Friday, 17 February 2012

The Green Berets (1968)

Film of 2012 #34

This is a Vietnam propaganda film co-directed by John Wayne, who is also the main star of this film, filmed in 1968 it was filmed at the height of the time when the US public were highly opposed to the war. You can clearly see that the film makers were in support of the soldiers that were fighting. You have the North Vietnamese portrayed as bloodthirsty animals that slaughter men women and children. There are a couple of cases where they are really quite unsubtle, as the audience you are pulled in through the reporter George Beckworth played by David Janssen and he starts the film opposed to the war and at the end you see him sign up based on what he sees while following the Green Berets. 

This is not a particularly great film there are several scenes throughout that make you hate the North and love the South and you know that the Americans are doing a great job. They are in a country that they do not really want to be in and at the time I am sure there was some good chest thumping going on and possibly some increase in voluntary sign ups. Out of it's time more than 30 years after the war ended it has lost some of it's impact and to be honest it really is out of place. Like TV serials that can no longer be shown due to the racial words that were seen as acceptable at the time but no longer acceptable. I think that this film should be relegated as a historical look at what Hollywood were doing to support the soldiers in Vietnam. 

Overall if you are interested in war films and seeing what they could do with them as propaganda then go for it, if you were looking for a balanced look at the Vietnam war then avoid this. The acting and set pieces are fine if a bit forced and I will give this 2 stars, there is a role for George Takei in the film.

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