Idealistic young middle-class boy Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) drops out of college and volunteers for a tour in Vietnam. The company however is divided between two sergeants. Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) represents a man for whom combat and killing has become the only world. The other sergeant is also a war-torn soldier, but an idealistic one.
Elias and Barnes are often in conflict and things can quickly get out of hand. One day the platoon enters a Vietnamese village they suspect aiding in the killing of one of their men. The soldiers are thirsty for blood and when the villagers are found to be hiding weapons and food for the Viet Cong, revenge supplants justice.
Within 10 days it will be Tom Berenger`s 64th birthday. (May 31, 1949)
Within 14 days it will be Keith David`s 57th birthday. (June 4, 1956)
Within 19 days it will be Johnny Depp`s 50th birthday. (June 9, 1963)
Release date: December 19, 1986
Oscar: Best Director ->Oliver Stone
Best Film Editing
Oscar nominees: Best Actor in a Supporting Role ->Tom Berenger
Best Actor in a Supporting Role -> Willem Dafoe
Best Writing -> Oliver Stone
The actors undertook a two weeks basic training at the hand of the film’s technical adviser US Marine Captain Dale Dye.Source / More (Book)
Director Cameo: An officer at the bunker which gets destroyed by a suicide runner.
The film is based on Oliver Stone’s personal experiences during the Vietnam war. The sergeants Barnes and Elias were existing soldiers. Elias died under strange circumstances.Source / More (Book)
The encyclopedia says about platoon
A military unit consisting of 30 to 40 soldiers with two or more squads or sections and a headquarters.Source / More (Web)
The south of Vietnam was occupied by the French from 1858. They called it Cochinchina. In 1883 northern Vietnam (Tonkin) and central Vietnam (Annam) became French protectorates. Ten years later the French annexed Laos and added it to the Indochinese Union or French Indochina, which the they created in 1887.
Poor living conditions, worsened by French economic exploitation, contributed to growing Vietnamese hostility to foreign rule. So many local officials of Cochinchina refused to collaborate with the French and in 1930 the revolutionary Ho Chi Minh (Nguyen Tat Thanh) established the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP).
During World War 2 the Communist Party formed a nationalist alliance called the League for the Independence of Vietnam, also known as the Viet Minh.
In late 1945 war broke out when Viet Minh military units attacked French positions in Hanoi. This was the beginning of the first Indochina War. The French, in spite of the backing by the United States, were defeated in 1954 by Vietnamese Alliance Parties (Viê?t Nam Ðô`ng Minh Hô?i).
The government in France agreed to hold negotiations on a peace agreement at Geneva, Switzerland. So Vietnam was partitioned, temporarily, into Northern (Viet Minh) and Southern (French) zones.
For the next years Indochina experienced a brief interlude of peace until the unpopular prime minister of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, was killed in 1963 by his own army supported by communist-led forces, popularly called the Viet Cong. In the confusion that followed, the Communists almost took over the south.
Faced with an imminent collapse of the south, the U.S. bombed North Vietnam, hoping to prevent further infiltration of arms and troops into the south. In early 1968, Hanoi launched the Tet Offensive, in which the Viet Cong (derived from Việt Nam Cộng Sản) and North Vietnamese attacked more than 100 cities and military bases. This attack opened the way for negotiations to be held in Paris (France).
Finally, in January 1973 a peace treaty was signed by the United States and all Vietnamese parties. But this did not bring an end to the fighting and in early 1975 the North invaded the South and quickly consolidated the country under its control. At the end of April the Thieu regime collapsed and The Second Indochina War was finally at an end.