Comparative, Representation, Analysis, Vietnam War Films, Interpretation
I. Analysis and Criticism of Vietnamese Conflict Films
Adair, Gilbert. Vietnam on Film. New York: Proteus Publishing, 1981, pp. 13-53, 113-169
- Gilbert Adair takes a look at the films in Hollywood created to represent the Vietnamese conflict. In his research, he explains how Vietnam was too multi-layered, too complicated to accurately grasp the closed plot structure of a film. He writes about the censorship, sexuality and the Vietnam War hero as they relate to films of the Vietnamese conflict.
Anderegg, Michael (ed). Inventing Vietnam: The War in Film and Television. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.
- This collection of short essays about the films representing the Vietnamese conflict specifically takes a look at the unique relationship between the United States and Vietnam. The essays explain that the Vietnam War movie has been given an imaginative life like the literature and non-fiction representing the conflict.
Auster, Albert and Quart, Leonard. How the War was Remembered: Hollywood and Vietnam. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1988.
- This book takes a closer look at the Vietnamese conflict and how it relates to the political, cultural and sociological specifics within the Vietnam War film narrative. This book takes a look at the war film and Vietnam, the wounded heroes, those who survived and America confronting the war itself.
Devine, Jeremy. Vietnam at 24 Frames a Second: A Critical and Thematic Analysis of Over 400 Films About the Vietnam War. North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., 1995
- This book is specific in its interpretations of films concerning Vietnam. Through thematic and symbolic analysis and criticisms, this book talks about the films themselves, the actor’s portrayals, the director’s ideas for creating the film and the implications that these films had on society. With over 400 films listed, about 50 of these motion pictures can hold true arguments as to the reality of the war within the films.
Dittmar, Linda and Michaud, Gene (eds). From Hanoi to Hollywood: The Vietnam War in American Film. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990.
- This book contains a collections of essays that look at the glorification of the Vietnam era through certain Americanized, Hollywood pictures. The essays talk about movies depicting one-man heroes, cultural myths, the rehabilitation of the Vietnam veterans and the politics surrounding the war.
Gilman Jr., Owen and Smith, Lorrie (eds). America Rediscovered: Critical Essays on Literature and Film of the Vietnam War. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1990.
- This collection of essays takes a close look at the literature and film of the Vietnamese conflict. More specifically, these essays cover a contemporary view of the Vietnamese conflict such as sexual violence, narratives, symbolism and the vocabularies of the experience of the war. Films that are critically examined in this text are Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter as well as the different genres of the time.
Hunter, Stephen. Violent Screen: A Critic’s 13 Years on the Front Lines of Movie Mayhem. Baltimore, Maryland: Bancroft Press, 1995, pp. 201-245.
- Stephen Hunter takes a look at the violence on screen. His thoughts on war have to do with the “charisma of brutality” and the representation of violence in Vietnam War movies. More specifically, Hunter talks about films such as Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, The Killing Fields, Casualties of War and Born on the 4th of July. His writing is concerned with the cruel nature of the war as it stands as a reflection of the war itself.
Lev, Peter. American Films of the 70’s: Conflicting Visions. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000, pp. 107-126.
- This section of Lev’s book has to do with the film Apocalypse Now. He explains how the film expresses a complex and negative depiction of the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He states that the film contains contemporaneous issues of war and foreign policy and is a film that directly confronts the Vietnam experience.
Wilson, James C. Vietnam in Prose and Film. North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., 1982.
- This book is a harsh criticism of the Vietnamese conflict. In his book, Wilson talks about the media distortions of the war, the literary distortions of the war and the Hollywood experience, which Wilson views as a de-realization of the war. His book also takes a look at Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Vietnam experience.
II. Films Confronting the Vietnamese Conflict
The Green Berets. 1968. Warner Bros. Pictures, Directed by John Wayne and Ray Kellogg.
The Deer Hunter. 1978. Directed by Michael Cimino.
The Boys in C Company. 1978. Directed by Sidney J. Furie.
Apocalypse Now. 1979. A Francis Coppola Film.
Uncommon Valor. 1983. Paramount Pictures, A Ted Kotcheff Film.
Purple Hearts. 1984. Directed by Sidney J. Furie.
Platoon. 1986. An Oliver Stone Film.
Full Metal Jacket. 1987. A Stanley Kubrick Film.
Good Morning Vietnam. 1987. A Barry Levinson Film.
Hamburger Hill. 1987. Directed by John Irvin.
Born on the 4th of July. 1989. Universal Pictures, An Oliver Stone Film.
Casualties of War. 1989. RCA/Columbia Pictures, A Brian DePalma Film.
Heaven and Earth. 1993. Warner Bros. Pictures, An Oliver Stone Film.
Regret to Inform. 1998. A Barbara Sonneborn Film.
Return With Honor. 2001. A Film By Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders.
III. The Auteurs and Their Analysis of Film
Friedman, Lawrence S. The Cinema of Martin Scorsese. New York: Continuum Publishing Press, 1997.
- This book explores the mind of Martin Scorsese and his thoughts about filmmaking and cinema and Hollywood representations of cultural and sociological myths. He also talks about his films and their representation of the Vietnamese conflict.
Kagan, Norman. The Cinema of Oliver Stone. New York: Continuum Publishing Press, 1995.
- This book talks about Oliver Stone and his days as a filmmaker and producer of many Hollywood films. This book contains critical analysis of Stone as a director and what he envisions in his cinematic process. Stone created many films about the Vietnamese conflict and about different aspects of the war.
Kagan, Norman. The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick. New York: Continuum Publishing Press, Third Edition, 2000.
- This book examines the films of Stanley Kubrick and his unorthodox style of filmmaking. As an auteur, Kubrick’s visions become symbolic distortions of reality to gain an overall ambiguous perspective of the audience. Kubrick is responsible for one of the most sought after Vietnam War films, Full Metal Jacket.
Kolker, Robert. A Cinema of Loneliness. New York: Oxford University Press, Third Edition, 2000, pp. 17-97, 98-175, 176-247.
- This book underlies the film techniques of three main Vietnamese conflict film directors. The criticisms in this book about Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick surround the utter uniqueness of film theory, film narrative and the structure of the Hollywood. The book also lends specific views to the directors’ war films and the basis behind their creation.
Lewis, Jon. Whom God Wishes to Destroy: Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1995, pp. 41-72.
- This book covers another important director in the Vietnamese conflict genre and that man is Francis Coppola. Lewis specifically delves into the heart of Coppola’s films and the utter uniqueness in the way they represent reality. This book explores Coppola’s war films and the reality basis behind their symbolism and meaning.