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Encyclopedia > Platoon (movie)
Platoon
Platoon poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Written by Oliver Stone
Starring Charlie Sheen
Tom Berenger
Willem Dafoe
Produced by John Daly
Derek Gibson
A. Kitman Ho
Arnold Kopelson
Distributed by MGM
Release date December 19, 1986
Runtime 120 min.
Language English
Budget $6,000,000 (estimated)
IMDb page

Platoon is a 1986 Vietnam war film, written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Forest Whitaker. Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Oliver Stone William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946 in New York City) is an Academy Award-winning American film director. ... Oliver Stone William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946 in New York City) is an Academy Award-winning American film director. ... Charlie Sheen Carlos Irwin Estevez, whose stage name is Charlie Sheen, (born September 3, 1965) is an American actor. ... Tom Berenger (born May 31, 1949) is a American actor known mainly for his roles in action films. ... Willem Dafoe Willem Dafoe (born July 22, 1955) is a versatile American actor. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... December 19 is the 353rd day of the year (354th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1986 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1986 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Vietnam War was fought from 1957 to 1975 between Soviet and Chinese-supported Vietnamese nationalist and Communist forces and an array of Western and pro-Western forces, most notably the United States. ... Films of the war film genre deal primarily with actual warfare, usually featuring sea, air, or land battles and their combatants, or on daily military or civilian life in the midst of battle or the threat of battle. ... Oliver Stone William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946 in New York City) is an Academy Award-winning American film director. ... Tom Berenger (born May 31, 1949) is a American actor known mainly for his roles in action films. ... Willem Dafoe Willem Dafoe (born July 22, 1955) is a versatile American actor. ... Charlie Sheen Carlos Irwin Estevez, whose stage name is Charlie Sheen, (born September 3, 1965) is an American actor. ... Categories: Stub | 1961 births | American actors ...

Oliver Stone himself served as a combat infantryman in Vietnam, and upon his return he began writing the script for Platoon as a counter to the vision of the Vietnam war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets. The story is loosely based on his own experiences in Vietnam. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), nicknamed Duke, was an Irish-American film actor whose career spanned the evolutionary phase of American cinema, appearing in silent movies and talkies alike. ... The Green Berets is the title of a 1968 film starring John Wayne and featuring George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton, and Aldo Ray. ...

September 1967 near the Cambodian border: a young recruit named Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) has just arrived in Vietnam with several others ready to replace the holes his new Platoon recently suffered. Prior to his arrival, he dropped out of college feeling that it was leading him no where. Just upon his arrival, he sees the seasoned men who just finished their tour of duty with the "long stare" veterans develop. On his first day, his innocence and enthusiasm soon turns to confusion and disappointment as he experiences the harshness of the jungle then returning to dig a fox hole. One his first night watch, the squad is ambushed, being made up of alot of rookies who fall asleep on the watch. His first friend dies that night, along with several others injured, including himself from a bullet scrapping the back of his neck. Returning to the main camp with light duty for medical leave, he befriends several of the more seasoned who introduce him to the various drugs they use. The following day, during a routine patrol, a bunker complex is discovered and the revealing of the death of a fellow comrade sends the squad out for revenge. Reaching a nearby village, they squad discovers huge stockpiles of weapons and food which the locals came was forced upon them. The troops, tired and hateful for the murder of one of their comrades, takes out their frustrations on the village with illegal murders of several civilians, as well as several soldiers attempting to rape the girls. Sgt. Elias, having witnessed Sgt. Barnes and Lt. Wolfe's reckless actions attacks Barnes then files a complaint against the two commanders with their Captain. Chris, at first a fan of Barnes, now finds his brutal tactics repulsive and calls for fragging of Barnes, while the opposing side wants to frag Elias to prevent him from making noise about illegal killings. Frag is a term from the Vietnam war, most commonly meaning to assassinate an unpopular member of ones own fighting unit by dropping a fragmentation grenade into the victims tent at night. ...


Interestingly, Barnes is shown in the movie to be brutal not for the sake of his own sadism, but for the sake of saving the lifes of those around him and getting things done by whatever means possible. Thus his actions, although not clearly justifiablle, are well understood considering the realities of the guerilla war. He values his men and his mission above rules and regulations set forth by "politicians in Washington trying to fight this war with one hand tied around their balls" as he states. The film can be seen as a war for the soul of Taylor and the rest of the unit. While the ostensible enemy was the North Vietnamese Army, Taylor finds himself immersed in a struggle between two veteran sergeants: pragmatic and brutal Barnes and idealistic and ethical Elias, played by Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe respectively. In the end he sides with Elias (Willem Dafoe) who strives to remain within the bounds of ethics and military rules, yet still is a tremendous leader. Tom Berenger (born May 31, 1949) is a American actor known mainly for his roles in action films. ... Willem Dafoe Willem Dafoe (born July 22, 1955) is a versatile American actor. ...


On yet another patrol, the platoon is ambushed. Sgt. Elias and 3 other men including Taylor move around the fighting to try and intercept the advancing Vietnemese troops. Meanwhile, another poor decision by the young and incompetant Lt. Wolfe ends up dropping aerial bombs too close to friendly soldiers. Along with the heavy fighting, many wounded are needing attention and Barnes calls for a retreat. While the platoon retreats to their fields to be air-lifted out of the battle, Barnes goes in to get Elias and his 3 men out. After Taylor and the two others leave, Barnes confronts Elias and shoots him. During the retreat by helicopter, Elias is seen running away from the Vietnemese, having not been fatally wounded, but he dies in the open field after several shots by the Vietnemese are fired into his back.


