Talk:The Green Berets (film)

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Trivia: Richard Pryor[edit]

I can't speak as to whether or not Richard Pryor drives a jeep in the movie, but the "Richard 'Cactus' Pryor" credited in the movie is not the black comedian, but the Texas-based radio personality (and sometime actor), Cactus Pryor.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by RowlandReed (talkcontribs) 19:13, 23 December 2006 (UTC).

Only pro-war movie[edit]

Is the "only pro-Vietnam-War movie made during the conflict" sentence really accurate? It seems highly unlikely to me that with all the output of Hollywood in the entire decade 1965–1975, this would be the only pro-war movie ever produced. [I assume that's the sense of the original poorly-worded sentence, since obviously there were plenty of anti-war movies, including M*A*S*H (1969) and Catch-22 (1970).]

Its not accurate. But certain people have to keep the lie going. See for example the pro-vietnam war films: A Yank in Viet-Nam (1964), To the Shores of Hell (1966). There were very few films of any kind about Vietnam made during the first few years of the vietnam war (pro or anti).

Perhaps "It was one of the most high-profile films of the decade to express strong support for the war in Vietnam." would be more verifiable. I personally have not seen the movie, nor was I alive to go to movies in 1968, so I'm not going to edit it any further myself. —12 Jan 2005

I beleive that it was the only pro-war movie made during the war that attempted to portray the war, instead of being an allegory for it. M*A*S*H and Catch-22 were allegories for the war, but The Green Berets was about the war.

Thats wrong.
An allegory for war, set in war time, about soldiers? ;-) Catch-22 was not set in Vietnam, it was a WWII film, so that shouldn't be mentioned here. And M*A*S*H was set in the Korean War. The original sentence specifically said "pro-Vietnam War". Rufous 10:29, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

FAF - 12/24/05 - This movie is unique in that it is one of the few military movies made during this period that had the full support and backing of the military. Since about the mid 1950's, any time a movie studio wants to use military facilities, personnel or equipment in a movie, the script must be reviewed by military public affairs personnel who will grant or deny the request based on whether or not the script is objective or portrays the military in a positive light. This policy was enacted following the release of From Here to Eternity. By many accounts, this film was a highly realistic portrayal of life in Hawaii prior to Pearl Harbor, but it was also extremely racy for its day with its depection of pre-marital and extra-marital affairs, the now infamous beach scene and the frequent and for the time violent brawling scenes. The script review policy continues to this day. War movies made during the Vietnam era, such as M*A*S*H and Catch-22, that offered less than flattering portrayals of military life were denied support from the military. More controversial films such as Apocalypse Now, the Deer Hunter and Full Metal Jacket were made without even soliciting support from the military, most likely because the producers knew they would be turned down. Films that have been supported are those with more positive messages and even some recruitment potential such as Top Gun and Hunt for Red October. Heartbreak Ridge was turned down for support because the Marine Corps brass didn't like the language and the brawling in the movie even though this is very much a part of Marine Corps life.

  • There weren't a lot of American movies about the Vietnam War made during the war at all, whether pro- or anti-war. See Vietnam War in film#Theatrical films about the Vietnam War. Hollywood produced almost as many World War II movies starring John Wayne during World War II, as Hollywood produced Vietnam War movies starring anybody during the Vietnam War. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 23:32, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

"What happened in Vietnam is very clear"[edit]

The following section (not authored by me) was removed from the article for being too POV, which is fair enough. I'd like to preserve it though, as it is an interesting read:

Many have said that Green Berets is like a film about WW2 showing the pro-nazi side, and even that is too generous to John Wayne-- who was, of course, a "good American" in the same sense that Adolph Eichmann was "a good German" (Eichmann was patriotic, participated in civic activities, supported the wars of his country etc)

What happened in Vietnam is vey clear: In 1945 Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France (Vietnam had been fighting for independence for 100's of years). The French, weakened after WW2, then received 80% of their weapons from the US to reconquer their former colony Vietnam.

