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* UnbuiltTrope: As the more-or-less the first Hollywood film to seriously examine Vietnam, a lot of familiar Vietnam movie tropes make their first appearance here. You can find elements remarkably similar to ''Film/{{Platoon}}'', ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''. If you didn't know it predated all of them, you'd be excused for assuming it was a FollowTheLeader attempt to piggyback on the success of those films.

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* UnbuiltTrope: As the more-or-less the first Hollywood film to seriously examine Vietnam, a lot of familiar Vietnam movie tropes make their first appearance here. You can find elements remarkably similar to ''Film/{{Platoon}}'', ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''. If you didn't know it predated all of them, you'd be excused for assuming it was a FollowTheLeader attempt to piggyback on the success of those films.


* UnbuiltTrope: At times this film feels like ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' with a pinch of ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', but it predates all of them.

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* UnbuiltTrope: At times this As the more-or-less the first Hollywood film feels like ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] to seriously examine Vietnam, a lot of familiar Vietnam movie tropes make their first appearance here. You can find elements remarkably similar to ''Film/{{Platoon}}'', ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' with a pinch of ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', but and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''. If you didn't know it predates predated all of them.them, you'd be excused for assuming it was a FollowTheLeader attempt to piggyback on the success of those films.


* WarWasBeginning: The film opens with some text explaining that the story takes place in the "advisory" period before the US began major operations in Vietnam.

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* WarWasBeginning: The film opens with some text explaining that the story takes place in the "advisory" period before the US began major operations in Vietnam.Vietnam, with the results of the First Indochina War (the defeat of the French and Communist forces gaining control of the northern part of the country) still looming large.


1964: UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar is underway, but at this early stage of the conflict, US Army troops are still only considered to be "advisers" to the South Vietnamese Army. Major Barker (Lancaster) is ordered by his superiors to occupy Muc Wa, a deserted hamlet. A decade earlier, French troops suffered a major defeat at Muc Wa, and the thinking is that if the Americans can succeed where the French failed, it would be a major show of force. But with few competent soldiers available, Barker must send the only men he has at his disposal. He hopes that nothing will go wrong, because the place is of little strategic value. But in a conflict that has already turned into a quagmire, things aren't so easy.

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1964: UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar is underway, but at this early stage of the conflict, US Army troops are (which numbered around 16,000 at the time) were still only considered to be "advisers" to the South Vietnamese Army. Major Barker (Lancaster) is ordered by his superiors to occupy Muc Wa, a deserted hamlet. A decade earlier, French troops suffered a major defeat at Muc Wa, and the thinking is that if the Americans can succeed where the French failed, it would be a major show of force. But with few competent soldiers available, Barker must send the only men he has at his disposal. He hopes that nothing will go wrong, because the place is of little strategic value. But in a conflict that has already turned into a quagmire, things aren't so easy.

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* WarWasBeginning: The film opens with some text explaining that the story takes place in the "advisory" period before the US began major operations in Vietnam.


* UnbuiltTrope: At times this film feels like ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', but it predates both of them by about a decade.

to:

* UnbuiltTrope: At times this film feels like ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' with a pinch of ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', but it predates both all of them by about a decade.them.


* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Incident at Muc Wa'' by Daniel Ford (1967), which was one of the first novels written about the war. Ford had been one of the few American reporters on the ground in Vietnam during the early phase of the conflict.

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* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Incident at Muc Wa'' by Daniel Ford (1967), which was one of the first novels books written about the war.war, back when it was still very much a RippedFromTheHeadlines situation. Ford had been one of the few American reporters on the ground in Vietnam during the early phase of the conflict.

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* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: ''Incident at Muc Wa'' author Daniel Ford tagged along with a Special Forces unit in 1964 who'd been sent on a march through the Vietnamese mountains that ultimately produced very little in the way of combat. One of the stops was an abandoned village called Tan Hoa, where they encountered a few gravestones of French soldiers who died in the First Indochina War. Based on this, Ford came up with a fictionalized version of events where a unit fights against the Viet Cong in a similar village. Maj. Barker and Cowboy were both based on real people Ford worked with.


One of the first Hollywood films to deal with Vietnam in the aftermath of the war, it only saw a limited release in 1978, but garnered major critical acclaim and has since become a CultClassic.

