Hamburger Hill

Still of Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Steven Weber and Courtney B. Vance in Hamburger HillStill of Dylan McDermott and Courtney B. Vance in Hamburger HillHamburger HillStill of Dylan McDermott in Hamburger HillHamburger HillStill of John Irvin in Hamburger Hill

Plot

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 6.5/10 (9,961 voted)

Director:
John Irvin

Stars: Anthony Barrile, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle

Storyline
A brutal and realistic war film focuses on the lives of a squad of 14 U.S. Army soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infanty Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the brutal 10 day (May 11-20, 1969) battle for Hill 937 in the A Shau Valley of Vietnam as they try again and again to take the fortified hill held by the North Vietnamese, and the faults and casualties they take every time in which the battle was later dubbed "Hamburger Hill" because enemy fire was so fierce that the fusillade of bullets turned assaulting troops into shreded hamburger meat.

Cast:

Anthony Barrile

Pvt. Vincent 'Alphabet' Languilli


Michael Boatman

Pvt. Ray Motown

(as Michael Patrick Boatman)


Don Cheadle

Pvt. Johnny Washburn


Michael Dolan

Pvt. Harry Murphy


Don James

Pvt. Elliott 'Mac' McDaniel


Dylan McDermott

Sgt. Adam Frantz


Michael A. Nickles

Pvt. Paul Galvan

(as M.A. Nickles)


Harry O'Reilly

Pvt. Michael Duffy


Daniel O'Shea

Pvt. Frank Gaigin


Tim Quill

Pvt. Joe Beletsky


Tommy Swerdlow

Pvt. Martin Bienstock


Courtney B. Vance

Spc. Abraham 'Doc' Johnson


Steven Weber

Sfc. Dennis Worcester


Tegan West

Lt. Terry Eden


Kieu Chinh

Mama San

Taglines:
The most realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War ever filmed . Because it's the only one that's true.

Release Date: 28 August 1987

Filming Locations: Philippines

Opening Weekend: $3,360,705
(USA)
(30 August 1987)
(814 Screens)

Gross: $13,839,404
(USA)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:

John Irvin had filmed a documentary in Vietnam during the war.

Goofs:

Anachronisms:
In the scene at base camp, when the soldiers are playing in the water, the song "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag" by Country Joe & The Fish is playing in the background. While the studio version had been released by May '69, the version in the movie was recorded at the Woodstock Music Festival, which took place a few months later in August '69.

Quotes:

Sgt. Frantz:
Now unass my AO!



User Review

Realism and Radicalism

Rating: 9/10

This is an excellent depiction of the insanity that was the war in Viet Nam.
My view as a naval officer during a scenic tour of the Mekong near the
Cambodian border and the Vietnamese city of Chau Phu, permitted me to be a
witness to many, many occasions involving the wholesale abuse of humans by
humans. The strain on mind, body and soul takes years (if ever) to repair
and this film captures it. There are brief glimpses of this agony in some
of the other films mentioned here in the reviews, e.g., Apocalypse Now, Full
Metal Jacket and Platoon. Each of these films have merit but are deeply
flawed. Apocalypse Now is steeped in moral allegory to the expense of an
accurate portrayal of the war; Full Metal Jacket is only 2/3 completed;
Platoon becomes a Levi-Straussian moral tale with an arch villain and
virtuous hero– the latter heinously slain by the former with revenge
exacted by the weary sojourner on the odyssey. OK. What do we have here
with Hamburger Hill? A story? Heroic acts? Action? Not really. What we
have is the horror and insanity of war. The film ends on the same pointless
note as it began. But, you know what? Reading through the detractors of
this film who touted the other potential three and slammed this one, I would
not hesitate to bet they were never there. I could glance at the reviews
and pick out the vets– not just on the basis of whether they liked this
film or not but of how they reacted to it. I know and know damn well. I
too was there, brothers. See this film. It's well produced, directed and
the cast is damn good. Check it out.