published on: 24/05/2023
The Vietnam War (1955-1975) is one of the most significant events in modern history and its impact on culture, both in the United States and internationally, has been enormous. In the years following the war, filmmakers, artists, and writers used their platforms to reflect on the conflict and its aftermath, producing works that shed light on the social, political, and psychological implications of the war.
There are numerous movies about the Vietnam War and its impact on people's lives. Some are based on true events, while others are fictional stories set during that period. Here are a few iconic Vietnam War movies:
"Full Metal Jacket" (1987): Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this movie provides a glimpse into the life of a platoon of U.S. Marines, focusing on the experiences of two young soldiers.
"The Deer Hunter" (1978): Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Meryl Streep, this film explores the impact of the Vietnam War on the working class steelworkers of Pennsylvania. It's particularly known for its intense Russian roulette scenes.
"Born on the Fourth of July" (1989): Another film directed by Oliver Stone, this one is a biography of Ron Kovic, played by Tom Cruise, a patriotic soldier who becomes an anti-war activist after being paralyzed in the war.
"We Were Soldiers" (2002): This movie, starring Mel Gibson, depicts the Battle of Ia Drang, the first major battle between the United States and North Vietnamese armies.
"Good Morning, Vietnam" (1987): This comedy-drama features Robin Williams as a radio DJ in Saigon, providing a lighter and more human perspective on the war.
"Casualties of War" (1989): Directed by Brian De Palma and starring Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn, this film recounts the incident of the rape and murder of a Vietnamese girl by American soldiers.
One of the most influential works of art inspired by the Vietnam War is the film "Apocalypse Now" (1979) directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The movie is a retelling of Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness" set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, and it is considered one of the most powerful indictments of the conflict. Through its vivid imagery, haunting soundtrack, and powerful performances, "Apocalypse Now" captures the chaos, violence, and confusion of the war, and it remains one of the defining works of American cinema.
In addition to films, the Vietnam War has also been the subject of many books, including
"The Sympathizer" by Viet Thanh Nguyen: This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel offers an intriguing perspective on the Vietnam War through the eyes of a double agent.
"The Quiet American" by Graham Greene: Set in 1950s Vietnam, this novel is a profound exploration of the moral and political complexities of the emerging Vietnam War.
"Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam" by Frances FitzGerald: This is a classic work of non-fiction that won both the Pulitzer Prize. It offers a comprehensive analysis of the history and culture of Vietnam, as well as the dynamics of the Vietnam War.
"The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir" by Thi Bui: This is a heartfelt graphic novel exploring the author's family history and their journey as refugees from Vietnam to America.
"When Heaven and Earth Changed Places" by Le Ly Hayslip: A compelling memoir of a woman who survived the Vietnam War and later returned to Vietnam to face her past.
"Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam" by Fredrik Logevall: A detailed history of the events leading up to the Vietnam War, starting from the French colonial period.
"Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam" by Andrew X. Pham: This is a travelogue about a Vietnamese-American who goes back to Vietnam on a bicycle journey to understand his cultural roots.
"Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram": This is the translated diary of a young Vietnamese doctor who served in a field hospital for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
"Paradise of the Blind" by Duong Thu Huong: A novel by one of Vietnam's most prominent writers, it tells the story of three women struggling with love and loss against the backdrop of Vietnam's tumultuous political history.
"Vietnam: A History" by Stanley Karnow: This is one of the most comprehensive English-language histories of Vietnam, particularly focusing on the 20th century and the Vietnam War.
Vietnam war in video games
The Vietnam War has been depicted in numerous video games, reflecting its lasting impact on popular culture. Some of the most notable video games that feature the Vietnam War include:
"Call of Duty: Black Ops" (2010) - This first-person shooter game features a storyline that takes place during the Cold War and the Vietnam War, and it provides players with a realistic and intense depiction of the conflict.
"Medal of Honor: Rising Sun" (2003) - This game is set during World War II and the Vietnam War, and it follows the story of a U.S. soldier who participates in the conflict. The game provides players with a detailed and immersive depiction of the war and its impact on soldiers.
"Vietcong" (2003) - This first-person shooter game is set during the Vietnam War and it puts players in the role of a U.S. soldier fighting in the conflict. The game features realistic combat scenarios and provides a deep and immersive experience of the war.
"Full Spectrum Warrior" (2004) - This tactical shooter game is set during the conflict in Vietnam and it provides players with a unique and intense depiction of the war. The game features realistic combat scenarios and puts players in the role of a squad leader tasked with leading his team to victory.
"ShellShock: Nam '67" (2004) - This game is set during the Vietnam War and it follows the story of a U.S. soldier fighting in the conflict. The game provides players with a realistic and intense depiction of the war, including its political and social context.
These games provide players with a unique and engaging depiction of the Vietnam War, reflecting its lasting impact on popular culture. They offer a glimpse into the conflict and its impact on soldiers, providing a valuable educational experience for those interested in the history of the war.
Platoon video game
"Platoon" is a 1986 film directed by Oliver Stone, which tells the story of a young soldier serving in the Vietnam War. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
There has also been a video game adaptation of the film, released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. The game is a first-person shooter set during the Vietnam War and it follows the story of the film, putting players in the role of a U.S. soldier fighting in the conflict.
The game features realistic combat scenarios, allowing players to experience the intensity and danger of the war. Players must navigate through jungle environments, complete missions, and engage in battles with enemy soldiers. The game also features a soundtrack inspired by the film, as well as voice acting from some of the film's original cast members.
"Platoon" the video game is considered a faithful adaptation of the film, and it provides players with a unique and immersive experience of the conflict. The game is a valuable educational tool for those interested in learning about the history of the Vietnam War, as well as a challenging and entertaining gaming experience for fans of first-person shooters.
There was also an 8/16-bit video game called "Platoon" that was released in 1987 for the Commodore 64, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, and NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). The game was based on the 1986 war film "Platoon" directed by Oliver Stone.
The game is divided into four levels, mimicking scenes from the movie. The player assumes the role of a rookie soldier in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Gameplay consists of first-person sequences, side-scrolling sections, overhead views for commanding your platoon, and a final one-on-one fight against the Viet Cong officer.
The game was known for its high difficulty and challenging gameplay mechanics. Graphics and sound were typical for the 8-bit era, with detailed sprite work and sound effects that fit the theme of the game.