6.7/10
21,166
103 user 28 critic

Hamburger Hill (1987)

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director:

John Irvin

Writer:

James Carabatsos (as Jim Carabatsos)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Barrile Anthony Barrile ... Pvt. Vincent 'Alphabet' Languilli
Michael Boatman ... Pvt. Ray Motown (as Michael Patrick Boatman)
Don Cheadle ... Pvt. Johnny Washburn
Michael Dolan Michael Dolan ... Pvt. Harry Murphy
Don James Don James ... Pvt. Elliott 'Mac' McDaniel
Dylan McDermott ... Sgt. Adam Frantz
Michael A. Nickles ... Pvt. Paul Galvan (as M.A. Nickles)
Harry O'Reilly ... Pvt. Michael Duffy
Daniel O'Shea ... Pvt. Frank Gaigin
Tim Quill ... Pvt. Joe Beletsky
Tommy Swerdlow ... Pvt. Martin Bienstock
Courtney B. Vance ... Spc. Abraham 'Doc' Johnson
Steven Weber ... Sfc. Dennis Worcester
Tegan West Tegan West ... Lt. Terry Eden
Kieu Chinh ... Mama San
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Storyline

A brutal and realistic war film focuses on the lives of a squad of 14 U.S. Army soldiers of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infanty Regiment, 101st Airborne Division during the brutal 10 day (May 11-20, 1969) battle for Hill 937 in the A Shau Valley of Vietnam as they try again and again to take the fortified hill held by the North Vietnamese, and the faults and casualties they take every time in which the battle was later dubbed "Hamburger Hill" because enemy fire was so fierce that the fusillade of bullets turned assaulting troops into shreded hamburger meat. Written by Matthew Patay <1792a@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

While the rest of the world wondered why, the Screamin' Eagles fought and died in the fiercest battle of America's bloodiest war. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 June 1988 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

937: Posición de combate See more »

Filming Locations:

Philippines See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,360,705, 30 August 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,839,404
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Irvin had filmed a documentary in Vietnam during the war. See more »

Goofs

Late in the movie after an US soldier hits a Vietnamese soldier with his helmet, he falls down and his hand crushes the helmet revealing it to be made out of foam or some other soft material. See more »

Quotes

Washburn: Oh man, if you can't fry it, I won't eat it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The following poem is shown at the beginning of the credits: If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam See more »

Alternate Versions

The Magna Pacific DVD Release: Sep 18, 2002 UPC: 9-315841-999491 is cut as when Duffy kills an NVA soldier with his M-60 the body explodes in gore and when Duffy is then killed by another NVA soldier that soldier is then shot in the back of the head and blood spurts out. See more »

Connections

References Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wish It Would Rain
Written by Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield and Rodger Penzabene Sr. (uncredited)
Performed by The Temptations
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A fierce and very thoughtful film.
12 March 2001 | by mhasheiderSee all my reviews

Extremely brutal and fierce true story about one particular group in the 101 Airborne Division, who spend ten days and eleven battles trying to claim a muddy and well-occupied hill that's dubbed "Hamburger Hill".

The cast in this film were mostly unknown like Dylan McDermott (who made his film debut here) and Steven Weber who both play the platoon's two weary and determined sergeants, Don Cheadle is one of the five new recruits, Michael Boatman and Courtney Vance are also in the cast. It's certainly well-acted by McDermott and Vance..

John Irvin ("The Dogs of War") directed the film and here, he lets the emotions of the soldiers go very far but not too far and the same can be mentioned for the battle scenes. Also, Irvin take a page of Robert Aldrich's WW2 classic and unforgettable melodrama "The Dirty Dozen". Instead of making instant up close shots as Aldrich did, Irvin slowly moves the camera in and it captures the unpredictable feeling that any of the G.I.s have. I wasn't moved, yet I was amazed as well.

Jim Carabatos ("Heartbreak Ridge") wrote the movie's story and like Irvin, Carabatos is careful in making the tale absolutely clear and very understanding to the viewer. The point that Irvin and Carabatos are trying to make is fascinating and simple: No one here is trying to be the hero nor the villain because surviving the war is a more important factor than trying to be gutsy and wind up being killed.

"Hamburger Hill" isn't the type of war movie like Oliver Stone's "Platoon" or Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" were, but it tends to be like Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line" was a few years ago. It's a fierce and very thoughtful film


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