All wars have seen some screen time. Even now, there are war films being made out of wars that have come decades ago and even centuries ago. A lot of people are interested in them because of the drama that is involved. It’s almost impossible not to have drama in a war movie. There is always some story to tell and it seems that the film makers have not yet exhausted all the different angles.
One war that has gathered a lot of attention is the Vietnam War. Notable for being the United States lone loss, the Vietnam War is immensely fascinating. If you’re going to watch a war film on Vietnam, here are five films that you should consider.
1) Apocalypse Now Redux - Francis Ford Coppola added several scenes that basically made the film longer and even more magnificent than it was before. Starring Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin L. Willard, a soldier who has been eaten up by the war and is now being sent for a hit on Col. Walter E. Kurtz played by Marlon Brando. Coppola’s opus is famous for all the problems it encountered during filming but in the end, it was worth it as it is recognized as the iconic film that it is.
2) Platoon- Oliver Stone won plaudits and awards for this semi-autobiographical film about the Vietnam War. For a lot of people, this is the ultimate war film as it does not glorify war at all but simply keep people afraid of what is happening. Afraid of being in a war itself. Starring Charlie Sheen as a young soldier thrust upon hell by his own choice, the film centers around the exploits of men in combat and the constant fear that gnaws at them sending their minds into different extremes and seeking different recluses.
3) The Deer Hunter- If there was ever a forgotten masterpiece, it was definitely The Deer Hunter. Perhaps it is because the director, Michael Cimino, is not exactly as well known as the others in this list. Still, the movie is an amazing trip in the lives of three regular men with simple dreams who got drafted into the Vietnam War. Robert De Niro leads the talented cast with John Savage, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken who won an Oscar for this film.
4) Full Metal jacket- Stanley Kubrick has been known to make different films in different genres and most of them comes out as profound works of art. Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick’s ode to the Vietnam War is no different. Separated in two acts, the film starts with the training scenes where every boy becomes a man or gets broken down and pushed out. Lee Emry portrays the Gunnery Sergeant in charge of making soldiers out of slackers while Matthew modine portrays the central character of a new recruit. The second half of the film is all about war and all its harrowing situations and predicaments but in some ways, the first part is actually more exciting.
5) Casualties of War- In the same vein as Platoon, Brian De Palma’s own war movie Casualties of War is an unceasing reminder that in war, there are no winners only losers. For the most part the losers are dead so you either become a dead loser or an alive loser. Michael J. Fox shows incredible range in this film after being known as a family film-oriented, fun-loving pretty boy actor as he portrayed a young private in the middle of a war that he does not understand.