Additional information for The Green Berets, which has a domestic theatrical release set for June 19, 1968. The film is being distributed by Warner Bros Pictures and has not yet been rated. The Green Berets has a total running time of 142 minutes.
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Col. Mike Kirby picks two teams of crack Green Berets for a mission in South Vietnam. First off is to build and control a camp that is trying to be taken by the enemy the second mission is to kidnap a North Vietnamese General.
At Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army training camp in North Carolina, cynical newspaper reporter George Beckworth (David Janssen) is at a Special Forces briefing about the American military involvement in the war in Vietnam. The briefing (at Gabriel Demonstration Area, named for SGT Jimmy Gabriel, first SF soldier killed in Vietnam) includes a demonstration and explanation of the whys and wherefores of participating in that Asian war.The film's first scene illustrates that contention when Green Beret tour guides at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, show civilian visitors to the U.S. Infantry School the Soviet- and Chinese-made weapons issued to the soldiers and guerillas of the communist NVA and VC.Skeptical civilians and journalists are told by the lecturing Sergeant Muldoon (Aldo Ray) that multinational Communism is what the U.S. will be fighting in Vietnam; proof: weapons and equipment, captured from North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong guerrillas, originating in the Soviet Union, Communist Czechoslovakia, and Communist China. Despite that, Beckworth remains skeptical about the value of intervening in Vietnam's civil war. When asked by Green Beret Colonel Mike Kirby (John Wayne) if he had ever been to Southeast Asia, reporter Beckworth replies that he had not, prompting a discourteous acknowledgement of his opinion. Realizing his ignorance, Beckworth decides to go in-country to report on what he finds there so he may better his argument that America needs to stop participating in this ruthless and unwinnable war.Colonel Kirby is posted to South Vietnam with two handpicked A-Teams of Special Forces troopers. One A-Team is to replace a team at a basecamp working with South Vietnamese and Montagnard soldiers while the other A-Team is to form a counter guerilla Mike force. While selecting his teams, Kirby intercepts a Spc. Petersen (Jim Hutton) from another unit who is scrounging supplies from Kirby's supply depot. Realizing Petersen's skills, Kirby promotes him and brings him onto his SF team.Arriving in Da Nang, South Vietnam, Kirby, Muldoon, and Petersen meet Beckworth whom Kirby allows to join them at the basecamp where he witnesses the humanitarian aspect (irrigation ditches, bandages, candy for children) of the Special Forces mission. Still, he remains skeptical of the U.S.'s need to be there. During that first evening, the enemy unseen Viet Cong launch a harassing attack against the basecamp by lobbing a few motar shells before withdrawing, which results in little damage, but also results in the death of the American basecamp commander Captain Coleman whom was one day from leaving back for the USA.During this period, Petersen befriends a young native boy named Hamchuck, a war orphan who has no family other than his dog and the soldiers at the basecamp.Also introduced in the ARVN basecamp strike force leader Captain Nim (George Takaki) whom was a former Viet Minh officer from Hanoi during the previous war and is now fighting for the anti-communist South Vietnamese government. He obsesses with having to "kill all the stinking Viet Cong" to win this war. He also claims that there is a spy network within the camp and ARVN strike force.One day, Muldoon, while supervising a group of U.S. Seebees clearing part of the jungle around the basecamp and evacuating the civilians in preperation for a potential Viet Cong attack, he notices an ARVN soldier pacing unsually outside the team house and mess hall and slugs him out. Upon interogation by Captain Nim, the ARVN soldiers denies being a Viet Cong spy, until Nim discovers a silver cigarette lighter in the ARVN soldier's posession, which belonged to a Green Beret medical specialist who was recently murdered by the VC, and whom was a friend of Kirby's. After Beckworth witnesses Nim beat and tourture the Viet Cong suspect to get a confession from him, he confronts Kirby about it, which the Colonel justifies the interogation by telling Beckworth about the cigarette lighter the Viet Cong suspect had and how the VC are ruthless killers who deserve no protection of any kind in this new kind of war.Another few days later, Beckworth accompanies Kirby and his team on a patrol to a local village in the nearby mountains where they find most of the village men dead and the village chief executed by the Viet Cong for colaborating with the Americans. Beckworth begins to slowly change his mind about not supporting the American involvment in Vietnam.Another evening or so later, the Special Forces camp is attacked in a massed nighttime attack by thousands of enemy Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops. Kirby and Muldoon fly out to assess the situation, but their helicopter is shot down by enemy fire, but they are soon rescued by a patrol