When Gibson Stays on Script

The storied 1st Cavalry Division… entered a new era of combat in October of 1965.  The unique topography and terrain of South Vietnam demanded a new type of combat unit.  The reliable 1st Cav. was there to answer the call.  The helicopter replaced the horse– air mobile infantry took the place of the traditional ‘grunt.’

“Hey Mel, I would have said it like this…”

Lt. Colonel Harold Moore was one of the officers …charged with molding the 1st Cav. into a hard hitting, but highly adaptive fighting force.  Moore related this story in his influential book We Were Soldiers Once…and Young.   Later dramatized in stunning fashion by director Randall Wallace, the film highlights the Air Cav’s first combat in Vietnam’s Ia Drang Valley.  Mel Gibson portrayed Moore with commendable restraint.  Gibson’s recent exploits and overacting make this performance notable.   The film, reviled by left-leaning critics, stands as a important testament to America’s fighting men in Vietnam.

Bringing the fight to the enemy

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3 Comments

Filed under Ephemera, Movie Review

3 responses to “When Gibson Stays on Script

  1. I was hitchhiking in Nebraska a while back and I met this Navy SEAL who met Harold Moore. It was a great conversation:

    “At a Cafe in Merriman, Nebraska”
    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2010/03/at-cafe-in-merriman-nebraska.html

  2. I’m with you all the way on the quality of Moore & Galloway’s book (one of the best battle narratives I’ve ever read) and most of the way on Wallace’s film, but I have to disagree with your use of A. O. Scott’s review to illustrate “reviled by left-leaning reviewers.”

    The review reads to me as substantially positive: praising the battle scenes and Gibson’s performance and coming down hard only on the domestic bits for being formulaic and occasionally sappy. The soldiers are framed in it as honorable men, doing their best in horrific conditions. He floats one (very) mild criticism of America’s fuzzily defined war aims — quoting Clausewitz, hardly an icon of the left — but beyond that seems to leave politics alone.

    Glad to have discovered your blog, though, and I’ll continue to read it with interest.

  3. Pingback: Simply Awful History Movies Part 2 | Practically Historical

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