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Creator/OliverStone[='s=] third film about UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, following ''{{Film/Platoon}}'' and ''Literature/BornOnTheFourthOfJuly''. These three films are often said to form a "trilogy", although they merely share subject matter and do not take place in a shared continuity.

''Heaven and Earth'' is most notable for telling the story of the war from the Vietnamese perspective, a viewpoint which Stone had been criticized for excluding in his two previous Vietnam films. The movie is VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory, being adapted from the memoirs of Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese peasant girl who married an American soldier and became a humanitarian in the U.S.
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!!This work features examples of:

* AllAsiansWearConicalStrawHats: As you'd expect of a movie set in Vietnam during the war, these hats are worn by many people, including our heroine at several points.
* AllMenArePerverts: In the first half of the movie, practically every male character (whether American or Vietnamese) wants to get into Le Ly's pants, [[AttemptedRape whether she wants it or not]].
* BillingDisplacement: Creator/TommyLeeJones is first billed, although he does not appear until halfway though the film. Creator/JoanChen, who plays the main character's mother, is billed second. Hiep Thi Le, who plays the actual main character, is billed ''tenth'' (with an [[AndStarring "And Introducing"]] credit).
* BreakTheCutie: The whole plot, especially in the first half of the movie
* CaliforniaDoubling: Vietnam was filmed in Thailand. Stone tried to get permission to film in Vietnam, but the communist government didn't like the scenes which portrayed the Viet Cong unsympathetically, [[CrapsackWorld never mind that every side is portrayed that way]].
* TheCameo: The real Le Ly Hayslip appears in a bit part. She's the woman selling jewelry in one of the U.S. scenes.
* CompositeCharacter: Steve Butler is a combination of the two American husbands Le Ly had in real life.
* {{Eagleland}}: Most of the American soldiers in Vietnam are very much Flavor 2. When Le Ly actually comes to the United States, it's initially portrayed as Flavor 1, but it later turns out that Flavor 2 is lurking under the surface.
* EvilVersusEvil: In regards to their cruelty in the war, the Viet Cong, the South Vietnamese government, and the Americans are NotSoDifferent.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Every side gets at least one. Le Ly is [[ColdBloodedTorture inhumanly tortured]] by the South Vietnamese, [[RapeAsDrama raped]] by the Viet Cong, and prostituted by the Americans.
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry: The Americans, of course. Who are, as the film points out, merely the latest in a series of occupiers, following the Chinese, the [[UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan Japanese]], and the [[FrenchJerk French]]. We actually see the end of French rule near the beginning of the film, [[AMinorKidroduction when Le Ly is still a child]].
* RapeAsDrama: Le Ly is raped by the Viet Cong when they suspect her of spying for the South.
* RuleOfDrama
* SemperFi: Averted mercilessly.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Steve Butler
* TranslationConvention: When the Vietnamese characters are talking to Americans, they speak in pidgin English. When they're talking amongst themselves, presumably speaking Vietnamese in-universe, it's rendered as normal English.
* WarIsHell: Oh, yes.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: The Viet Cong, of course. The people in Le Ly's village are very supportive of the V.C. and her brothers go off to fight for them. Ultimately, however, the V.C. are shown to be [[NotSoDifferent just as murderous and despicable as their American enemies]].
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