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Only one Vietnam movie for Memorial Day?

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TCM can find only one Vietnam movie for Memorial Day?  They seem to do this every Memorial Day or show none at all.  

And its The Green Berets-again!  This is a typical John Wayne movie-plenty of action and not a bad story, but accuracy is not a key factor.  

I was in the US Army Airborne about that time and served at Ft. Bragg (Home of the Green Berets and the Airborne) and in Vietnam.

There are plenty of better Vietnam movies out there that TCM should be able to obtain.  Go Tell the Spartans with Burt Lancaster is one that deserves to be shown for example.

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I really do enjoy The Green Berets but I, too, could use a change-up. I'm not particularly attracted to Vietnam War films, though I did enjoy Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Robin Williams' healthy disregard for the established authorities was entertaining.

 

Generally, (U.S. made) Vietnam war movies seem to have been produced some 10 or more years after the fact. Whereas, many WWII films were a product of the War years. Maybe the Vietnam War films are more difficult to obtain for broadcast - more studios to deal with than the old Hollywood gang. I'm just guessing..
 
I would enjoy seeing The Deer Hunter (1978), which can be disturbing to some - it was to me. I would also like to see Jacob's Ladder (1990) - it's not for everyone, but I enjoyed trying to figure out what the hell was going on.. kinda like Pulp Fiction the first time I saw it. Casualties of War (1989) was good - I liked the performances of Michael Fox and Sean Penn.
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I think the two of you have made excellent suggestions. A trio that I would like to add:

 

A Rumor of War (1980) which was based upon Philip Caputo's excellent memoir.

 

In Country (1989) which was directed by Norman Jewison. This one deals with postwar issues and is definitely not a traditional Bruce Willis movie.

 

We Were Soldiers (2002) which was also based upon an excellent book coauthored by the Army officer portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie.

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I think the two of you have made excellent suggestions. A trio that I would like to add:

 

A Rumor of War (1980) which was based upon Philip Caputo's excellent memoir.

 

In Country (1989) which was directed by Norman Jewison. This one deals with postwar issues and is definitely not a traditional Bruce Willis movie.

 

We Were Soldiers (2002) which was also based upon an excellent book coauthored by the Army officer portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie.

I read A Rumor of War when it came out and never knew there was a movie until a fellow vet mentioned it last week.  Would definitely like to see that movie.   Did read We Were Soldiers and saw the movie when it came out.

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TCM can find only one Vietnam movie for Memorial Day?  They seem to do this every Memorial Day or show none at all.  

And its The Green Berets-again!  This is a typical John Wayne movie-plenty of action and not a bad story, but accuracy is not a key factor.  

I was in the US Army Airborne about that time and served at Ft. Bragg (Home of the Green Berets and the Airborne) and in Vietnam.

There are plenty of better Vietnam movies out there that TCM should be able to obtain.  Go Tell the Spartans with Burt Lancaster is one that deserves to be shown for example.

The Green Berets was the only Hollywood movie about Vietnam made during the war.  Unless you count Tribes (1970), with Darren McGavin, which took place entirely in boot camp IIRC.  So there are a lot fewer choices.

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The Green Berets was the only Hollywood movie about Vietnam made during the war.  Unless you count Tribes (1970), with Darren McGavin, which took place entirely in boot camp IIRC.  So there are a lot fewer choices.

a good Vietnam movie choice imo is first blood.

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a good Vietnam movie choice imo is first blood.

Yes. I resisted viewing this movie for quite a while. When I finally did watch it, I liked it - very much. It really gets the point across. Without getting into the politics here.. many vets did just "want their country to love them as much as they loved their country". This first film is a good underdog story.

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THE GREEN BERETS (1968) was a product of its time.

 

Robert Lowell "Robin" Moore, Jr., who wrote the book, was a credible and prolific author and did his homework. (He even co-wrote the lyrics for SSgt. Barry Sadler's 1966 hit song "Ballad of the Green Berets").

Moore was a Harvard classmate of Robert F. Kennedy, and wanted to write a book about the Special Forces (a clandestine unconventional warfare branch of the US Army, that evolved from such WW2 experiments as The Devil's Brigade commandos, Darby's Rangers and the OSS, and became it's own acting entity in 1952).

