Writer: Oliver Stone
Composer: Georges Delerue
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Keith David, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Francesco Quinn, Kevin Dillon, John C. McGinley, Reggie Johnson, Mark Moses, Corey Glover, Johnny Depp, Chris Pedersen, Bob Orwig, Corkey Ford, David Neidorf, Richard Edson, Tony Todd, Dale Dye
More info: IMDb
Tagline: The first casualty of war is innocence.
Plot: A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.
My rating: 8/10
Will I watch it again? Yes.
Great flick. I haven't seen this in nearly thirty years. It's held up nicely. The action scenes are well filmed, the cast is great and Delerue's score is gorgeous yet rarely heard in the film. Stone temp-tracked (this is done to score the film with existing music before a composer writes the score) the picture with Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I guess Stone loved that theme so much that he rejected Delerue's equally beautiful theme which is a shame. Musically, the film composer can blend the themes to create a cohesive score that better marries the music to the image. I never really heard what Delerue wrote until I bought a Delerue compilation CD in the early 90s that had his unused theme. That's when I saw how poor Stone's decision was to reject it. You can listen to it below. It's still one of the top (if not THE top) Vietnam war films and that's an accomplishment considering this flick is now thirty years old. I picked up a 14 DVD box set (Warmer Bros.) of Stone's films on the cheap a while ago and I'm just now going through it. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen (I really should get the Blu-ray on this as I'm sure it's better). The extras are two commentary tracks (one with Stone and one with Dye), a making of doc (53 minutes and very informative), the original theatrical trailer (anamorphic wide), 3 TV spots, a behind the scenes photo gallery and poster art.