---Note: You are leaving out a LOT of history of Vietnam here: 1) The OSS (Americans) actually helped Ho Chi Minh and his followers in WW2 (when the Japanese had kicked out the French). 2) Ho Chi Minh actually admired Americans at the time - he even copied the Declaration of Independence when he declared Vietnam's Independence in 1945 3) The French were initially restored to power by a BRITISH General (General Gracie) 4) That same General also let out Japanese POWs to help the French restore "order" in Vietnam... (The first American killed in Vietnam was killed by an OSS Agent that the Viet Minh killed accidently because they thought he was BRITISH). History is rarely "vey clear" and a complex issue can only be simplified to a certain extent, and NONE of this has anything to do with John Wayne's movie. See Tommel 02:03, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

The French and the Americans installed a brutal puppet military dictatorship in the South, which had no popular support whatsoever. It killed about 75.000 people in the 50's. Resistance to that we called "communist aggression" and Kennedy outright invaded, starting chemical warfare, driving people into concentration camps etc.

Even Eisenhower admitted in his memories that at least 80% of Vietnam supported Ho Chi Minh, that's why we didn't allow elections. The US bombed and sprayed agent orange in the South at 3 times the rate of the North, because the resistance was indigenous.

The NLF, the southern branch of the Vietmminh, had massive popular support, unlike the puppet dictatorship the US had installed. The US dropped more bombs than in WW1 & WW2 together, murdered 3-4 million Vietnamese,crippled God knows how many, utterly destroyed the country, and imposed a decade of sanctions after the war.

The atrocities the US engaged in are beyond description.In the words of senator John Kerry:

"We had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....[that]they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country... We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We... refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.We watched the U.S. falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "oriental human beings," with quotation marks around that. We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater or let us say a non-third-world people theater... We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how money from American taxes was used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals."

Good call, that is something youd expect at Uncyclopedia... 16:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Edit: Removed: As of 2005, the film remains one of the few major Hollywood films that portrays the War positively aside from A Yank in Viet-Nam (1964), To the Shores of Hell (1966), the Missing in Action series from Chuck Norris, Go tell the spartans, Operation Dumbo Drop, Bat 21, the Rambo films and any number of films made in the 1980s where Americans return to single-handedly win the Vietnam War. The film provides a stark contrast to other movies made after North Vietnam's victory, including The Deer Hunter, The Killing Fields, Born on the Fourth of July, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and In Country which are not supportive of the war or focus on the irrelivant personal problems of individual soldiers after the war."

1) If it is one of the *few* "...major Hollywood films that portrays the War "positively" " then why is there a listing of of 7+ films that portray the war "positively?"

Sarcasm directed at the dishonesty of the original paragraph. I should have removed the whole paragraph, but I figured it would just come back so I balanced it out in a sense.

2) I don't think "Go tell the Spartans" portrays the war "positively" and believe that the whole addition is one of opinion and not fact.

Well, I dont agree about "Spartans" and in my defense what was originally there was just plain wrong.

3) Why are their Wikipedia links to the ones that portrtay the war "negatively" and not to the ones that portray it "postively?"

Lazyness on the part of the person who added the positive films :)

Tom 01:38, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

"Go Tell the Spartans" (1978) was a strongly anti-war movie. Its star, Burt Lancaster, was a major left-winger who refused to make "Patton" (1970) because he thought it glorified war.

The Vietnam War has been over for decades, and it's quite clear that Wayne's viewpoint was quite valid. The history since 1975 is that of boat people, re-education camps, and millions dead in Indochina since the communist 'victory'. Communist Vietnam allied itself with the Soviet Union and only turned to the west when it's major benifactor went bankrupt in 1991... Freedom will only return to Vietnam when the communists are gone..

