80s Movies: Platoon Turns 30 This December

Platoon came out in December 1986 making it 30 this year. When the film was released it was quickly embraced and soon rated the best depiction of the Vietnam War ever shown in a movie.

When a young Charlie Sheen goes to war instead of college, he soon learns the evils of war and man. With somewhat of a devil sergeant and an angel sergeant, there are two battles to be won, one with the enemy and the other within his platoon.

5 reasons Platoon is a classic

Still not convinced this movie is worth celebrating? Here are five reasons that it is:

  1. Platoon was rated 8.1 on IMDb and has an 88% from Rotten Tomatoes while other films of the time like Red Dawn, Missing In Action and The Final Countdown all rated much poorly.
  2. This was one of the first movies of many of the actor’s careers including Charlie Sheen, Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker, all of whom are still popular today.
  3. The movie was directed and written by Oliver Stone, a Vietnam War Veteran.
  4. Platoon was one of the first war movies that didn’t overly glorify war.  Many vets felt the movie was an authentic portrayal of the war and realistically showed what their time was like there.
  5. The movie starred Charlie Sheen before he became Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger before his own Sheen-like problems. It also had Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, and Forrest Whitaker — a stunning all-star team who all went on to continued success.

Oliver Stone knew what he wanted

Stone spoke with The New York Times when the film was released. He told the paper his goal was to ”make a document of a time and place,” to re-create the reality of Vietnam so that those who stayed home or came of age after it ended would now know ”what it was like to be there.”
And while the film would go onto be a classic, it was shot with a modest budget of $6.5 million, was shot in the Philippines between March and May, monsoon and summer. To get the actors ready for the film Stone put the younger cast members through a 14-day boot camp to prepare them for their roles. ”Actors have a great imagination,” Stone told the paper. ”They were able to take those two weeks and turn them into months.”













Author: Emily Rokke

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