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Apocalypse Now: Best Vietnam Flick Ever


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I hated that scene at the mass grave with lime on the bodies


The actor that played the Marine officer was a.) way too old, b.) way out of shape, c.) had hair that was way too long for a Marine officer, and d.) obviously had never seen a genuine Marine combat officer in the flesh.


The general tone of his remarks wasn't completely inappropriate, but close. Staff officers virtually never raise their voices. They have a sergeant major (a high-ranking NCO) for that. That entire conversation would have gone something like:


COL: Sergeant major, what is that on that Marine's flak jacket?


SGT MAJ: I'm sure I couldn't say, Colonel.


COL: It looks like it might be a peace symbol.


SGT MAJ: Surely not, sir, that's a Marine corporal, not some Army puke.


COL: Check it out and let me know.


SGT MAJ: Aye aye, sir.


SGT MAJ: Marine! Come here.


Joker: Yes, sergeant major.


SGT MAJ: What is that on your flak jacket, Marine?


Joker: A peace symbol, sergeant major.


SGT MAJ: A peace symbol.


Joker: Yes, sergeant major.










SGT MAJ: You Communist cock sucker---if I EVER see you with a GOD DAMNED PEACE SYMBOL on a piece of United States Marine Corps property again, I will KILL YOUR MOTHER FUCKING ASS MY SELF DOYOUUNDERSTANDME!!!!???






Joker: Yes, sergeant major!









Rafterman: Man! I told you that shit was going to get you in a bunch of trouble!


Joker: Shut the fuck up, Rafterman.


Rafterman: Fuck you, Joker. It's Lance Corporal Rafterman to you, Private! Asshole. From here on out, you scrub the shitters during Field Day, you got it, shitbird?


Joker: Fucking Marine Corps. Fucking Vietnam. God dammit, I hate this place.


Rafterman: Here. Now you're the fucking photographer, and I'm the fucking combat correspondant. Saddle up, Marine. And be fucking quick about it. Are your canteens full? Are your magazines full? I bet you didn't bring any goddamned LSA or RBC, did you? Put on your helmet. And lace up those fucking boots, you ain't no goddamned civilian.



COL: Sergeant major.


SGT MAJ: Yes, sir.


COL: Did we find out if that Marine was wearing a peace symbol?


SGT MAJ: Yes sir. It wasn't a peace symbol, it was a Navy Relief Fund donation pin, sir.


COL: Excellent. Looks like morale is improving.


SGT MAJ: Absolutely, sir. And I think it will continue to improve, sir, due to the Colonel's excellent plan to distribute copies of Chesty Puller's biography with the ammo resupply.


COL: Splendid. See that the men take their malaria pills, and don't accept that diarrhea excuse.


SGT MAJ: No sir. Sick bay stats for malaria are down too.


COL: Outstanding.

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I still love FMJ, it's a great film, but there are definately things I would have done differently. One thing that nags at me is that the action part of the film (the attack on Hue City) moved extremely slowly. I've discussed the attack on Hue with a former Marine officer who flew ammo re-supply and dust-offs during the battle for Hue, and he said that FMJ was not nearly "action-oriented" enough. The fight in Hue was up-close-and-personal, with Marines often holding the houses on one side of a narrow street, and North Vietnamese regulars holding the houses on the other side of the street, and the two groups going to it hammer and tongs with rifles, machineguns, rockets, grenades, recoilless rifles, heavy machineguns, etc. for hours at a time. He told me about one unit that lost eight killed and scores wounded because the lieutenant had led a sortie across the alleyway, got killed, and his men refused to leave his body there. They kept attacking, and re-attacking, trying to recover the LT's body. Finally, they brought up a tank, and with the tank raking the buildings across the alley with machinegun bullets, they managed to recover the LT's body.


The "Citadel" in the central part of the city (which was actually a large Buddhist temple, I think,) was almost completely destroyed by repeated hits with artillery, recoilless rifle rounds, mortars and millions of rounds of rifle and machinegun fire. The battle to take it lasted several days. For years afterward, Marines who could say "I fought at the Citadel in Hue City," were accorded a great deal of respect from other Marines. It was a horrible battle, and a large number of Marines and NVA lost their lives there.


To reduce all that to a struggle by a single squad to defeat one heroic girl sniper is just not honest. To imply that Animal Mother's refusal to leave his wounded comrades dying in the open was somehow stupid and futile is simply dishonest. To portray the squad's 0331 (oh-three-thirty-one = "machinegunner") as being a goofy, overly-aggressive dumbass who runs off across the open with the unit's only crew-served weapon is MAJORLY DISHONEST. And where was Animal Mother's A-gunner? No way would he have just stood by while the gunner ran off with the pig. That machinegun belongs to HIM, too.