As someone pointed before, there is not something "vey clear" or in this case "quite valid" about Vietnam War. Those "millions of dead" for example were mainly cambodians (many of them ethnic vietnamese) murdered by Khmer Rouge, who were supported by China at the time. And it were NVA troops who ousted KR, not western-backed freedom-fighters. And guess what? - the same bloody murderous Khmers (who then established bases in Thailand and waged regular raids on Cambodia) were then supported by none other than US government! Freedom will only return everywhere when both "Empires of Evil" and "Republics of Evil" are gone.
Its not that simple. After the NVA took over Cambodia, they established their own Khmer Rouge government. They put Khmer Rouge cadre Hun Sen in charge. Their man, Hun Sen, still rules Cambodia in 2017. The dispute between the US and Vietnam was always over which faction of the Khmer Rouge should rule. 2600:1700:CA01:F20:5022:FDCF:C9F1:9892 (talk) 00:19, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Tet a defeat for the Americans??[edit]

I'd never heard that before. I'd always heard of it as a major defeat for the NVA and VC, though ultimately they would prevail after America left Vietnam. Anyway, I removed that particular sentence until some proof can be offered that Tet was widely considered to be a defeat for the Americans. Even my North Vietnamese wife knows that Tet did some serious damage to the Communists.Jlujan69 01:52, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

The fact is that it was a convential army from North Vietnam that invaded South Vietnam in 1972 and in 1975 which led to the defeat of freedom in the South. The United States and the South Vietnamese defeated the guerilla forces of the Viet Cong in the 1968 Tet Offensive, and the communist guerilla forces never regained any significant strength afterwards.

Pine Trees[edit]

Now, I never would have believed it, but there actually ARE pine trees in the Central Highlands. See these links to Lam Dong territory forestry and Nam Dong District --Habap 17:58, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The Green Berets/Movie setting[edit]

Major portions of "The Green Berets" movie were filmed in Columbus, Georgia (the mansion scene) and Ft. Benning, Georgia where a mock Vietnamese landscape was created to train Green Berets going to Vietnam. Ft. Benning is on the outskirts of Columbus in Muscogee County with its entrance on "Victory Drive." (Columbus, Georgia is my hometown. I graduated from Columbus High School on June 4, 1968, hours before Robert Kennedy was fatally shot in California. "The Green Berets" movie, according to your sidebar, was released one month later. In my diary of 1968, I made this entry on July 1, 1968: Went to see "The Green Berets" -- "it was dull, brutal, gruesome, nerve-racking and because it was filmed here in Columbus and at Ft. Benning, it seemed "fake!" BAD!")

On October 11, 1967 I was invited to watch the filming of the mansion scene. It was filmed at night at the Eakle's home in the Hilton district of Columbus, Georgia. That night I met Jack Soo and officially met Jim Hutton. Jim Hutton was so tall, handsome and funny. Days earlier I had been at the airport when the cast arrived and welcomed with cheers and waves John Wayne, Jim Hutton, David Janssen, et. al.

One "tidbit" of trivia, during the filming of "The Green Berets," the final night of "The Fugitive" television show aired. I stood outside the big picture window of a television studio in Columbus while Janssen was interviewed for a late night talk show. He was asked about the series, the one-armed man, and he mentioned he was filming "The Green Berets" movie.

Also, your point about the U.S. government supporting the movie. They did. The cast and crew were given complete access to the Vietnamese village at Ft. Benning, the largest military base in Georgia and the place "most like" the weather and the terrain of Vietnam, where elite infantry were trained before departing for Vietnam.


I'm enough of a Wikipedia newbie that without a clear style for citations to copy I feel uncomfortable adding them willy-nilly to the main page. That said, here's Ebert's Most Hated article from 2005 mentioned down in the "trivia" section, and here's a link (of questionable quality) which shows three movies that John Wayne directed, where "The Green Berets" grossed nearly three times the other two. DanLyke 21:12, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:TheGreenBerets.jpg[edit]

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Military mockery?[edit]

Would it be appropriate to include the fact that actual veterans right from the start laughed uproariously at this film's many Hollywood combat absurdities, and that for forty years DIs and other training NCO's have referred to some dumbass stunt likely to get you killed as a "John Wayne move?" Solicitr (talk) 22:56, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually the term "John Wayne" used to deride foolish action in combat (or training) predates the movie (the Green Berets) by at least 10 years.DPatrickMulg (talk) 21:17, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

It goes all the way back to the 1940s. 2602:306:BC16:8700:8D0B:3D6F:52F4:9EFE (talk) 05:14, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

== South Vietnam does not have a west facing beach? == South Vietnam does have a west facing beach at Cam Ranh Bay. I was stationed there in 1966-67.

