(out of 5)

Outstanding film about the Vietnam war that is right up there with The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now and stands on its own merit for being the best of the Vietnam films to deal directly with combat. The rigorous experiences of a platoon of soldiers are seen through the eyes of a green recruit () whose family’s money could have kept him home were it not for his desire to serve his country and avoid the unfair trappings of class. Once there, his eyes are opened wide to the reality of the conflict, a topsy-turvy world where the most dangerous enemy is actually playing on his side of the fence. and  steal their every scene (not that it’s hard, Sheen is actually pretty weak in a very well written role) as opposing forces in the group whose Cain-and-Abel relationship provides for the film’s devastating climax. Oliver Stone’s direction was never this taut again, and his screenplay is a fantastic piece of work chock full of brilliant observations and character details that would seem like stock cliches in the copycat movies to follow.

United Kingdom/USA, 1986

Directed by

Screenplay by Oliver Stone

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Berlin 1987

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Awards
Best Director (Oliver Stone)
Best Film Editing (Claire Simpson)
Best Picture (Arnold Kopelson, producer)
Best Sound (John K. Wilkinson, Richard Rogers, Charles ‘Bud’ Grenzbach, Simon Kaye)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Tom Berenger as “Sgt. Barnes”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Willem Dafoe as “Sgt. Elias”)
Best Cinematography (Robert Richardson)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) (Oliver Stone)

Golden Globe Awards
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Tom Berenger)
Best Director (Oliver Stone)

Best Screenplay (Oliver Stone)

New York Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Film
Best Director (Oliver Stone)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Film
Best Director (Oliver Stone)

Berlin Film Festival Award
Silver Berlin Bear-Best Director (Oliver Stone)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Original Screenplay

Directors Guild Award
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Oliver Stone)

Independent Spirit Awards
Best Feature
Best Male Lead (Willem Dafoe)
Best Director (Oliver Stone)
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematography

British Academy Awards
Best Direction (Oliver Stone)
Best Editing

Best Cinematography

Boston Film Critics Award
Best Director (Oliver Stone) (tie)



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