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War and the American Culture in Movies

The Vietnam War – no other war in America’s history has caused discord among our society. With over 50,000 dead, the memories of this war far away in the Asian continent redefined our culture in the years to come. Even the way war-making policies related to the Middle Eastern conflicts of today is still overshadowed by the lessons learned or unlearned during the Vietnam War. Hollywood itself gave as a panacea of movies about this era and depending upon which decade a particular film was made, the thematic and cinematic presentations differ. The general substance remains the same but the outlook of a war of long ago varies depending upon the cultural outlook of the decade. A look at six Vietnam War movies made over a span of three decades will demonstrate the cultural and attitudinal change. The portrayal of each movie will give the viewer thoughts on how different generations perceive things differently. “The controversy of the Vietnam War influenced the film industry the most during the late sixties and into the mid eighties (McBride, 2006).” The paper specifically “examines the shift from the pro-war to anti-war perspective in Hollywood films, and the common themes that emerged within them as a result of the war. (McBride, 2006)” The Green Berets (1968) This Vietnam War movie has the honor of being filmed during the height of the Vietnam War. It portrays the Special Forces group known as the “Green Berets”, one of the elite units of the American army. The main abstract of the movie deals with the incoming Col. Mike Kirby bringing in two A Teams of Green Berets in-country. His two primary missions are to assist in the build-up and control of a forward encampment near the Cambodian border and to successfully kidnap a North Vietnamese General for extraction strategic military information. Taylor (1995) in his critique of the film states, “Some day soon an American motion picture will be made about Vietnam. Let's ma...

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War and the American Culture in Movies. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:19, August 28, 2014, from