The article now includes the following sentences: "In the final scene Ham Chuck and Kirby walk along the beach into the sunset. South Vietnam does not have a west facing beach." Surely this is not true? Looking at the map you can clearly see that both Kiên Giang and Cà Mau provinces face the Gulf of Thailand westward. -- Nidator T / C 09:55, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

True. But the final scene was set in Northern South Vietnam (probably Da Nang) far from the provinces you mentioned. The wording is inaccurate, but the point about the scene not working (assuming it was a sunset rather than a sunrise) is still valid. 2602:306:BC16:8700:8D0B:3D6F:52F4:9EFE (talk) 05:04, 24 October 2017 (UTC)

"Realism" section[edit]

I feel like this section is one-sided, and should instead be reworked into an "Accuracy" section. It does not mention the many things this movie gets wrong. Brutannica (talk) 03:40, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Like the sunset at the end of the movie out over the ocean. Despite the fact that Viet Nam has no western coastline. Mpoyer1705 (talk) 00:08, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
It does have a western coastline, at it's most southerly tip, but that was nowhere near where the characters in the movie are likely to have been at that time. HiLo48 (talk) 01:03, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

Hal Moore?[edit]

When Wayne cashiers Jim Hutton's character then makes him a sergeant, he is shooting clay pigeons with a real officer at Fort Bragg. Is it Hal Moore? He only speaks once, laughing out the line "That's right, Mike" to Wayne. Looking at the images, I would say from the build and appearance this is Moore? The legendary US officer who led the 7th Cav in the famous Battle of Ia Drang. Anyone agree with this assessment?? (talk) 18:41, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Hal Moore is not depicted. The officer shown is the Jump School Brigade Commander Col. Welch. I remember seeing the movie while attending Jump School at Ft. Benning, GA (1968). While the Skeet shooting scene could have been at Ft. Bragg, NC, it was probably done while at or near Ft. Benning, GA. I always thought the scene kind of out of place, and done more as a good will gesture than anything else. If I can find my Jump School photo album, I will upload a picture of him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DPatrickMulg (talkcontribs) 20:36, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

The Image of Special Forces (the Green Beret)[edit]

Special Forces did a lot of things, and proportionally as a unit took a lot of casualties. Special Forces crossed denied boarders, and many died doing so. Special Forces often operated in areas outside the reaches of air and artillery support, and had no reserves standing-by to pluck them out of danger. When those who crossed denied borders were lost, they were lost, gone, the end (period). John Wayne attempted to show this in his movie. The movie attempts to show what Special Forces did in the war. However, by attempting to please the Army, and by covering too much ground, the movie is in fact lacking in focus.

Taken in context, it is important to remember that this is about the time that public opinion not only swung against the War, it was also beginning to turn against the American Soldier. It is also about this time that I completed Special Forces Training. During this time, SF were called baby killers and storm troopers, and sometimes people referred to us as SS. John Wayne attempted to show some of the good things we were doing, and trying to show some of the hardships and dedication to duty.

While it could be considered to be a pro-war movie, at about the time that the movie was actually being produced (1967), guys like me going into service were being congratulated and encouraged for entering (whether drafted or enlisted). By 1968 I remember hearing people making very rude remarks about men in uniform while waiting for stand-by flights home, at the airport. So, in this context, the movie was in production while the war was still semi-popular.

This fact about the War in Vietnam's popularity, during the early years of engagement, is lost in the wind, largely due to the fact that no one in their right mind is going to cop to being in favor of an enterprise which ended with so famous a failure. WWII was the good war, Korea the forgotten war, and Vietnam the war everyone--including me--would like to forget.