It makes an entertaining movie, but in real life, Animal Mother would have been the most dependable, coolest-under-fire, three-to-five-round-bursts-no-matter-what kind of Marine, one that understood absolutely that if the squad leader loses control of the squad's ONLY MACHINEGUN, that most likely none of them would survive until dark. All that macho posturing BS ("Only after ya pick the peanuts outta my shit.") in the movie is pretty accurate. What the writer and director failed to include, is that after all that gum-bangin', then they pick up a rifle and attack. And if they get killed trying to take the enemy's position, then their friends finish the job. And if the friends get killed, the rest of the Marine Corps tends to take it personally, and they usually keep coming until they win. They are methodical, hardened, all-business combat soldiers.


Marines almost never move forward in combat unless they have fire support from somewhere. Either "organic" 81mm mortars, or 105mm howitzers, or naval gunfire support from a Navy ship. Sometimes they have both fire support and air support. And helicopter logistical re-supply. Sometimes tank support. So Cowboy's first move, after they came up on those buildings and he had a look-see through his binoculars, would have been to pick up the radio handset, and say something like:


"Hammerhead niner four, this is Sierra two-seven. Fire Mission, over."


"Two-Seven, this is Hammerhead, authenticate, over."

"Hammerhead, I authenticate, numbers to follow, stand by."

"Two-seven, go ahead."

"Hotel. Zulu. Three. Four. Four. Seven. Niner, over."

"Two-seven, that is affirmative. Go ahead, over."

"Hammerhead, Fire Mission: enemy forces in concrete buildings, strength unknown, co-ordinates Ate, Ate, Three, Four, Two, Ate, how do you copy? Over."

"Two-Seven, I copy Ate, Ate, Three, Four, Two, Ate, confirm."

"Hammerhead, that is correct. Fire one round willy peter to mark target, over."

"Two-seven, stand by for smoke."


"Two-seven, round out, over."


BOOM! A white phosphorus shell hits the building with a large cloud of white smoke.


"Hammerhead, this is Two-seven. . . Target! Ten rounds Hotel Echo, fire for effect, over."


"Two-seven, Stand by."


"Two-seven, get them in the holes, rounds OUT."








Rafterman: Ho-ly Shit.


Cowboy: Mother fucker, if you don't get your goddamned head down, I'm gonna beat your ass senseless. Where the fuck did you go to ITR?


Rafterman: Sorry, Cowboy.


Cowboy: You don't know me well enough to call me Cowboy, you stupid ass cherry! GET YOUR HEAD DOWN!


Cowboy: Whataya think, Mother?


Animal Mother: I think "Fuck 'em," that's what I think. Hit 'em again.


Cowboy: Yeah, me too. Hammerhead! Two-seven, over!


Radio: This is Hammerhead, go ahead, over.


Cowboy: Re-peat. I say again, Re-peat, over.


Radio: Two-seven, stand by. Get 'em in the holes, round OUT.






Boom boom, boom, BOOM BOOM BOOM Boom Boom Boom Boom


The buildings are on fire and collapsing.


Joker: Fuckin'-A! That oughta do it.


Cowboy: Mother, we're going over there in a second. If anybody so much as farts in those buildings, you give those mother fuckers a can of rounds, and we'll come haulin' ass back. Got it?


Animal Mother: Fuckin'-A. Billy, go get some more ammo from the squad.


Billy: Mother fucker, I'll be glad when I make corporal.


Animal Mother: Quit bitchin', and go get me some ammo, shitbird. And stay behind cover. I bet you fifty bucks there's some Communist motherfucker in those goddamn buildings with an AK.


Billy: Not no more, there ain't.


Marines laugh.

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I'll agree with Kabar, Apocalypse Now was good up till the whole tribe thing. Maybe it was because I'd been sitting in uncomfortable movie seats for 2 and a half hours, but it just seemed kinda lame and didn't make a whole lot of sense.


Platoon and FMJ both kick ass also. But I'm more of a World War deuce kinda guy.....

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Opening scene. Martin Sheen. Piss wasted. Un-scripted outbursts. Really shatters a mirror with his fist. FULL-OUT ON CAMERA VENTING. I've read that Martin Sheen was/is, in fact, a very troubled man and heard many an older man say something to the effect of 'That was more than acting, that was a man's demons caught on film.'


Stellar performance. Right next to Val Kilmer having to go into rehab after making The Doors movie for all the shit he abused to get into character. Tell me there aren't a few scenes in that movie where you KNOW he's actually on acid.


I've been told by uncles that were in Nam that both movies really showed the mindstate of the men that were sent there: a complete lack of solid conviction as to what, exactly, they were doing there. 18-25 year old kids that were dropping acid, smoking weed, fucking women and all of a sudden found themselves in the middle of a war. Welcome to American morale.