After a confrontation with Barnes that night, the Company is sent back into the region to be the bate for a defensive line. It had been discovered that the entire NVA regiment is on the move through the Ho Chi Minh trail. This final battle ends with the death of nearly half the squad, including Lt. Wolfe and Sgt. Barnes (after Taylor shoots him). Taylor is wounded and airlifted out of Vietnam, having served his tour of duty out, but not before being profoundly affected as a person.

It was both praised and criticised for its presentation of the brutal violence seen in the war and moral ambiguity created by the realities of guerilla war, when unit leaders have to make a choice between saving the lives of their own men and taking those of suspected guerilla sympathizers. It shows many US soldiers as violent and indiscriminate killers: fueled by rage at seeing their buddies maimed by booby traps, they take their anger out on villagers who were found hiding a cache of firearms. Film also shows many negative aspects of the war in Vietnam, such as drug use, stigma placed on newbies by older and more experienced soldiers (the FNG syndrome), execution of the unpopular officers by the soldiers (known as fragging), and others. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Frag is a term from the Vietnam war, most commonly meaning to assassinate an unpopular member of ones own fighting unit by dropping a fragmentation grenade into the victims tent at night. ...


Characters

Platoon had a list of nearly a dozen characters with their own individual stories, personalities, and ends.


Chris Taylor - A yound man 19-20 years old. His family comes from the traditional upper-middle class America which fought during the world wars with distinction, went to college, and had a stable, suburbian life. After only a year into college, Taylor feels that its unfair he is excempt from service because he is in school while the poor who can't afford college are sent off to fight. Feeling he's not learning much in college anyways, he drops out and enlists voulentarily.


Captain Harris - A middle-aged leader who has much expierence and discipline which makes him look down heavily on the incompetant and cowardess Wolfe.


Lieutenant Wolfe - A recent Ohio Univeristy "yuppy" who doesn't fit into Vietnam at all, much less as a leader. He is incompenant at giving or receiving orders, and does as little as he can to get into the middle of battles. Because of his lack of experience behind the gun, he fights poorly during the final battle, which ultimately kills him.


Staff Sgt. Barnes - A ruthless and determined leader who believes in what he is doing and cares about his men without regard to rules or authority. When he kills Elias, he quickly alienates Taylor who kills him after finding Barnes wounded the morning after final battle.


Sgt. Elias - A more compassionate leader who leads by example and has become less and less enthusiastic about the war, having been fighting in Vietnam since the beginning


Rhah - One of the underground druggies who is more neutral, a friend of Elias, but respects Barnes. He takes over as Sgt. after Elias dies. He supports the war more than most, but is fed up with the problems like corruption, incompetance, and lack of man-power.


Bunny - A gun-ho, brash young man who is a great admirer of Barnes' tactics and who has little regard for Vietnemese life, friendly or foe. He ends up dying in the final battle.


Sgt. O'neill - A leader who is a friend of Barnes and believes in him, but is also tired of the war and wants to get out. Hiding under a dead body during the final battle hoping that he can leave, he is only disappointed to become the new Platoon leader after Wolfe dies.


Junior - A black-supremicist who thinks all white people are responsible for his problems. He is very much a coward who does everything to avoid the battles like drinking from the rivers, putting bug repellant on his feet, and simply retreating from his fox hole. He ends up dying anyways during the final battle.


Francis - Another one of the underground druggies who becomes good friends with Taylor. The two fight together in the final battle in the same fox hole. He survives the battle without being wounded, but stabs himself in the leg the following morning to spend the rest of his tour in a hospital.


Lerner - A less known friend of Taylor who is valued by the platoon for his ability to speak Vietnemese. He is the lead man during the patrol in which Elias dies. Shot several times, but still lives after Taylor rescues him.


King - A rather un-intelligent, yet understanding and "war-smart" black soldier who becomes very good friends with Taylor. Having been around longer, he knows what it takes to survive, not acting like some dumb hero, but rather playing it safe and relying on your own instinct.


Gardner - A rookie who arrives at the same time as Taylor, he dies on the first night watch, setting an example to all the other rookies that this is real and isn't a joke.


It won Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture and Best Sound. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Tom Berenger), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Willem Dafoe), Best Cinematography and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. Although he never won an Oscar for any of his movie performances, the comedian Bob Hope received two honorary Oscars for his contributions to cinema. ... The Academy Award for Directing is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the awards are voted on by other people within the industry. ... The Academy Award for Film Editing was first given for films issued in 1934. ... The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the awards are voted on by other people within the industry. ... This is a list of films that have received an Oscar for best sound. ... The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is awarded each year to a cinematographer for his work in one particular motion picture. ... The Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best script not based upon previously published material. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Platoon (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4175 words)
The platoon burns the village and leaves, with a final scene depicting the gang rape of a teenage girl (which Chris stops).
Platoon's release was timely; during the mid-80s there was a softening of attitudes towards Vietnam veterans that had taken over ten years since the war had officially ended in 1973 with the pullout of the last American soldiers.
Platoon was filmed on the island of Luzon in the Philippines between March and May of 1986.
Movie Review - Platoon by Joey C. (1209 words)
For instance, this movie tried to capture all of the uncertainty, blood, sweat, fear, and horror of the war in Vietnam - during the late 1960's and early 1970's - and tried to portray the point that the war will always be there the rest of their (meaning the American soldiers) lives.
I feel, even thought the movie was filmed 15 years after the end of the Vietnam war, that the various props, that were used in the movie, were shown with great accuracy, and helped to present the realistic environment in the movie.
The movie also did a good job in showing how internal conflict was a predominant feeling during the war, and how this internal conflict, associated with the external conflict of the time, changed a lot of men, both mentally and physically.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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