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Platoon is a Tour de Force

by Dewsey on 7/10/2002

Even for those people who haven't seen the whole movie, they are probably familiar with Willem Dafoe's dramatic death pose on the front of the DVD. It is a powerful metaphor for the movie itself, which along with Apocalypse Now does the best job of capturing the spirit of the Vietnam War - a heart-rending sense of madness, death without reason, betrayal by your countrymen, and the loss of innocence. In fact, if Platoon had utilized Apocalypse Now's cinematography and effects, it would be in contention for the finest war movie ever made. Charlie Sheen is a bit stiff in one of his earlier big roles, and the final chopper dialogue is a bit contrived, but other than that the movie is dead-on, especially with Dafoe and Berenger. This is one of those movies that after viewing makes you feel weary, yet also satisfied and emotionally charged. The classical orchestra piece by Samuel Barber that fronts the movie is one of the most moving pieces of music that I have ever heard. Vietnam was where America lost its innocence, and Platoon shows us how it happened. Everyone should own this film. Read More

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Product Overview

The portrayal of one man's journey into the war-torn jungles ofvietnam. Special features: collectible booklet: theatricaltrailer, subtitles in french and spanish: widescreen andfullscreen versions and more.


Studio MGM
SKU 40140827
UPC 027616851567
UPC 14 00027616851567
Format DVD
Release Date 5/5/2015
Rating Rating
Essential Cinema
Good Vs. Evil
Theatrical Release
Vietnam War
Editors Note
Note In PLATOON, Oliver Stone draws on his experience as an infantryman in Vietnam to convey the brutality of guerrilla warfare: the heat of the jungle, the brushes with such wildlife as snakes and leeches, and, most powerfully, the presence of the unseen enemy. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a raw recruit, or "new meat," who serves as the film's narrator. At first he wilts under the rigorous conditions of jungle life, freezes up in a fire fight, and wonders whether he'll be able to survive. But he gradually adapts and, as time goes by, begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups. One consists of lifers, juicers, and subintelligent whites, the other of blacks and heads. Sgt. Barnes, a combat-loving burnout (Tom Berenger), is the informal leader of the lifers, and Sgt. Elias, a free spirit (Willem Dafoe), leads the latter group. When the platoon takes some gruesome losses, an enraged Barnes kills some Vietnamese and orders the burning of their village, outraging the temporarily absent Elias. As the conflict between these two reaches its tragic climax, Chris must decide what he really values. Widely regarded as one of the finest war films ever made, PLATOON reflects not only the United States' division over Vietnam but the timeless truths of battle: terror, disorientation, exhilaration, and horrible loss.
Premiere "...Wrenching..." - Recommended 05/01/1995 p.136
New York Times "Nothing that Oliver Stone has done preparation for the singular achievement of his latest film, PLATOON....A major piece of work, as full of pasion as it is of redeeming, scary irony..." 12/19/1986 p.C12
Entertainment Weekly Rating: B 07/08/1994 pp.58-9
Variety "...Intense....Very effective scenes....An impressive-looking production in all respects..." 12/03/1986
Los Angeles Times "...This is movie-making with a zealot's fervor....[Stone] may have achieved a remarkable bridge with PLATOON. He has personalized a war for us..." 12/19/1986 p.C1
Total Film "...With incredible set pieces and gripping firefights the belie the tiny budget, PLATOON's impact has barely diminished over the years..." 10/01/2000 p.112
Uncut 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] phenomenon....Importantly, Stone captured something of what it felt like to fight in the war." 04/01/2006 p.138
Oliver Stone
Tom Berenger
Charlie Sheen
Willem Dafoe
Cast & Crew
Charlie Sheen - Actor
Forest Whitaker - Actor
Johnny Depp - Actor
Keith David - Actor
Tom Berenger - Actor
Willem Dafoe - Actor
Oliver Stone - Director
Robert Richardson - Director of Photography
Georges Delerue - Musical Score
Arnold Kopelson - Producer
Oliver Stone - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1986
Catalog ID 1000840
UPC 00027616851567
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 120 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Oscar (1987) Oliver Stone, Winner, Best Director,Claire Simpson, Winner, Best Film Editing,, Winner, Best Picture,Charles Grenzbach, et al., Winner, Best Sound,Robert Richardson, Nominee, Best Cinematography,Tom Berenger, Nominee, Best Supporting Actor,Oliver Stone, Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly For The Screen
Independent Spirit (1987) Oliver Stone, Winner, Best Director,, Winner, Best Feature,Oliver Stone, Winner, Best Screenplay,Willem Dafoe, Nominee, Best Male Lead
Golden Globe (1987) Olive Stone, Winner, Best Motion Picture Director,, Winner, Best Motion Picture Drama,Tom Berenger, Winner, Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture,Oliver Stone, Nominee, Best Motion Picture Screenplay
British Academy Awards (1988) Oliver Stone, Winner, Best Direction,Claire Simpson, Winner, Best Editing,Robert Richardson, Nominee, Best Cinematography
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Actor Sheen,Charlie
Label Mgm Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Harrowingly realistic and completely convincing...
Washington Post A staggering study of war.
Find-A-Video of the finest war films ever made...

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Platoon is a Tour de Force by Dewsey on Jul 10, 2002