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Uncommon Valor [VHS]

242 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, Robert Stack, Fred Ward, Reb Brown
  • Directors: Ted Kotcheff
  • Writers: Wings Hauser, Joe Gayton
  • Producers: Ted Kotcheff, Burton Elias, Buzz Feitshans, John Milius, Wings Hauser
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: January 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300214478
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,772 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Based on a true story, this action film set in the post-Vietnam era casts Gene Hackman as a retired military man who gets tired of government inaction in tracking down the whereabouts of his son, who has been listed as missing in action in Vietnam. So he gathers and trains a rough group of Vietnam vets to launch his own mission into Laos, where his intelligence tells him the son is being held. Hackman brings sorrowful power to the role of determined father, and has a rugged supporting cast (including Patrick Swayze, Fred Ward, and Randall "Tex" Cobb) to keep the story moving forward, even when the machinations become formulaic. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Tolle on May 9, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Over the years we have had Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Siege of Firebase Gloria, Rambo II, Hamburger Hill and other Vietnam war movies. These movies showed the harrowing, gritty, and savage aspects that the Vietnam war doled out on soldiers.
Now, what about those soldiers that did not come home? Those soldiers that were left behind? Those soldiers that the U.S. Government did not think were worth rescuing because it was not politically feasible? Well, that brings us to Uncommon Valor.
This is a movie about Prisoners of War who were not forgotten by a group of Veterans who put aside everything, put themselves in harms way, and dared to defy the U.S. Government to do the right thing and bring those soldiers home.
We have Gene Hackman who is the retired Army colenel risking all to find his son and bring him home. Very powerful portayal here by Hackman who is determined to surmount all obstacles and do whatever is necessary and lead his group of men to find the prisoners.
Fred Ward, in a very good role, is an ex-tunnel rat that is still very haunted by a quite traumatic experience he had in a tunnel in Vietnam replete with vivid nightmares. Just as Hackmans character is still haunted by nightmares from the Korean war. Ward, accepting his fears and the trials and tribulations to follow, knows that they cannot leave POW's behind.
Randall "Tex" Cobb is another one recruited who never quite regained touch with society after the war but is admirable in the way that he gives everything in his soul to make sure this mission is a success.
Reb Brown, not a widely known actor as compared to some other characters in this movie, does a fine job as a demolitons expert who gives his life to ensure the success of bringing the boys home.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rottenberg's rotten book review on February 22, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Colonel Cal Rhodes (Gene Hackman), US Army (ret) is the last of a long line of dedicated, if doomed, military officers. Haunted by visions that his son, a Vietnam War MIA, might still be alive in some camp in SE Asia, and with the backing of a Perot-ish entrepreneur (Robert Stack), he assembles a motley crew of former special forces officers for an ad-hoc search-and-rescue mission into Laos. The vets, who've settled into civilian life (all walks) are reluctant, but Hackman manages to sell them - we lost, and in America, that's like going bankrupt, he tells them. That's unacceptable (this movie came out, what, 1985?) The film has two phases, preparing the vets for their return to combat readiness, and the final mission itself.
I didn't want to see this flick when it came out, thinking it would be some screed right out of Soldier of Fortune, with Hollywood trying to bring its make-believe to a war that didn't want it. Instead, "Uncommon Valor" excels - mostly because it eschews most of what would soon become normal for the Rambo movies. The troops here aren't cold-calculating super-warriors who speak in hushed-Sly Stallone tones, and the Vietnamese aren't sidekicks who speak pidgin. Instead, the vets are rusty and reluctant. As Sailor, Randal "Tex" Cobb (who appears barechested thruought, wears a hand grenade and sleeps through Co. Rhodes' chinese firedrills) plays the least adjusted, and most combat ready of the vets, and it isn't clear how much he's there for comic relief or just there to remind how many vets hadn't readjusted to civilian life. His opposite is Pat Swayze, an ex-marine (4th Recon Division, Rhodes tells us) who was too young to have served, but has his own reasons for having to go.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Chism Nash on January 3, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This was one of the first movies I saw as a kid about the Vietnam War and it had a profound impact on me. The movie never delves into the political arguments against the war. From the movie's standpoint, we were there, and we left men there. Regardless of whether the war was right or wrong, the only right thing to do now, is get our men back. This was also one of the first Gene Hackman movies I ever saw, and I have been a diehard fan ever since. No other actor can disappear into a role the way Hackman does, and here is a great example of the movie's leading character doing just that, leading. Hackman gives a great performance, balancing the tough Army Colonel with the soft, gentle side of being a father. The cast is exceptional, Fred Ward, Reb Brown and Randall "Tex" Cobb being the standouts. Tim Thomerson has never been better (really). And what better role for a young, up and coming Swayze, who delivers an emotionally deep role. True the plot turns formulaic toward the end, but the superb cast pulls you in and you don't even realize it. But this movie gets it's point across: There are still US Servicemen over there, and whether or not you agreed with the Vietnam War, the only right thing to do is to go back and get them. I highly recommend this movie, if not for the theme of the movie, at least for the superb acting that it contains within. I've seen really bad movies with Gene Hackman, but he was still good, now see him in a really good movie, where he shines.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 18, 2003
Format: DVD
It had been a few years since I had last seen this movie but I can honestly say that it has held up better than most Vietnam War action movies. This movie is what those cheesy Chuck Norris vehicles aspired to be like but fell far short of. For all those who have seen and enjoyed this movie, I would reccomend that you try and locate the book by J.C. Pollack titled Mission MIA. Uncommon Valor was a blatent remake of this very entertaining book so much so, that you will be wondering why the producers just didn't credit the author. If I remember correctly, this was one of the first movies that actually portrayed Vietnam vets as honorable and in a positive light. All in all, this was a good movie about a topic that most Americans should think more about, our missing sevicemen. Let us not forget them.
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