A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

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Cast

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David Neidorf ...
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Storyline

Chris Taylor is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two non-commissioned officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin. A line is drawn between the two NCOs and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon. Written by Jeremy Thomson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The first casualty of war is innocence.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Platoon  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$137,963,328 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Oliver Stone, he intentionally cast Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe against type (Berenger, who played the ruthless, sadistic Sergeant Barnes, was mostly famous at that point for playing good guys, while Dafoe, who had primarily played villains up until then, played the heroic, compassionate Sergeant Elias). The casting worked, and both men received Oscar nominations for their work. See more »

Goofs

When Elias kills the VC down in the tunnel complex he uses a 1911A1 pistol which requires the hammer to be cocked before it will fire. After he shoots and kills the VC, the hammer should still be in the cocked position yet the hammer is shown as being down. There would be no reason an experienced combat soldier like Elias would lower the hammer when he may have to fire again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pvt. Gardner: [seeing body bags] Oh, man. Is that what I think it is?
Sergeant: All right, you cheese-dicks, welcome to the Nam. Follow me!
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Connections

Referenced in I'll Do Anything (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

TRACKS OF MY TEARS
Composed by Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson), Marvin Tarplin and Warren Moore
Performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
Published by Jobete Music Co., Inc.
Courtesy of Motown Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent look at Vietnam
15 May 2002 | by (Tucson, AZ) – See all my reviews

This certainly rates as one of the best Vietnam films of all time. What I especially enjoyed was the realistic atmosphere of the film, entrenching the viewer into a world which seems surreal yet believable. Oliver Stone's real-life experience in Vietnam brought a gifted outlook to this film, one drawn by experience, not common Hollywood conventions. While this proved be a lesser film to the equally amazing Full Metal Jacket, it was not by much. The performances by Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and John C. McGinley were exceptional, capturing the plight of the tortured soldiers.


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