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WE WERE SOLDIERS - DVD Movie
Based on the book by Lt. Col. Harold Moore ret. and journalist Joseph Galloway, We Were Soldiers offers a dignified reminder that the Vietnam War yielded its own crop of American heroes. Departing from Hollywood's typically cynical treatment of the war, writer-director Randall Wallace focuses on the first engagement of American soldiers with the North Vietnamese enemy in November 1965. Moore played with colorful nuance by Mel Gibson and nearly 400 inexperienced troopers from the U.S. Air Cavalry were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese Army soldiers, and the film re-creates this brutal firefight with graphic authenticity, while telling the parallel story of grieving army wives back home. While UPI reporter Galloway Barry Pepper risks his life to chronicle the battle, Wallace offers a balanced though somewhat fictionalized perspective while eliciting laudable performances from an excellent cast. Like the best World War II dramas of the 1940s, We Were Soldiers pays tribute to brave men while avoiding the pitfalls of propaganda. --Jeff Shannon