Was "THE GREEN BERETS"A Govt.-Sponsored propaganda film?

I just caught this old turd on AMC…and time hasn’t taken the stink away from this one! The plot was so contrived…skeptical reporter David Janssen practically joins up by the end of the film! Anyway, would an overweight, out-of-shape colonel (like John Wayne portrayed) actually have been sent on a combat mission behind enemy lines? Was it THAT easy to knock off North Vietnamese soldiers like they did?
Now for the important deatils…the flick was very favorable to the cause of the war…and it came out at a time when our involvement in Vietnam was getting a lot of bad press…is there any evidence that the DOD liked this film…and went out of its way to help in its making?
Finally, I remember that there was a very funny parody of the “Ballad of the Green Berets” going around , after this film’s release. Unfortunately, I can only remember one line of it:
“…trained to live on pizza pies”
That’s it…anybody know the rest?
PS: Did Sgt. Barry Sadler (the guy who composed the ballad)get killed in Vietnam? :confused:

Well, I suppose the US Government could have sponsored a Black propaganda film, funneled money to John Wayne’s secret Swiss bank account and all that. Or perhaps Hollywood just wanted to sell some popcorn to the Republicans.

Which do you think is more likely.

Barry? He had a hard time with his music career. Eventually got locked up for killing a man in a bar fight.

Actually, Sadler had a successful career after “Ballad of the Green Berets” as an author of 22 military fantasy novels. He died in 1989, long after Vietnam.

The impetus for the movie was John Wayne, who wanted to do something to counter the antiwar movement. His son produced it, so it was likely Wayne put up at least some of the money.

The government did cooperate, though, lending equipment and allowing it to be shot at Fr. Benning, GA (which explains the pine trees in Vietnam).

I assume you noted the final shot of the sun setting in the east. :slight_smile:

“Hello. Movie Liaison Office, Major Smith speaking.”

“What? A movie in support of the war?”

“John Wayne? THE John Wayne?”

“You’re damn right the Pentagon can help out! What do you need?”

I think the phone call went something like that…

That would be democrats not republicans they were trying to sell popcorn to. The film was released in 1968 during the Johnson administration.

Vietnam does have some western coastline, although I believe Wayne’s character is supposed to be near Da Nang.

I don’t know about overweight and out of shape, but my uncle was an Army colonel in his mid-40s when fought infantry combat missions in Vietnam. He was wounded in combat in the jungle.

Yes, indeed, that was Fort Benning. The Department of Defense not only gave the filmmakers permission to shoot at Benning, but the troops you see jogging by the camera in that closing shot were actual troops going through their Green Beret training. My dad, who proudly wore the Green Beanie, is one of them. Just look for the tall skinny bald white guy…that’s okay, he’s never been able to find himself in that crowd either. Maybe with a DVD and a bigscreen TV…

Hmmmm let’s see. John Wayne wanted to make a pro-Vietnam war fillm in 1968?
I’m sure the Department of Defense would have been steadfastly against it. :smiley:

Kizarvexius Your father was going through Green Beret training at the same time and place that John Wayne was playing pretend ‘Green Beret’ ? LOL
Does your father ever comment on the factuality of the movie? I’m told John Wayne couldn’t even hold the rifle properly. (Surprising actually, considering how many times he played a soldier, or cowboy. You’d think he’d get the hang of proper firearm safety eventually).

Not to hijack but I think “Full Metal Jacket” is the best movie about the Vietnam War.

I know that it’s common for the DOD to lend equipment and advisers to war movies that they feel positively portray the military at no cost. If they don’t like the movie you’re making, you get bupkiss. The TV show JAG gets a lot of free help from the US military. Movies like Full Metal Jacket, not so much.

At least, that’s how it works now. I doubt things were very much different in 1968.

Wayne was also an avid hunter, and had the roof on his IH Scout modified so that he could wear his 10 gallon hat while driving it, and could pop up and shoot at something without having to get out. I’ve seen pictures of it, and they’re not pretty.

By the time Full Metal Jacket was made, the Army wasn’t using much of the same equipment - it wouldn’t have made sense for Vietnam-era soldiers to be cruising around in Humvees and Bradley armored vehicles. Even the M-16s were different. Not to mention the uniforms. Not a whole lot of room for military cooperation - besides, doesn’t Oliver Stone think he knows everything anyway?

Yes, but why are you bringing Oliver Stone up in a discussion about a movie directed by Stanley Kubrick?

Alright, substitute Three Kings for Full Metal Jacket.

It’s a better movie, anyway.

The crack smoking statement of the night.

What “Green Beret” training has ever been conducted at Fort Benning?? :confused:

Are you counting Airborne School maybe???

:confused: Somebody bring me up to speed here – since when does the Army have a special-forces unit of French leprechauns?

. . . sorry, it’s late . . .

Maybe you mean Platoon?

Whoops - got my “late '80s Vietnam movie fad” movies scrambled…sorry 'bout that.

Yes, jump school. Pushing 18 year-old kids out of perfectly good airplanes. The rest of the training took place at Ft. Bragg, of course.