Continuing my plan to watch every Johnny Depp movie in order, I come to Platoon (1986) The first of Stones Vietnam trilogy. Stone wrote the screenplay based upon his experiences as a U.S. Infantryman in Vietname to counter the vision of the war portrayed in John Waynes The Green Barets. Platoon was the first Hollywood film to be written and directed by a veteran of the Vietnam War. Stone fought for years to get this movie made. Studios didn't want to make another movie about the unpopular war and considered Deer Hunter and Apocolypse Now as the definitive Vietnam movies, and saw no reason to make this. This really is harrowing viewing, but it's not only the best movie of 1986, its one of the best of the decade. This movie reminds us, that before he became a tabloid fodder and punchline on late night talk shows Charlie Sheen was once a very promising young actor. His voice-over is eerily reminiscent of Martin Sheen in Apocolypse Now. Willem Defo, Tom Berenger (both playing against type and both Oscar-nominated) John C. McGinley, Kieth David (an actor I always enjoy seeing on screen) and Forest Whitaker are all superb. The part of Sergeant Barnes was originally offered to Kevin Costner. Although pretty unknown and a few years away from fame, he turned it down because he didn't want to disrespect his brother, who was a Vietnam veteran. Depp (his helmet reading, "Sherilyn", a tribute to Sherilyn Fenn, whom Depp was dating at the time) is OK, but he fades into the background against the bigger performances, despite a key scene. Not only did Platoon win Best Picture and Best Director for Stone, it grossed $138 dollars at the domestic box office to end 1986 as the 3rd highest grossing movie of the year.
Drama / War
Drama / War
A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.
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June 26, 2019