While the movie was not great, it was an attempt at something good. While you may find inaccuracies in every film ("Platoon" included), there are also a lot of accuracies in the movie "the Green Beret". And it attempted to promote the image of Special Forces (Green Berets).DPatrickMulg (talk) 22:02, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Training Areas For Special Forces (Green Beret) and Gabriel Demonstration Area[edit]

Training for Green Berets was conducted at Pisgah National Forest, NC and Uwahrrie National Forest, NC. The Introduction at Gabriel Demonstration Area is shown in the movie "the Green Berets". Not shown in the movie were the displays, mock villages and skills performed by Green Berets. There was no training for Green Berets going to Vietnam conducted in Georgia. Other elite troops and OCS candidates may have trained there, but not Army Special Forces.

The Gabriel Demonstration area was in honor of Specialist 5 James Gabriel, executed after capture. The area has since been removed, and plaques honoring him moved to Ft. Campbell, KY, the present home of 5th SFGA. While Spec 5 is the same pay grade as Buck Sergeant, he has been wrongly referred to as Sergeant Gabriel.DPatrickMulg (talk) 15:37, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Characters introductions[edit]

However I gave this page on the article plot the names of the A team sent to camp 2-9nr sentry, also I had to write that Provo is one of the guys in the plot whom dies you forgot to edit since it's part of the story in memoriam name is added later in the film for him, other members of the team you missed where Sergeant Parks, and Sergeant Watson, whom are important in the film, Trooper201 (talk) 08:32, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

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Critical reception[edit]

I think the John Pilger paragraph should be removed from this article because it is superfluous. It is John saying he found the movie funny. The paragraph before this already says the film has been viewed as a joke in the Short Timers, "The audience of Marines roars with laughter. This is the funniest movie we have seen in a long time." --2001:8003:4023:D900:DCA0:5708:1CF1:63BC (talk) 09:35, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

The point is that Pilger is a journalist not known for his support of the sorts of things Marines do. That Pilger and a bunch of Marines agreed on this is quite notable. HiLo48 (talk) 09:51, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Pilger is anti Vietnam war, of course he isn't going to like Green Berets. What the parapgraph about him said, was well said in the Short Timers quote. An activist finding a film he disagrees with funny is not inherently notable, or notable at all in this case. --2001:8003:4023:D900:9406:2432:4321:340A (talk) 10:56, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Please read my comment again. You seem to have ignored half of it. HiLo48 (talk) 10:59, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I think you have ignored my comment. Pilgar is anti Vietnam war. Of course he is going to disagree with anything that could be considered pro-Vietnam war. -- (talk) 22:38, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
"The point is that Pilger is a journalist not known for his support of the sorts of things Marines do."
Pilgar is more of an activist than a journalist, and he's not in support of the marines that supported the war, rather he is in support of anyone who supports his views - i.e. Anti Vietnam war. -- (talk) 22:40, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Oh dear. Yes, you're right about Pilger's activism, but Wikipedia describes him as a journalist. He did a four year traineeship with ACP when tertiary qualifications for journalists hardly existed. He has worked as a journalist for 60 years. But I still don't think you understand the point I made. HiLo48 (talk) 09:23, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
and I don't think you understand the points I have made. Can we get another opinion on this? -- (talk) 22:58, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Then let me try again. Pilger AND Marines, normally expected to have dramatically divergent views on a topic like this, had virtually identical, negative views on the film. THAT is the point of including both. If your point is that Pilger's comments were predictable, I totally agree, but that is PART of my point. And while you think you know enough about Pilger to say what you are saying about him, the vast majority of readers will not. Maybe we need to actually add such detail to the article. HiLo48 (talk) 23:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Pilger (who found The Green Berets laughable) and certain marines (who found The Green Berets laughable) will obviously not have divergent views. Is there another user who can weigh in on this? We are at a standstill. --2001:8003:4023:D900:81E9:A69D:B4AB:9340 (talk) 07:19, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Two different things, and both should be shown. A novel has a scene in which marines laugh at "the funniest movie we have seen in a long time", a journalist critical of U.S. foreign policies who's just returned from Vietnam finds it absurd and laughs, but his reaction is not shared by others in the audience. Gross oversimplification to equate the two accounts, one fictional and one a journalist reporting on his experience. . . dave souza, talk 08:09, 3 August 2018 (UTC)