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Feel The Heat With These Vietnam War Movies

Feel The Heat With These Vietnam War Movies

Following the Vietnam War's conclusion in 1975, a surge in raw American films incorporating authentic combat footage occurred. According to FilmReference.com, American filmmakers appeared more confident at that time period in order to visualize the Vietnam War for the first time.

Cecilia Jones
EntertainmentMovies
Last updated: Feb 02, 2022 | Jan 31, 2022

Table of Contents

Why Were There So Many Vietnam War Movies In The 80s?

The Vietnam Conflict's lingering repercussions are as much a part of pop culture in the 2020s as the war itself was in the late 1960s. Though the war ended 45 years ago, its particularly painful influence on cinema and television may be due to the fact that it was the first conflict to be completely aired. People from all around the world were able to tune in and witness some of the most horrifying events unfolding hundreds of miles away, as well as voice their thoughts on the conflict in novel ways.

What's The Most Realistic Vietnam War Movie?

War is a tough concept to grasp completely if you have never witnessed it personally. Having said that, the world of cinema has only successfully captured the horrors and comedy of war on a handful of occasions, according to the testimony of actual troops who were there during the conflict. What does it take to create one of the greatest war films ever made?

Naturally, realism is critical, but it may mean little unless the film is a must-see drama that civilians and others fascinated by war will watch years from now in order to appreciate just how gruesome these battles can be. The following is a list of films that have earned the distinction of being the best war films in terms of realism and general quality.

The Fog Of War: Eleven Lessons From The Life Of Robert S. Mcnamara (2003)

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This sensitive portrait of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who served under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson at the Vietnam War's height, was nominated for an Academy Award by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris. McNamara's contentious reputation as the man who oversaw the majority of the United States' involvement in Vietnam is explored in this documentary through a blend of personal interviews and historical footage.

Rescue Dawn (2006)

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Werner Herzog's autobiographical narrative of Vietnam survival, in which Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, and Jeremy Davies deliver astonishing, physically harsh performances as three prisoners of war, is a stunning departure from the director's more experimental, arthouse endeavors. Christian Bale portrays Dieter Dengler, a real-life Navy pilot who was shot down over Laos and imprisoned for six months until being liberated.

Coming Home (1978)

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Along with their performances in Hal Ashby's silent drama, Jon Voight and Jane Fonda got Academy Award nominations, with Fonda's victory being the most contentious given her renowned anti-war stance and 1972 travel to North Vietnam, which earned her the title "Hanoi Jane."

Fonda plays a woman whose husband is a Vietnam War veteran and who volunteers at a local Veterans Administration facility. During her stay, she meets (and falls in love with) a paraplegic Vietnam veteran who struggles to reconcile his wartime memories with his reintroduction to the United States, which he regards as hostile.

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

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Robin Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for his work as Adrian Cronauer, a radio DJ who travels to Vietnam to offer inspirational liveliness and entertainment to the country's Armed Forces Radio station. He is invariably opposed by the company's higher management, who believe his comic delivery is improper for such a serious environment. However, through his contacts with the Vietnamese, he witnesses firsthand the reality of war and eventually gains an understanding of the facts that are not aired.

Born On The Fourth of July (1989)

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Born of the Fourth of July is one of Oliver Stone's numerous Vietnam War films (for which he won his second Academy Award for Best Director), and it is based on the memoir of anti-war activist Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise). The film chronicles the man's sincere desire to serve his country in Vietnam. Following his injuries in the war, he returns home to a nation he thinks abandoned him, and he channels his wrath into activism by speaking out against the country's administration.

Platoon (1986)

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Oliver Stone received his first Academy Award nomination for Platoon, this time for Best Director (which itself earned the Best Picture statue).

Charlie Sheen plays a young recruit who gives up his privileged academic position to serve in the Vietnam War. He witnesses the worst of humanity on both sides of the fight, and he experiences a psychiatric collapse after watching his squad comrades kill an entire town. He is a statistic rather than a significant participant in the fight, and he experiences the worst of mankind on both sides.

The Deer Hunter (1978)

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Michael Cimino's sprawling and gorgeous military epic was nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Walken).

Three friends from a small town in Pennsylvania volunteer and serve their country in Vietnam; after being apprehended by the North Vietnamese Army and imprisoned in a camp, they are forced to play Russian roulette for their captors' amusement, which they reluctantly do. The Deer Hunter is the best film about the Vietnam War ever made, revealing not only the horrors of combat but also the psychological toll the war took on those involved.

Conclusion

Since the United States' participation in Vietnam began in the early 1960s, the conflict has had a profound effect on American society. Naturally, it has served as the setting and subject matter for a plethora of films of varying renown, both narrative and documentary features. We examine the ten best films that tackle the complex subject in a realistic, brutal, and honest manner.

Cecilia Jones | Loves movies and music.

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