..of course, I never served in any forces personally, so I suppose my opinions are second rate.

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Originally posted by S@T@N

I watched Redux last night, and never saw the original. What new

footage was in there? The movie was goodt but jesus christ it drug

on forever.


1.Captain Willard jacking Kilgore's surfboard

2.kilgore launching a search for the pbr after the board is taken "i will not hurt or harm you. just giveme back my board lance. It was a good board and i liked it. you know how hard it is to find a board you like."

3.Many extended scenes showed additional character development/bonding between willard and the crew of the pbr

4.the sex session with the playboy bunnies after their helicopter runs out of fuel

5.Cleans funeral after he dies

6.the whole french plantation sequence. Willard smoking opium...kick ass


many more little bits true fans can pick out and appreciate.


Still, the best scene is when the vietnamese chick blows up the medivac with a grenade and kilgore order a helicopter break off from it's current target to chase and liberally spray her with an m-60

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I just watched Full Metal Jacket again with the roomate

who had never seen it. I hadn't seen it for years but this thread

kept popping into my head. Thanks to Kabar for the inside scoop

on some backstory I might not have known.

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Ten Cents


Very good, LOL! I can see you were paying attention when you watched that movie. And the lieutenant's hair was way too long in that scene. His attitude was about right ("I did my time in the bush. Can't say I liked it much.") but his delivery was too wimpy and not cynical enough.


True story. My brotther-in-law was a platoon commander in Vietnam with the Marine's 2/9 (2nd Battalion, 9th Marines) They were the sister battalion to 1/9, the infamous "Walking Dead" battalion. 1/9 was called the Walking Dead because they had suffered a terrible loss of casualties in a series of battles, and had lost almost all of their combat experienced NCO's and officers. Most of the troops were green as grass, straight from the replacement depot (repo-depot).


My bro-in-law lost five boys in Vietnam KIA and about ten or twelve WIA, out of a platoon of 41. These losses occurred over the whole 13 month tour he was in Vietnam. He mourned them still, thirty years later. He told me once when he was drunk "They'll be eighteen and brave forever." He never was able to let go of the feeling of responsibility for their deaths, even though he knew that in war, people get killed, and it is impossible for an officer, no matter how dedicated and professional he may be, to forsee every single possible hazard.


Once when they were taking a prisoner back to the regimental fire base for interrogation, he had a chance to bring his platoon back something to lift their spirits. He managed to horse-trade and wheedle a Jeep trailer full of ice and Cokes for his platoon, something they hadn't had in weeks. He told me that it was a lot of trouble, but it was worth it to see the pleasure on his platoon's faces when they drank the Cokes. Years later, he ran into one of his Marines on the street in Seattle, and the guy still was unable to bring himself to address my brother-in-law by his first name. He called him "Sir," and "L-T" (lieutenant.) The guy said to him, as they were shaking hands to part, "L-T, I want to thank you for those Cokes you brought us that time. It helped. It helped a lot."


He went on to become a captain in the Marines, and to command a military police company guarding a supply dump, after he was done leading an infantry platoon. But he never forgot those men in his platoon, and he exchanged Christmas cards and a few letters with some of them for years after he returned from Vietnam.


The idea that the men who served in Vietnam were a bunch of ruthless murderers is false. The idea that they were a bunch of drug-soaked malcontents is false, at least, it is for the Marine Corps. Yes, there were plenty of misbehavers. But the average Marine or soldier in Vietnam was there to do a job and go home. My late brother-in-law was a decent, conscientious guy. He became a lawyer, and he defended Marines, former Marines, and Navy corpsmen in trouble for free during his career as an attorney. I have his personal papers from his days as a Marine combat officer. In the margins of his notes are scores of "notes to himself" to double-check things, to write letters to people (probably the families of young Marines) and to follow up on details ("extra ammo," "make sure they have extra socks," "double rations," etc.) He was scared to death of making a mistake and getting his Marines killed.

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more backstory! loving it!


the one thing that just poped into my head was the booby-traped stuffed toy.

I think that was mentioned in the thread somewhere.

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Re: Ten Cents


Originally posted by KaBar2

Very good, LOL! I can see you were paying attention when you watched that movie. And the lieutenant's hair was way too long in that scene. His attitude was about right ("I did my time in the bush. Can't say I liked it much.") but his delivery was too wimpy and not cynical enough.


"...my present duties keep me here where I belong, in the rear with the gear."


Yeah, he did seem a bit soft for the role he was playing.


I never tried to look at that movie as a really accurate depiction of the war. It felt more like a vehicle for Kubrick's dark way of illustrating characters than it did anything else. Still loved it.




Good story about your brother-in-law.

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