Vietnam at the Movies

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FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A COMPREHENSIVE AND FASCINATING CRITIQUE OF MOVIES ABOUT VIETNAM!

Heroic. Brave. Daring. Until the 1960s, movies about war were good box office. That all changed with Vietnam. Since the war was unpopular and confusing — lacking clear objectives and easily identified enemies —movie-makers, like many Americans, transferred their dislike for the conflict onto the soldier. Consequently, Hollywood produced pictures that can ...

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Overview

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A COMPREHENSIVE AND FASCINATING CRITIQUE OF MOVIES ABOUT VIETNAM!

Heroic. Brave. Daring. Until the 1960s, movies about war were good box office. That all changed with Vietnam. Since the war was unpopular and confusing — lacking clear objectives and easily identified enemies —movie-makers, like many Americans, transferred their dislike for the conflict onto the soldier. Consequently, Hollywood produced pictures that can now be recognizes as misleading, distorted, sensationalistic, or just plain dishonest.

In Vietnam at the Movies, Vietnam vet Michael Lee Lanning traces the genesis of the "war movie" from the Spanish American War all the way up to Vietnam, taking Tinseltown to task for its treatment of the Viet vet—painstakingly separating fact from the fiction, and reviewing the quality and accuracy of more than 380 films and TV movies, including:

Air America * The Big Chill * Birdy * Born on the Fourth of July * Casualties of War * Coming Home * The Deer Hunter * Dogfight * Easy Rider * First Blood * For the Boys * Friendly Fire * Full Metal Jacket * Good Morning Vietnam * Hair * In Country * JFK * The Killing Fields * Lethal Weapon * Nashville * Platoon * Running On Empty * Slaughterhouse-Five * Streamers * Suspect * Swimming to Cambodia * Taxi Driver * Tender Mercies * Top Gun * Year of the Dragon * And many more!

Alphabetically organized for quick and easy access, this comprehensive volume gives film audiences and VCR viewers the opportunity to understand exactly what they are watching when they see Vietnam at the movies.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As a career army officer and Vietnam veteran, the author brings important insights to this excellent compilation. His evaluation of ``accuracy'' is especially valuable: the depiction of the helicopter assault in Apocalypse Now (1979) is judged authentic, but the Russian roulette matches in The Deer Hunter (1978) are deemed fallacious. The essays in the first half of the book explore familiar themes (e.g., the returning veteran) and provide lists of films appropriate for each category, while the second half is an annotated A-Z guide to the films, including old potboilers. The analyses are lively and opinionated, with salty interjections and vivid evaluations such as this comment about Apocalypse Now: ``Surrealism or not, anyone believing that Brando and his men would hang bodies and body parts around their camp has never smelled a ripe corpse on a warm Southeast Asian afternoon.'' Like the war, this has rough edges. Highly recommended.-Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449908914
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/14/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400

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