To gain hands-on background, Spec Forces founder Lt Gen William Yarborough insisted that Moore train with Special Forces.  Though a civilian, Moore trained extensively with Special Forces units at Fort Benning and Bragg. Moore was in great shape and incredibly dogmatic, he completed airborne training, jump school, and the SF Q course, and then accompanied the unit he trained with for a tour in Nam in 1963.

 

1963.... This is the background of the book (first published in 1965)... The Kennedy administration, U.S. Special Forces ostensibly deployed as non-combat training "advisers" in South East Asia, & the controversial Ngo Dinh Diem not yet assassinated by a U.S. administration condoned, and CIA-backed, coup d'état. 

 

But by the time the movie was made, and released five years later (June 1968), the United States had over half a million mostly combat troops in Vietnam and the homefront was becoming heavily divided regarding civilian support of the "war."

The Tet Offensive, occurred late January 1968. U.S. casualties were numbering in the hundreds per week, with thousands of Vietnamese casualties from both sides in the same time frame.

In 1968, Lyndon Johnson refused to run again for President because of the war, political disobediance advocate Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy (who was beginning to openly speak out against the war) were both assassinated within two months of each other, and much more devisiveness was yet to come.

 

In THE GREEN BERETS (the movie) the sun sets in the east.
It holds the distinction of being the only major U.S. studio (Columbia) feature film about the Vietnam War, produced during the conflict.

 

The film was heavily supported by the U.S. Army which provided much of the equipment, and was primarily shot the summer of 1967 at Fort Benning, Georgia.

 

Of those primarily involved in the film's production, co-director Edgar Ray Kellogg was a Navy Lt with the OSS Photographic Branch during WW2 (where he became acquainted with director John Ford).

 

Bruce Cabot was an Army Air Force 1Lt during WW2, saw active duty in Tunis during 1943. He was allegedly involved with a high level Air Transport Command smuggling ring shipping Nazi gold to Brazil, apprehended in Cairo Nov. 1943, transfered to a remote outpost in Mauritania, and separated from service July 1944. 

 

Aldo Ray was a Navy frogman and saw actual action at Okinawa during WW2. 

 

In the 1930's, Jason Evers quit high school to join the U.S. Army.

 

Japanese Americans Jack Soo and George Takei were interned in US "relocation" camps during WW2.

 

Irene Tsu was a Chinese Cold War expatriot.

 

Screenwriter George Goodman served as a military intelligence officer with the Special Forces in the 1950s.

Columbia sent Goodman to South Vietnam for additional "updated" research for the script.

Robin Moore felt the final script and film betrayed the original book agreement which he had with Columbia producer David L. Wolper.

 

Screenwriter James Lee Barrett was a Marine recruit in 1950.

 

David Janssen served two years as an enlistee in the United States Army in 1956.

 

Jim Hutton spent his peacetime enlistment making army training films. 

 

Following University graduation, Patrick Wayne served in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1961.

 

Luke Askew served in U.S. Air Force intelligence during his college years.

 

John Wayne co-directed and starred in THE GREEN BERETS

In as much as I enjoy most of John Wayne's films, in my opinion, he was a "chicken-hawk" obtaining a 3-A (age and family deferment) during WW2, despite being reclassified 1-A, his military service managed to be postponed, indefinitely.

 

The films reception was mixed. Generally those who supported the war at the time, supported the film. Those who were against the war, deadpanned the film.

For whatever reason/s the film pulled in three times its cost at the box office, so one could still consider it a minor commercial success.

 

There have been several far better, more complex, objectively more accurate, films about the Vietnam War produced since that time. A few have already been mentioned in this thread. Why TCM hasn't been able to procure them for us to view is anybody's guess???

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There have been several far better, more complex, objectively more accurate, films about the Vietnam War produced since that time. A few have already been mentioned in this thread. Why TCM hasn't been able to procure them for us to view is anybody's guess???

My guess is because they are post Studio Era, and post 60's, TCM is sort of frozen in time.  ;)

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THE GREEN BERETS (1968) was a product of its time.

