Watched 'Platoon' for the first time

I’m generally pretty into war movies, so it was kind of odd I had never seen ‘Platoon’.

Not surprisingly, I found the movie incredibly depressing. One of the jarring things about it was that many war movies give the audience a sense of accomplishment- sure many people died along the way, but at least their deaths meant something. In Platoon, this was definitely not the case. There wasn’t a sense of self-sacrifice; it was any man for himself when things got bad. Of all the war movies I’ve seen, I think that Platoon evoked a person’s fear of death more than any other.

How accurate was the film to real events? Even seeing it as an adult, after watching countless other war movies, some involving Vietnam, the whole thing was still rather jarring for me.

A recommendation for you, if you haven’t seen it… Stalingrad.
For a “fear of death” scene (and this really needs to be seen on the big screen for full effect), the attack of the Russian tanks on the soldiers in their foxholes is one of the scariest ever filmed.

I have not heard the director’s comments on the DVD. From what I hear a lot of your questions would be answered there. Oliver Stone wrote the movie as well as directing it. It was never supposed to be non-fiction but Stone was a grunt in Viet Nam and called on his experiences to make to movie.

I remember reading a book(forgot the title) but it did state that Oliver Stone did write Platoon to mirror some his stay in Vietnam. I seem to recall that the “heads” in the movie were supposed to represent some of the other soldiers he served with and the two seargents, Barnes and Elias(? I think that was the other guys name) were also based on real people. I’ll see if I can find out what book this was from.

I went to see this movie on opening day in the theater with a former Green Beret who did some very up-close-and-personal killing in Vietnam. I’ve seen photos of him and his platoon standing over a mass VC grave. He almost didn’t make it through the film, and said upon exiting that he never wanted to see anything that close to the truth about Vietnam again.

Sorry. He was a Ranger, and therefore wore a burgundy beret. I went with him and his daughter (whom I wanted in the worst way.)

What, a threesome with her dad?

Just the girl, thanks. Just the girl.

I worked in a movie theatre when Platoon came out. I overheard many vets saying that was how it was.

You may find it strange but many women came to see the film by themselves. I evesdropped on some of them and their husbands were vets and they had to know, or to get some idea of what their husbands went through.

Hey, a movie thread I can actually respond to! :smiley: This was actually the first Vietnam movie I ever saw, as part of a college course on that very subject.

From everything I’ve learned, it’s a highly accurate portrayal, and I doubt that anyone who actually knows about that terrible period in recent American history would disagree. Yes, a lot of people died. Yes, our forces destroyed entire villages without remorse. Yes, most of the people involved were in constant fear of their lives. And yes, it rained a lot. I think it says something that it was directed by Oliver Stone and eventually won Best Picture, and there’s NEVER been any massive public outrage over its legitimacy.

Yes, it takes a few creative liberties, but no more than any other movie.

I didn’t find it particularly depressing. Sobering, maybe, but the main character being able to go home, health and sanity intact, and really understand exactly what made this conflict so horrible, I couldn’t help but see it as a small victory. He saw the elephant and returned home a better man…given the conflict in question, I could hardly envision a more positive result.

Check out Hamburger Hill if you want to see a pointless battle with no sense of accomplisment. That movie left me cold.

You realize that if he found out how you felt about his daughter, he could kill you eight different ways with just his thumb?

That certainly passed through my mind the night he caught us trying to sneak me into her room after hours.

I actually met one of the guys from the Platoon in which Oliver Stone served.
He showed us a lot of footage from documentaries about Vietnam and some interviews with Oliver Stone and some of the other survivors.
That really brought that movie to life for me.
He also said it was very close to the real experience.

[nitpick] It’s a maroon beret, but thats not correct either. Rangers wore the black beret until recently. When the Army decided to have everyone wear a black beret, the Rangers switched to a tan beret. See the cover of the book about Pat Tillman to see a picture of the tan beret.[/nitpick]

Or Gallipoli.

Interesting. He definitely wore a burgundy beret. In fact, I remember him specifically describing it as “burgundy.” What was he?

Platoon was good but I always felt that Stanley Kubrik’s Full Metal Jacket was a more disturbing portrayal of war.

…and if it was warm he wouldn’t wear much more.

82nd Airborne

There are a lot of soldiers who have gone though Ranger school and are not posted to a Ranger unit.