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Winner of 4 Academy Awardsr, including Best Picture, and based on the first-hand experience of Oscarr-winning director Oliver Stone, Platoon is powerful, intense and starkly brutal. "Harrowingly realistic and completely convincing" (Leonard Maltin), it is "a dark, unforgettable memorial" (The Washington Post) to every soldier whose innocence was lost in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam. Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a young, naive American who, upon his arrival in Vietnam, quickly discovers that he must do battle not only with the Viet Cong, but also with the gnawing fear, physical exhaustion and intense anger growing within him. While his two commanding officers (Oscarr-nominated Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe) draw a fine line between the war they wage against the enemy and the one they fight with each other, the conflict, chaos and hatred permeate Taylor, suffocating his realities and numbing his feelings to man's highest value life.
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It wasn't until the third time I watched it that I could sit all the way through, still wasn't easy. When you're overrun, just like the movie, you're filled with( what I called) Bloodlust! You are killing everything that doesn't look like an American. I don't have a lot of memories about it except for snippets of individual actions I was in. It's mass confusion and, like the movie, when the commanding officer expected that his company was losing, he called in what's called " Broken Arrow", which means an American unit is being wiped out and needs all possible assistance and the Air Force responded. The CO called them down right on top of his unit. If you'll check your history, we didn't surrender in Vietnam. We didn't talk about it, it was understood that we would all go down fighting to the last man. We didn't give quarter, nor did we ask for it. We always went to the knife in our fights, you kill me or I'll kill you. In our case, our CO called in artillery on our position to kill the enemy that was killing all of us. There's always survivors of this, where if we just kept fighting, all would die.
Platoon was the closest I'd seen to action like it was. Just as an aside, we were overrun on Hwy 13( Thunder Road) close to Cambodia and that part of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Oliver Stone had been there and he got it right on the fighting.
Unfortunately, there are viewers who little or nothing of the war and who will think that this represents the war. It does represent the futility of the war and the ability of the NVA - not the VC/ So, if you wish to see the worst of that war, watch it; but if you are looking to learn something about the conflict - don't.