 

Robert Lowell "Robin" Moore, Jr., who wrote the book, was a credible and prolific author and did his homework. (He even co-wrote the lyrics for SSgt. Barry Sadler's 1966 hit song "Ballad of the Green Berets").

 

Moore was a Harvard classmate of Robert F. Kennedy, and wanted to write a book about the Special Forces (a clandestine unconventional warfare branch of the US Army, that evolved from such WW2 experiments as The Devil's Brigade commandos, Darby's Rangers and the OSS, and became it's own acting entity in 1952).

 

To gain hands-on background, Spec Forces founder Lt Gen William Yarborough insisted that Moore train with Special Forces.  Though a civilian, Moore trained extensively with Special Forces units at Fort Benning and Bragg. Moore was in great shape and incredibly dogmatic, he completed airborne training, jump school, and the SF Q course, and then accompanied the unit he trained with for a tour in Nam in 1963.

 

My old boss I. F. Stone penned two of the most prophetic headlines of the early 1960's when he first wrote about the U.S. military's growing fascination with counterinsurgency in Southeast Asia:

 

COUNTER-GUERRILLA WARFARE:  THE DAZZLING

NEW MILITARY TOOTHPASTE FOR SOCIAL DECAY

 

WHEN BRASS HATS START READING MAO, BEWARE!

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THE GREEN BERETS (1968) was a product of its time.

 

Robert Lowell "Robin" Moore, Jr., who wrote the book, was a credible and prolific author and did his homework. (He even co-wrote the lyrics for SSgt. Barry Sadler's 1966 hit song "Ballad of the Green Berets").

Moore was a Harvard classmate of Robert F. Kennedy, and wanted to write a book about the Special Forces (a clandestine unconventional warfare branch of the US Army, that evolved from such WW2 experiments as The Devil's Brigade commandos, Darby's Rangers and the OSS, and became it's own acting entity in 1952).

To gain hands-on background, Spec Forces founder Lt Gen William Yarborough insisted that Moore train with Special Forces.  Though a civilian, Moore trained extensively with Special Forces units at Fort Benning and Bragg. Moore was in great shape and incredibly dogmatic, he completed airborne training, jump school, and the SF Q course, and then accompanied the unit he trained with for a tour in Nam in 1963.

 

 

The Green Berets, officially US Army Special Forces were not "clandestine."  They were fairly obvious in what they were doing and where and wore uniforms while doing it.  SF had little relationship to OSS or the Devil's Brigade.  Darby's Rangers evolved into the US Army Rangers, very different from SF.  Rangers are more of the "commando" type.

SF was unconventional in that they worked very closely with civilian populations and small ARVN units and in outlying villages.  SF was broken down into small teams to accomplish its missions.

"Airborne training" and "jump school" are the same thing.  Been there, done that.

As for the 500,000 being "mostly combat," depends on what you call "combat."   The Vietnam War had a huge in-country logistical requirement and then add in the Navy off shore and Air Force in Thailand, Guam, etc.  Of course, anyone could be attacked anywhere in the country and pilots far too frequently shot down.

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TCM can find only one Vietnam movie for Memorial Day?  They seem to do this every Memorial Day or show none at all.  

And its The Green Berets-again!  This is a typical John Wayne movie-plenty of action and not a bad story, but accuracy is not a key factor.  

I was in the US Army Airborne about that time and served at Ft. Bragg (Home of the Green Berets and the Airborne) and in Vietnam.

There are plenty of better Vietnam movies out there that TCM should be able to obtain.  Go Tell the Spartans with Burt Lancaster is one that deserves to be shown for example.

Aren't most Vietnam movies anti-war? Anti-war films are not appropriate for Memorial Day, though they're appropriate for me at any time.

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Aren't most Vietnam movies anti-war? Anti-war films are not appropriate for Memorial Day, though they're appropriate for me at any time.

 

I think you have the reason right there (with the secondary reason being most Vietnam films are fairly recent films);

 

 Should TCM show Full Metal Jacket?     My guess is that would upset some folks. 

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Aren't most Vietnam movies anti-war? Anti-war films are not appropriate for Memorial Day, though they're appropriate for me at any time.