where they secure a field as a LZ for US and ARVN reinforcements as a 'Mike Force' to aid the besieged camp.Meanwhile, the ferocious North Vietnamese Army attack upon the SF camp continues relentlessly. Beckworth is forced to don a rifle from a fallen ARVN sergeant and fights alongside the Green Berets as well as helping move the local villagers into the camp to protect them from the enemy onslaught.As the battle rages, Hamchunk's pet dog is killed and the young boy tearfully buries his faithful companion. Symbolically, the boy uses the stick he had used to dig the dog's grave as the tombstone. As the soldiers rush to their defensive positions, the stick is knocked away, leaving an unmarked grave. He is found by Petersen who takes him to safety with the other refugees.At this time, the permiter of the camp is breached by enemy sappers who blow up holes in the barbed wire fences around the camp, and the Green Berets and ARVN soldiers are forced to fall back to the inner perimiter. Just then, Kirby and Muldoon arrive with the Mike Force reinforcements, which are supported by a US airstrike which A-1 Skyraiders drop napalm on the attacking enemy troops with little success. Nim is killed by an enemy artillery around as he is detonating claymore mines to kill more attacking enemy soldiers within the camp's lines.By dawn, with the enemy attack still continuting, Kirby orders the troops to fall back and withdraw from the camp which is then taken by the enemy. At a nearby LZ, more US Army helicopters arrive to evacuate the refugees and Petersen puts Hamchuck on one of the helicopters and promises to return for him in Da Nang. With the base in VC/NVA hands, Kirby orders an airstrike of a C-47 on the camp which kills more enemy troops forcing them to withdraw later that day. When the enemy departs, Kirby and his team re-occupy the destroyed camp.Afterwords, Kirby has a talk with Beckworth where the reporter admits that he probably will be fired from the newspaper where he works for filing a story supporting the American war. He then thanks Kirby for the experience and then returns to Da Nang with the Mike Force reinforcements.After that battle, Col. Kirby meets with his superior officer as well as Kirby's ARVN counterpart, Colonel Cai, where he is told about a top-secret mission they have been planning to kidnap a very important North Vietnamese field commander named General Pha Son Ti who is currently living in North Vietnam. The capture of General Ti is seen as a bargaining chip to ending the war on South Vietnam's terms as well as disrupt the leadership of the Viet Cong. Colonel Cai uses his sister-in-law, a top Vietnamese fashion model named Lin, as bait to lure General Ti to a guarded French colonial mansion located in a well guarded valley deep in North Vietnam.Kirby, Muldoon, Peterson, and a few others are selected by Cai this secret mission who will be personally accompanying them. At nightfall, they are airlifted in a C-130 transport and parachuted into the North Vietnam jungle. After Kirby's point man, Kolowski, is killed by a patrol of local enemy milita, after he kills all of them single-handedly, the group continues on. Muldoon and the medical specialist are to stay behind at a local bridge over a river to set explosive to blow it up to prevent the team from being chased by the NVA forces.At nightfall, Kirby and the group arrive outside the guarded plantation where they witness the enemy general arrive at his plantation with Lin. After Kirby and Cai and their men kill all the sentries around the mansion, they quietly enter and subdue the enemy general with Lin's help and hoist him outside where they put him in the trunk of his car and Kirby, Cai, Petersen, and Lin drive off, but the rest of the team is overwhelmed and killed in a hail of bullets by the North Vietnamese guards while attemping to escape.The survivors drive over the bridge which is rigged with explosives, but the medical specialist, Doc Stevens, is seriously wounded after being shot in the back by a NVA guard. The bridge is blown up and the group is reunited in the nearby woods where they dispose of the General's car and successfully airlift the captured General out of the area by a Skyhook device.While Kirby and the group advance through the woods to the LZ for the helicopters to pick them up, Petersen is killed by an enemy boobytrap when he is gorily impailed to a trap of punji sticks. Kirby and his team are forced to leave his dead body behind.Back at Da Nang airforce base, Beckworth watches as Hamchuck awaits the return of the helicopters carrying the survivors of the raid. He realizes the toll of the war as Hamchuck runs crying from helicopter to helicopter, searching for Petersen who is not there. Beckworth then accompanies a group of US soldiers whom have arrived in the country and are sent to the warzone area.Kirby, in a touching moment, walks over to the boy and tells him the sad news. Hamchuck asks plaintively, "what will happen to me now?" Kirby places Petersen's green beret on him and says, "You let me worry about that, Green Beret. You're what this thing's all about." The two walk holding hands along the beach into the sunset.
The Green Berets
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This film does not have a selected cast.
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