Movies that show the reality of war

hypochondriac

Well-known member
Location
Australia
I'd like to ask the veterans here which war movies they like if they like any at all that is.
Ive never been in the military by the way.
recently I read the book All Quiet on the Western Front and was absolutely in awe. Great book, great writing and then I watched the 1979 tv miniseries with Ernest Borgnine and John Boy from the Waltons. Understated and powerful was my impression. Am I easily impressed?
I liked Platoon too.
 

Butterfly

Well-known member
My husband, who was in Vietnam, could not watch any Vietnam war movies. Whether they were true to life or not, they all set him off. He had very severe PTSD, which was sometimes well controlled, sometimes not; but if he got into any of those Vietnam movies, it was like BOOM! he was right back there.
 

Tommy

Well-known member
Location
New Hampshire
You seem to be asking two separate questions here: "Which films do war veteran like to watch?" and "Which films most accurately depict the terrible realities of war?" I could be wrong, but I suspect you won't find many who were actively involved in actual ground combat who would enjoy watching such films. Those who were there are living with their own memories and would be unlikely to enjoy reliving those times via a film.
 

I was an Air Force REMF medic in Vietnam. My tour was split between the big bases at Cam Rahn Bay and Danang. So I didn't see any combat unless you count cowering on the floor while Charlie lobbed in a handful of rockets every now and then to harass us as combat. The funny thing is that in Vietnam about 90% of us were rear echelon support troops like myself, while only about 10% were in combat. Yet these days, when I encounter Vietnam vets it seems to be the other way around. About 90% of them claim to have been in combat and only about 10% say they were support troops. What's up with that?

My favorite Vietnam War movie is Full Metal Jacket.
Was it realistic? You would have to ask a Marine that.

 
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Ruthanne

Well-known member
Location
USA
My father was in combat duty during WWII. He watched war movies, documentaries, shows all the time. I never questioned him about it; not sure why he wanted to watch those.
 
This is now the 48th anniversary of the closest I came to getting killed in Vietnam.

The barracks that got hit where 5 guys were killed and 38 wounded was 70 yards from where I was. July 5th, 1971. It was just after midnight. I had just finished a 3-11 shift and was in the base library which was always open. To me rockets hitting always sounded like a giant metal door being slammed. I have read accounts where it said there where only 5 of them that hit us that night, but it seemed more like 10. Like I said before all I did was hit the floor and cower. And it seemed to me that each one was getting closer than the last. I kept expected the next one to come through the roof and up my ass. I remember feeling scared and pissed at the same time, thinking that I was going to die this far from home with only 44 days to go. My DEROS was 18 August. The last one, that took out the barracks 70 yards away from me sounded like it landed right next to me.


"Just after midnight on July 5, 1971, I was literally knocked out of my bunk in DaNang by a huge explosion. The barracks next door had taken a direct hit from a V.C. 140 mm rocket. I grabbed my camera and ran outside to document the attack. Tragically, five airmen died in the attack that night and 38 were wounded. We recently heard from David Tomblin of Wilkinson, West Virginia -- then an aircraft maintenance specialist with the 366th TFW -- who was injured when the rocket landed right next to his bunk area. DaNang Air Base was known as "rocket city" for the number of attacks that occurred there between 1965 and 1973. A summary of these attacks can be found on the Web site of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing..The barracks burned to the ground after the rocket attack "


71756



"At 15 minutes after midnight on July 5, 1971, Da Nang Air Base, Quang Nam Province, RVN, was the site of a standoff attack when five enemy rockets hit the base, killing five airmen from the Air Force’s 366th Field Maintenance Squadron and wounding 38 others. The five lost airmen included SSGT Lawrence Wilkerson, SGT Napoleon Johnson, SGT Gilbert Ledger, TSGT Windol W. McNutt, and SGT Isreal Medina."
 
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hypochondriac

Well-known member
Location
Australia
Original Poster
Give some reasons for watching war movies. They all are trash.
who me?
im not into watching violence.
I think a soldier has a unique insight into the meaning of life and death.
Its easy for me to be philosophical because ive never been to war.
I admire courage of course but also decency and integrity. i read in all quiet on the WF that a soldier can feel closer to his mates than his wife or parents.
And always I wonder how i could possibly face killing someone else.
There are so many moral dilemmas. it is a gold mine for writers if that doesnt sound too insensitive.
 

911

Well-known member
Location
USA
who me?
im not into watching violence.
I think a soldier has a unique insight into the meaning of life and death.
Its easy for me to be philosophical because ive never been to war.
I admire courage of course but also decency and integrity. i read in all quiet on the WF that a soldier can feel closer to his mates than his wife or parents.
And always I wonder how i could possibly face killing someone else.
There are so many moral dilemmas. it is a gold mine for writers if that doesnt sound too insensitive.
At that particular time, young men 18+ had to sign up for the draft. I turned 18 while I was a senior in high school. I enlisted in the Marines before graduation. Two weeks after I graduated from high school, I received my orders to report to Paris Island to begin my basic training. After graduation, I was given a short leave and then went to Camp Lejeune before being shipped out to Vietnam.