 

Wait now, DGF. While I'll agree that your observation about most movies made of the Vietnam War are probably "anti-war", are you essence saying that only "jingoistic" themed movies "should be" the only manner in which to honor our fallen warriors?

 

Sorry, but I have a feeling that many who, as Lincoln said, "had given the last full measure of devotion" in service to our country and in every war this country has fought were probably people who were "anti-war" themselves but who still felt bound to the idea that the human race is prone to conflict and thus war is sometimes an inevitable proposition, and thus probably still felt honor-bound to participate in these various wars in the hopes of a better future for themselves and their posterity, and despite any jingoistic feelings they may or may not have personally held.

 

My underlying point here being that I got the impression you were implying the idea that to be "anti-war" was or is the same as being "anti-soldier", and which I feel is often a great misconception shared by way too many people now days.

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The Green Berets was the only Hollywood movie about Vietnam made during the war.  Unless you count Tribes (1970), with Darren McGavin, which took place entirely in boot camp IIRC.  So there are a lot fewer choices.

Wasn't the TV movie "Baby Blue Marine" also made while Viet Nam was still taking place?

 

anyway, I'll go with those who claim the absence of many Viet Nam movies on Memorial Day Weekend is primarily due to them not being "classic" enough.  That THE GREEN BERETS gets the nod due mostly to JOHN WAYNE, who's made plenty "classic" war(and other) movies that TCM often shows.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Wait now, DGF. While I'll agree that your observation about most movies made of the Vietnam War are probably "anti-war", are you essence saying that only "jingoistic" themed movies "should be" the only manner in which to honor our fallen warriors?

 

Sorry, but I have a feeling that many who, as Lincoln said, "had given the last full measure of devotion" in service to our country and in every war this country has fought were probably people who were "anti-war" themselves but who still felt bound to the idea that the human race is prone to conflict and thus war is sometimes an inevitable proposition, and thus probably still felt honor-bound to participate in these various wars in the hopes of a better future for themselves and their posterity, and despite any jingoistic feelings they may or may not have personally held.

 

My underlying point here being that I got the impression you were implying the idea that to be "anti-war" was or is the same as being "anti-soldier", and which I feel is often a great misconception shared by way too many people now days.

No. Memorial Day is to honor soldiers and the valuable services they have provided. That's kind of tough to do with respect to Vietnam. The soldiers who served there unfortunately haven't been given the hero treatment as have the soldiers who served in WW II, through no fault of their own.

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No. Memorial Day is to honor soldiers and the valuable services they have provided. That's kind of tough to do with respect to Vietnam. The soldiers who served there unfortunately haven't been given the hero treatment as have the soldiers who served in WW II, through no fault of their own.

 

I agree with this, however my basic point here was more the thought that could it not be reasonably argued that to not show movies depicting the sacrifices made by Vietnam War veterans during that conflict and movies which may be "anti-war" in overall intent, does further "stigmatize" said veterans and their sacrifices made during that war, and regardless one's own personal opinions about the "rightness" of that particular war?

 

Once again, I feel your apparent attitude regarding this seems to continue the idea that the Vietnam War veteran is somehow "separate" from all other veterans who participated in all other wars in which this country has been involved, and that it possibly even "diminishes" their personal sacrifices made during it, and all because of this particular war being one that caused and still causes such controversy whenever the geopolitics of its causes and effects are discussed, and of course with the geopolitical aspect of it being something the soldiers who sacrificed all had little if any control of.

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I agree with this, however my basic point here was more the thought that could it not be reasonably argued that to not show movies depicting the sacrifices made by Vietnam War veterans during that conflict and movies which may be "anti-war" in overall intent, does further "stigmatize" said veterans and their sacrifices made during that war, and regardless one's own personal opinions about the "rightness" of that particular war?

 

Once again, I feel your apparent attitude regarding this seems to continue the idea that the Vietnam War veteran is somehow "separate" from all other veterans who participated in all other wars in which this country has been involved, and that it possibly even "diminishes" their personal sacrifices made during it, and all because of this particular war being one that caused and still causes such controversy whenever the geopolitics of its causes and effects are discussed, and of course with the geopolitical aspect of it being something the soldiers who sacrificed all had little if any control of.

