly, despite the massive anti-war sentiments of the times, the film grossed over $11 million at the box-office and is especially notable for the fine battle scenes. The film also features the hit song "Ballad of the Green Berets," sung by Sgt. Barry Sadler.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
John Wayne's gung-ho Vietnam War film has long been the subject of ridicule and it would be fair to say that, in hindsight, it becomes obvious that the Duke did not have the most comprehensive grasp of the historical issues involved in the war. Yet, viewed strictly as the kind of standard war movie that Wayne had churned out by the dozen in his career, it's reasonably well made. He stars as a Green Beret colonel who takes a reporter skeptical about the war (David Janssen) with him on a mission to capture an enemy general, hoping to convince the man, and, by extension, the American population, why we should be in Vietnam. Aside from the laughable script, which is little more than an elaboration of the kind of knee-jerk anti-communist rhetoric than Wayne had been spouting in his public appearances around the country during the period, the film has some effective battle scenes, and the cast does a credible job with notable work by Janssen and St. Jacques. Some commentators have expressed surprise that a film about such an agonizing and unpopular war could do as well at the box office as it did. It is worth remembering that Wayne had been for years the most popular star in American films, and remained so as late as 1995, 16 years after his death. As author Garry Wills has observed, he was the symbol of the United States in combat, despite never having fought in any war. Historians have pointed out that in Vietnam, the kind of heroics Wayne enacted in his films proved fatal in practice, and his name became a joke among the troops, synonymous with such stupidly suicidal action. To put The Green Berets in context, one might see it on a double bill with Oliver Stone's Platoon (1986), a film made by a director who had fought in Vietnam.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Vintage featurette The Moviemakers; John Wayne war movie trailer gallery; Languages: English, Français & Español; Subtitles: English & Español (Feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Col. Mike Kirby
David Janssen Beckworth
Jim Hutton Sgt. Peterson
Aldo Ray Sgt. Muldoon
Raymond St. Jacques Doc McGee
Bruce Cabot Col. Morgan
Jack Soo Col. Cai
Patrick Wayne Jamison
Luke Askew Sgt. Provo
Irene Tsu Lin
Chuck Bail Sgt. Lark
Richard S. "Cactus" Pryor Collier
William Shannon Sgt. White
Edward Faulkner Capt. MacDaniels
Mike Henry Sgt. Kowalski
Chuck Roberson Sgt. Griffin
Eddy Donno Sgt. Watson
William Olds Gen. Phan Son Ti
Jason Evers Capt. Coleman
George Takei Capt. Nim

Technical Credits
Ray Kellogg Director,Producer
John Wayne Director,Producer
Jerry Alpert Costumes/Costume Designer
James Lee Barrett Screenwriter
Sass Bedig Special Effects
David Grayson Makeup
Winton Hoch Cinematographer
Stan Jones Sound/Sound Designer
Otho Lovering Editor
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Rudy Robbins Stunts
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Walter M. Simonds Production Designer
Michael Wayne Producer

Scene Index

Disc #2, Side A -- The Green Berets
1. Credits [1:57]
2. Fort Bragg [3:31]
3. Q&A [7:01]
4. The Scrounger [3:20]
5. Rise and Shine [1:18]
6. DaNang [5:31]
7. Dead Heroes [1:35]
8. Beckworth Arrives [4:58]
9. Strike Camp [6:19]
10. Rain, Capt. Nim. [6:18]
11. Night Harassment [3:46]
12. Chopper Warfare [5:43]
13. The Seabees [2:28]
14. A Spy [3:31]
15. The Chieftain [5:48]
16. Foot Patrol [2:30]
17. A Village in Ashes [7:33]
18. Tabasco [2:35]
Disc #2, Side B -- The Green Berets
1. Enemy Attack [1:57]
2. Bulldog's Down! [3:31]
3. Falling Back [7:01]
4. Air Strike [3:20]
5. The Battle at Dawn [1:18]
6. Puff Magic Dragon [5:31]
7. Camp Reclaimed [1:35]
8. Provo's Request [4:58]
9. Plan Bravo [6:19]
10. The Word is Alert [6:18]
11. Kowalski's Last [3:46]
12. Dividing the Squad [5:43]
13. Close on General [2:28]
14. Inside...and Out [3:31]
15. Blowing the Bridge [5:48]
16. Lite-Off [2:30]
17. He Takes the Point [7:33]
18. A Sad Return [2:35]


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The Green Berets 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, this movies was for the most part a propaganda film for the vietnam war, but for what it was it sure was great. Showing the different weapons the army used at the time, and the tactics of the VC. Sgt. Peterson was an entertaining character and showed the scrounging that many army units do at the time of war (and even during peacetime) when compared to Platoon or apocolypse now, movies that portray the vietnam vet as a drugged out murdering psychopath, 'Green Berets' is a #1 movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Put the Green Berets in your time capsule, because it was released precisely as the USA decided to pull itself apart. Propaganda, certainly, as are most war genre films ever released in any country that believes in itself. Few people can look past the blatant pro-Americanisms that dot this arch-typical John Wayne film... you either love it or hate it. Look past the politics, though, and you can see an honest attempt to portray what the filmmakers thought Vietnam was about... in a film largely made at Fort Benning with the full cooperation of the U.S. Army. Parts (vignettes) of the Green Berets could be a training film: for example, the SF sergeant's (Aldo Ray) adroit handling of the biased (should I say prejudiced) newsman's (David Janssen) pointed questioning and the scrounging sergeant (Jim Hutton). Booby traps, bunkers and fortifications were based upon real Vietnam combat experience, with many sets and props left after filming for use in training troops for Vietnam. Parts, of course, don't stand the test of time. Forget the final kidnap mission, whether or not based upon ''historical faction'' from Robin Moore's excellent book. One reason to have this in your time capsule is that the Green Berets is the last of the patriotic war films made since the invention of the medium. From this point onwards, films (including the Missing in Action genre) use antiheros (e.g., Rambo) for heroism, as often as not fighting against the corrupt American government - or at least the CIA. Oh ye of little faith; the pity is that many Americans will never know what it was like believing in your country... and in your government. The Green Berets is not high art. But as a tiny finger in a rapidly crumbling dike, the Green Berets merits a look by people who honestly want to understand what things were like in the old days when we were still the ''good guys''.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You cannot go wrong with John Wayne.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Probably John Wanye's best flick of all time! An awsome, action packed, adventurus movie. It also features the hit song 'Ballad Of The Greeen Berets' by green beret Barry Sadler. Note: Rating is 'G' not 'R' as said above.
CrusaderGA More than 1 year ago
One of the best Vietnam War films of all time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JimInManhattan More than 1 year ago
This is a poor movie at every level. It is a terrible script. It is maudlin and badly directed. Only the most indulgent John Wayne fan would compare it to his great films, or even his incipid but watchable ones. Politically, unlike what the other reviewers are saying, this perspective at the time was long over before this film was made. It was so unrealistic and had so little to do with the real discussion going on in America at the time that anyone with a brain regarded it not just as propaganda (which after all it is to be forgiven for because we get propaganda in films all the time, especially in war movies) but because it was particularly bad, inartful and transparent propaganda. My recollection is this is one of the movies whose existence actually turned people against the War in Vietnam, because it was so ham-handed (like General Westmorland) that the idea that THIS is the best you can do to rationalize or defend this war or the reasons people gave themselves for fighting in it and killing others in large and gratuitious numbers was proof that this was the war that wasted America's power, prestige and trust in government by the citizenry.