I don’t know much about courage. I do know that I did whatever was necessary to stay alive. I don’t know how to describe what it felt like to kill someone, especially that first one. We were on patrol along the Mekong River looking for either a door to a tunnel or Charlie. Suddenly, a shot rang out and I watched a fellow in our patrol go down. I thought he was killed. I saw the sniper in the tree and fired my M-16. He fell from the tree landing flat on his back. Then, 2 more shots were fired and we scattered. There were 7 of us in our patrol. I didn’t know where or which direction the shots came from, so I just laid still. After about 5 minutes, the Sgt. said it was clear. He said they must have scattered and also because there probably was only the 2 or 3 of them. Our Sgt. was on his second tour. Yeah, he was really into this war.

When we walked up to the body of the fellow that I had shot, I felt strange. Almost like I was now a different person. The other guys patted me on the back, but I didn’t understand that either. The Marine that was shot was shot in the side of his hip. We got him back to camp and they airlifted him to a hospital ship, or so we were told. I never saw him again. I thought about the fellow I had shot and I wondered if he had a family and how will they know that he was killed. Strange thoughts went through my mind. To this day, I can still see his face.

From that day on, I tried to stay close to the guy carrying the Bazooka. Again, I don’t know why. I just felt safer.
 

RadishRose

Well-known member
Location
Connecticut USA
My father's glider was shot down over France during a first wave of D-Day. He was wounded. Previously, he was in Belgium and England but never killed anybody that he was aware of.

He watched war docs all the time. I'll never forget "The Big Picture" reruns on TV

My ex husband was in Nam. He was never that interested in war movies
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
I wasn't in the military. My dad was but he never did any fighting. Maybe that's why he LOVED war movies; it probably brought back good memories for him.
My favorite war movie was "Born on the 4th of July." I liked the fact that the real veteran (Ron Kovic) was a consultant on the movie & wanted 100% accuracy.
 

hypochondriac

Well-known member
Location
Australia
Original Poster
I was an Air Force REMF medic in Vietnam. My tour was split between the big bases at Cam Rahn Bay and Danang. So I didn't see any combat unless you count cowering on the floor while Charlie lobbed in a handful of rockets every now and then to harass us as combat. The funny thing is that in Vietnam about 90% of us were rear echelon support troops like myself, while only about 10% were in combat. Yet these days, when I encounter Vietnam vets it seems to be the other way around. About 90% of them claim to have been in combat and only about 10% say they were support troops. What's up with that?

My favorite Vietnam War movie is Full Metal Jacket.
Was it realistic? You would have to ask a Marine that.

sorry i missed this post. interesting and informative trade.
 
I was never in any peril when I was in the US Navy. My dad's ship was kamikazed in 1945. He was standing about 20 feet where the plane struck the ship. My dad's best friend was standing on that very spot. It took my dad years for him to tell that. My dad was then in his 80s. It took a while for my dad to adjust to civilian life, my mom had to be careful how she woke him up- he thought he was back in the war. All my 4 uncles were in WWII, and never spoke about it-even among themselves. I can't recall ever siting with my dad and watching a war movie.
 

oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
I was never in any peril when I was in the US Navy. My dad's ship was kamikazed in 1945. He was standing about 20 feet where the plane struck the ship. My dad's best friend was standing on that very spot. It took my dad years for him to tell that. My dad was then in his 80s. It took a while for my dad to adjust to civilian life, my mom had to be careful how she woke him up- he thought he was back in the war. All my 4 uncles were in WWII, and never spoke about it-even among themselves. I can't recall ever siting with my dad and watching a war movie.
I wasn’t sure that I wanted to post the following, but here goes:

I don’t mean any disrespect. Please believe that. But, I never used to understand why it took some veterans so long to get past the events that they (we) were involved in during war. I had some bad experiences like so many others over in Vietnam. My unit was involved in a few battles and unfortunately, we lost two men during the whole 14 months we were there. I took a hit in my left shoulder that I thought I was going to lose my whole left arm from the shoulder down.

It must be PTSD that I hear so much about. I never heard that term during the Vietnam War. This disease allows a person to function with day to day duties, but it’s something that’s always there. Triggers can cause flashbacks and that begins the episodes of anxiety in the mind of the sufferer.

From what I have read, it also states that many women who are abused by their husbands or boyfriends may also suffer from PTSD. This brings me to my questions; 1. Is there any cure? 2. Does it ever go away?
 

squatting dog

Well-known member
We didn't have the term PTSD, but I imagine most of us suffered from it at one time or another and probably still do. War changes you, no way around it. Some cope better than others. Myself, took a long time but I may finally be leaving it behind. That said, the movie Platoon had parts that closely resembled my time and area in country. Not all mind you (Hollywood always has to embellish). Years ago, I thought I had put it behind me when I happened to see the movie More American Graffiti, and for some reason, the shot of and sound of Huey's flying over the river brought on the most horrifying nightmares that I'd ever had. For that reason alone, I have no desire to view war movies because one never knows what the trigger is.
 

oldman

Well-known member
Location
PA
We didn't have the term PTSD, but I imagine most of us suffered from it at one time or another and probably still do. War changes you, no way around it. Some cope better than others. Myself, took a long time but I may finally be leaving it behind. That said, the movie Platoon had parts that closely resembled my time and area in country. Not all mind you (Hollywood always has to embellish). Years ago, I thought I had put it behind me when I happened to see the movie More American Graffiti, and for some reason, the shot of and sound of Huey's flying over the river brought on the most horrifying nightmares that I'd ever had. For that reason alone, I have no desire to view war movies because one never knows what the trigger is.
Once you hear the sound of Huey’s, you never forget it. They sound different than regular helicopters. They had different versions, depending on what they were being used for.
 


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