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One of the first Hollywood films to deal with Vietnam in the aftermath of the war, it only saw a limited release in 1978, but its unflinching portrayal of combat garnered major critical acclaim and has since become it's considered a CultClassic.



* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Incident at Muc Wa'' by Daniel Ford (1967), which was one of the first novels written about the war. Ford had been a correspondent in Vietnam during the early phase of the war.

to:

* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Incident at Muc Wa'' by Daniel Ford (1967), which was one of the first novels written about the war. Ford had been a correspondent one of the few American reporters on the ground in Vietnam during the early phase of the war.conflict.


* UnbuiltTrope: At times this film feels like a [[FollowTheLeader reaction to]] or even an imitation of ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' and ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', but it predates both of them by about a decade.

to:

* UnbuiltTrope: At times this film feels like a [[FollowTheLeader reaction to]] or even an imitation of ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' and [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', but it predates both of them by about a decade.


In 1964, during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, Major Barker (Lancaster) is ordered to occupy Muc Wa, a deserted hamlet, but there is no competent soldier available, so he sends there the only men he has at his disposal. He hopes that nothing will go wrong, because the place is of little strategic value.

to:

In 1964, during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar, 1964: UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar is underway, but at this early stage of the conflict, US Army troops are still only considered to be "advisers" to the South Vietnamese Army. Major Barker (Lancaster) is ordered by his superiors to occupy Muc Wa, a deserted hamlet, but there hamlet. A decade earlier, French troops suffered a major defeat at Muc Wa, and the thinking is no that if the Americans can succeed where the French failed, it would be a major show of force. But with few competent soldier soldiers available, so he sends there Barker must send the only men he has at his disposal. He hopes that nothing will go wrong, because the place is of little strategic value.
value. But in a conflict that has already turned into a quagmire, things aren't so easy.

One of the first Hollywood films to deal with Vietnam in the aftermath of the war, it only saw a limited release in 1978, but garnered major critical acclaim and has since become a CultClassic.



* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The title is taken from an epitaph by the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos.

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* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The title is taken from an epitaph by the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos. The Americans find a sign with the quote at the cemetery where the French soldiers who died at Muc Wa are buried.


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* MeaningfulName: Daniel Ford, the author of the original novel, chose "Muc Wa" as the name for the fictional village because it sounded like "muck war".


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* NonIndicativeName: A South Vietnamese colonel is nicknamed Lard Ass by the Americans, but he's actually of average build.


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* UnbuiltTrope: At times this film feels like a [[FollowTheLeader reaction to]] or even an imitation of ''Film/{{Platoon}}'' and ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', but it predates both of them by about a decade.


Added DiffLines:

* WarIsHell: The main theme, as things just keep getting worse and worse for the Americans. At the very end of the film, a caption that just says "1964" pops up, emphasizing that the horrific things we've just seen were only the beginning. America still had 11 years to go in Vietnam.


* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Incident at Muc Wa'' by Daniel Ford (1967).

to:

* TheFilmOfTheBook: Based on the novel ''Incident at Muc Wa'' by Daniel Ford (1967).(1967), which was one of the first novels written about the war. Ford had been a correspondent in Vietnam during the early phase of the war.

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* TheSiege: Muc Wa is attacked by the Viet Cong. The squad has to defend it, with the help of South Vietnamese militiamen and mercenaries.

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* PsychoForHire: Cpl. "Cowboy" enjoys torturing and killing people. He is a mercenary hired as an interpreter and an interrogation specialist by the Americans.


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* TokenEvilTeammate: Cpl. "Cowboy" is the member of the squad who enjoys torturing and killing enemies.


* OldSoldier: Maj. Barker (played by Creator/BurtLancaster who was in his sixties) is an experienced soldier. He fought during World War II and the Korean War). He is still efficient in the field: he goes personally to Muc Wa to exfiltrate his men, and finally he chooses to stay at Muc Wa with Cpl. Courcey.

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* OldSoldier: Maj. Barker (played by Creator/BurtLancaster who was in his sixties) is an experienced soldier. He soldier (he fought during in World War II and the Korean War). He is still efficient in the field: he goes personally to Muc Wa to exfiltrate his men, and finally he chooses to stay at Muc Wa with Cpl. Courcey.

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