It's not MY attitude. I'm just describing the prevailing attitude in society. I personally think it's a shame that Vietnam vets are viewed this way.

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It's not MY attitude. I'm just describing the prevailing attitude in society. I personally think it's a shame that Vietnam vets are viewed this way.

Memorial Day is to celebrate all soldiers of all conflicts including the Civil War.  At last count there were 25 reletively good movies regarding the Vietnam War (including some pre-USA entry movies) and yes there should be more movies.  However what we don't know is the licensing agreements TCM currently holds that will let those movies be shown on TCM. 

 

I also noted absent whines about a dearth of Korean War films and the sorry state of affiairs that inflicts those remaining veterans in regards to their service and the harrowing factors of that conflict and recognition of their service.

 

However what is most important about the celebration of Memorial Day on TCM is the recognition that regardless of the war or police action or conflict they who served are all veterans and remembering those from one conflict via movies still reminds us to remember all veterans of all wars, which after all, is the purpose of Memorial Day. 

 

Also...for those who don't remember your history, May 8th will be the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, so maybe a little too much focus on WWII this year isn't all that bad.

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It's not MY attitude. I'm just describing the prevailing attitude in society. I personally think it's a shame that Vietnam vets are viewed this way.

 

I understood that, DGF.

 

It was the wording of your first post in this thread and in which you stated...

 

 

Aren't most Vietnam movies anti-war? Anti-war films are not appropriate for Memorial Day, though they're appropriate for me at any time.

 

 

...and especially the part I placed in bold lettering, that got this particular discussion between you and I going here, remember.

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I understood that, DGF.

 

It was the wording of your first post in this thread and in which you stated...

 

 

...and especially the part I placed in bold lettering, that got this particular discussion between you and I going here, remember.

 

Funny but what stood out to me was that he also said "though they're appropriate for me at any time".   (any time meaning including Memorial Day).

 

Therefore it was clear to me he was talking about an overall view some people (majority of the public?),  have.

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Aren't most Vietnam movies anti-war? Anti-war films are not appropriate for Memorial Day, though they're appropriate for me at any time.

Perhaps anti-war movies would be the most appropriate?  While we need to honor those who served, we need to make sure they serve for the right reasons.

Doesn't TCM pride itself on exposing viewers to movies of all types?  For example, French, Japanese, other foreign language, silent, cult, etc.

As a Vietnam veteran and retired military, there are many of us who opposed the war or came to oppose it after our service there.  Much of this is based on reading books and articles AND seeing movies from a different perspective than John Wayne, et. al. 

Proud of my service, including Vietnam.  Duty called and I went, along with millions of others.

Firmly believe that if a certain former president and his vice-president had served in Vietnam instead of avoiding it, we wouldn't be in a protracted war now.

Incidentally, my original point was that TCM does not show Vietnam War movies or only shows The Green Berets.  There have been many Memorial Days when none were shown.  Probably too few Korean War movies as well, but there are almost always a few.

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Funny but what stood out to me was that he also said "though they're appropriate for me at any time".   (any time meaning including Memorial Day).

 

Therefore it was clear to me he was talking about an overall view some people (majority of the public?),  have.

 

True, and how I read DGF's thoughts here also, James.

 

It's was just the manner in which our resident "Man of Few Words" stated that middle sentence of his that seemed to me to somehow "legitimatize" that particular mindset among "some people or majority of the public" out there, and thus the reason I offered up an opposing opinion.

 

(...and yeah, instead of stating "your attitude" to our friend DGF, I should have stated something such as "this seemingly prevailing attitude"...sorry DGF)

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Honoring veterans doesn't mean just showing war movies. And now political correctness dictates that there has to be equal time between wars? OK, you want another Vietnam War movie? How about Coming Home?

 

The tyranny of the holidays...

 

 

 

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♦ I believe "Baby Blue Marine" (1976) was a theatrical movie and not a made-for-television feature. 

 

 ♦ Personally, I think "The Green Berets" could use some Vietnam War-themed company on Memorial Day.  What could it have hurt to air another film dealing with Vietnam?  I'd pick "The Boys In Company C" (1978) cos I've never seen it and it looks interesting.  With Stan Shaw.  

 

 

 

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