The Boys In Company C

  • 1978
  • Movie
  • R
  • War

This was one of the first Hollywood films since John Wayne's embarrassing THE GREEN BERETS (1968) to show Americans in battle in Vietnam. Although it definitely falls short of THE DEER HUNTER (1978) or APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), the film is not without interest. Structured like a traditional WW II movie, the film follows five young men through rigorous basic...read more

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This was one of the first Hollywood films since John Wayne's embarrassing THE GREEN BERETS (1968) to show Americans in battle in Vietnam. Although it definitely falls short of THE DEER HUNTER (1978) or APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), the film is not without interest. Structured like a traditional

WW II movie, the film follows five young men through rigorous basic training (led by drill sergeant Ermey, who would perform similar duty 10 years later in Stanley Kubrick's FULL METAL JACKET) and into combat. Shaw is a streetwise dope dealer who sees service in Vietnam as a good way to expand his

business. Of course, his character conforms to the time-honored notion that the Army makes men of such delinquents, and he becomes the leader of his squad. The rest of the soldiers are stereotypes as well: Stevens is an athlete from the South who turns to drugs in Vietnam; Wasson is an unrepentant

hippie who tries to remain true to his principles of pacifism while blasting away at the VC; Lembeck is a macho GI preoccupied with sex, who gets himself into trouble by pursuing a commander's daughter; and Canning is the aspiring writer determined to chronicle the horrors of war. This rather

schizophrenic movie attempts to extol traditional conceptions of honor and virtue in war while highlighting the gray areas of America's involvement in Vietnam. Most of the commanders--American and South Vietnamese--are portrayed as incompetent, crazy, corrupt, or evil. The soldiers, on the other

hand, steadily develop into a crack fighting unit loyal to the cause and each other. Writer Natkin and director Furie try to make the film all things to all people. Yes, they seem to say, there was incompetence and corruption by the American government and military--but those brave boys did their

best and came out better for it. This simplistic approach--ignoring how their experiences affected the psyches of those who came home--cripples the film and prevents it from rising above the status of B-picture entertainment.

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  • Released: 1978
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This was one of the first Hollywood films since John Wayne's embarrassing THE GREEN BERETS (1968) to show Americans in battle in Vietnam. Although it definitely falls short of THE DEER HUNTER (1978) or APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), the film is not without interes… (more)

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