Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flick Pick: The Green Berets

The Green Berets
(Warner Bros., 1968)

Moby Dick, the Great White Whale itself, that Vietnam movie.
The one loosely based on Robin Moore's kickass book.
(Of which, I'd still like to see a movie or three made.)
The one that pissed off hordes of Hollywood artsy-fartsy trendy leftists all to hell - for decades, got dissed by critics up the yazoo, and called cheesey, populist, knee-jerk, brainwashed hyper-American hawkish anti-communism, blah blah blahbitty blah. And probably still sets Jane Fonda's teeth on edge.(Huzzah!)
Wayne also co-directed it, returning over triple the production budget of $7M for a $21.7M gross in an era when $1 tickets were common, and passed up the starring role as Major Reisman in The Dirty Dozen to make this movie. And still had time to win a Best Actor Oscar the next year (wearing an eyepatch) at the tender age of 62.
Bottom line, it still rocks, it turned out to be far more truth in one work of fiction than any five other revisionist versions of the Vietnam War, both at the time and in hindsight, and did we mention that it rocks, not least of which because of Barry Sadler's ballad, Jim Hutton, David Janssen, Aldo Ray, Luke Askew, George Takei, Raymond St. Jacques, Patrick Wayne, America, apple pie, Green Berets, and John by-God Wayne.

Suck it, communist pigs.


Weetabix said...

Thanks for this list. I'm populating my Amazon Prime watchlist from it. Now all I need is time...

Robert Fowler said...

I like all of JW's war movies. I though George Takei did a great job. It sure was a big difference from his Sulu days.

My all time fav is Sands of Iwo Jima.

Aesop said...

George Takei is an example of a life one wouldn't believe in fiction, that actually happened.

Born in East L.A., at 5 he and his family were rounded up with other Japanese Americans, and interned at several concentration camps.

He was student body president at his high school, and has earned bachelor's and master's degrees in theatre from UCLA, and performed Shakespeare in England.

Between 1962 and 1968, on film, he conned the destroyer that cut JFK's PT boat in half in PT 109, conned the NCC-1701 all over the galaxy on Star Trek, and died a heroic death fighting alongside John Wayne slaughtering godless communist hordes. To do this movie, he missed almost half a season on TV.

And that isn't even the half of it.

If you wrote a fictional character like that, every editor and reader in the world would call "B.S.!"

Kevin R.C. O'Brien said...

I saw this movie when I was 10 (maybe 11 - I saw it in a drive-in, not exactly first-run theater). But it never influenced me.