Whorled View

September 8, 2008

We were Soldiers. Out on Video. It will change you.

Filed under: Blogroll,defense,media,Politics,Sociology,war — lullabyman @ 7:01 pm

It’s actually been out on video for a few years.  I Tivo’d it the other night.

There are a lot of movies I want to watch, not because I look forward to watching them, but because I think I should because I know they will change me for the better.  Schindler’s List for example is one of them …  I don’t want to watch it but I think I should.  I still haven’t seen it.  I probably won’t until I can Tivo it because it’s just not the kind of movie you set out to rent.   When you go to rent a movie you’re typically looking for something fun and entertaining – at least that’s what I do.

“We were Soldiers” is another war movie – but unlike Schindler’s list I didn’t anticipate going away with the sick uneasy feeling expect to have with Schidler’s list.  I’m not sure why … perhaps it’s because I know a lot more about WWII than the Vietnam War.  Perhaps it’s because although 56,000 soldiers were killed in Vietnam, which is an unimaginable tragedy, in WWII 6 million Jews were slaughtered in concentration camps (2 out of every 3 European Jews) which is mindboggling in it’s devastation and then made all the worse because they were all civilians who were mostly women and children.

Anyway, often before I Tivo a show I’ll check out http://www.imdb.com for it’s rating and “We were Soldiers” was rated a 6.9, which is pretty good, but not exceptional, so I clicked on the rating – that will show you a distribution plot to see how people rated it.  Wow.  If you ever check imdb.com you should always click the rating.  I don’t know how they came up with 6.9, but if you look at the distribution you’ll see that 50% of watchers rated it an 8 or higher (1/3 of those gave it a ’10’).  So I then read the comments.  Those who were in Vietnam as soldiers commented again and again that with this film Hollywood finally got it right.  I agree with them that all the romanticizing the directors did with “Pearl Harbor” and other war-movies was distracting if not downright bothersome to me.

In summary, “We were Soldiers” is a true story about a general and his Brigade in Vietnam in 1965 as they were dropped right in the middle of the Viet Cong against some unbelievable odds.  It showed what happened back home with the families on base, and what happened to those who lived through it on the battlefield (mostly young men), and it showed the character of the people who fought it, and how they thought, and exactly what they did.

If you’ve ever wondered about what Veterans think about war in general then it’s probably a good movie to see.  I think with McCain on the ticket, and considering that he was a prisoner of war (although the movie didn’t go into that experience) it might  help you understand his views.  The general impression and understanding that you get at the end is that war Veterans, no matter how they feel about any particular war, will all basically have the same opinion about war in general.  In other words, if you want a president that will only engage in War when absolutely necessary then it seems you should want a man who lived that experience in a very real and personal way.  They all go into war differently with different attitudes and perceptions and goals.  They all come out however with a very similar opinion: War is hell and is something you do not engage in lightly.

One other thing: I don’t care how tough you are.  You’d better have a handkercheif or box of kleenex nearby.



  1. I don’t like movies that make me cry (which now that I’m pregnant spans everything from Pollyanna to Lethal Weapon)

    Along this same thread- may I suggest renting John Adams- the recent HBO series. It didn’t make me cry, was entertaining and very good for you.

    Comment by salt h2o — September 8, 2008 @ 11:49 pm

  2. I loved the John Adams series too. Very very good! Made you realize those days weren’t much different than our own. Gives you a whole new appreciation for the founding fathers … many who were serious mud-slinging politicians (stab their best friend in the back if it did them any political good) as well as remarkable individuals that believed 100% in what they did and were totally committed to their principles. I wish politicians were as principled today as they were then.

    Comment by dave austin — September 9, 2008 @ 12:01 am

  3. I guess I should have stayed awake huh? Sounds like a good show. Did you cry? I cried today watching baby story… the woman had a 9+ pound baby with a direct OP delivery like Henry’s and I felt so bad for her. Made me remember why I don’t watch that show.

    Did I see the John Adams series or sleep through that one too? I’m so bad.

    Comment by Melissa — September 9, 2008 @ 2:01 am

  4. That’s okay, Melissa. I sleep through baby story!

    Comment by lullabyman — September 9, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

  5. I just put it in my netflix queue

    Comment by Linda — September 20, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

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