In PLATOON, Oliver Stone draws on his experience as an infantryman in Vietnam to convey the brutality of guerrilla warfare: the heat of the jungle, the brushes with such wildlife as snakes and leeches, and, most powerfully, the presence of the unseen enemy. Charlie Sheen stars as Chris, a raw recruit, or "new meat," who serves as the film's narrator. At first he wilts under the rigorous conditions of jungle life, freezes up in a fire fight, and wonders whether he'll be able to survive. But he gradually adapts and, as time goes by, begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups. One consists of lifers, juicers, and subintelligent whites, the other of blacks and heads. Sgt. Barnes, a combat-loving burnout (Tom Berenger), is the informal leader of the lifers, and Sgt. Elias, a free spirit (Willem Dafoe), leads the latter group. When the platoon takes some gruesome losses, an enraged Barnes kills some Vietnamese and orders the burning of their village, outraging the temporarily absent Elias. As the conflict between these two reaches its tragic climax, Chris must decide what he really values. Widely regarded as one of the finest war films ever made, PLATOON reflects not only the United States' division over Vietnam but the timeless truths of battle: terror, disorientation, exhilaration, and horrible loss.
1986 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1986 - Academy Awards - Best Director Winner
1986 - Academy Awards - Best Film Editing Winner
1986 - Academy Awards - Best Sound Winner
Tom Berenger - American Actor
Kevin Dillon - American Actor, ENTOURAGE
Richard Edson - Star, HARD SCRAMBLED (2006)
Francesco Quinn - Actor/"Indio"
Forest Whitaker - American actor/director, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Charlie Sheen - Actor, TWO AND A HALF MEN
Johnny Depp - American Actor - SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STR
John C. McGinley - American actor, SCRUBS
A. Kitman Ho
Stephen Barber - Ngt Composer/Songwriter
Oliver Stone - Director/Screenwriter/Prod.
Georges Delerue - French Composer, JULIA (1977), DAY OF THE DOLPHIN (1973)
Derek Gibson - Producer/ TERMINATOR/ MIRACLE MILE
Robert Richardson - Director of Photography, CASINO (1995)
Willem Dafoe - American Actor
William Dafoe - American Actor
Keith David - American character actor/voice actor, PITCH BLACK/SPAWN
Arnold Kopelson - American Producer
John Daly - Producer/ TERMINATOR, MIRACLE MILE
Theatrical Release: December 21, 1986 PLATOON is number 83 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. Estimated budget: $6 million. The film has grossed more than $150 million worldwide. Oliver Stone's first choices for the roles of Barnes and Elias were James Woods and Kevin Costner, respectively. Stone received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart during his service in Vietnam. Set in 1967; Produced and released in 1986.
"...Wrenching..." - Recommended - 05/01/1995 Premiere, p.136
"Nothing that Oliver Stone has done before...is preparation for the singular achievement of his latest film, PLATOON....A major piece of work, as full of pasion as it is of redeeming, scary irony..." - 12/19/1986 New York Times, p.C12
Rating: B+ - 07/08/1994 Entertainment Weekly, pp.58-9
"...Intense....Very effective scenes....An impressive-looking production in all respects..." - 12/03/1986 Variety
"...This is movie-making with a zealot's fervor....[Stone] may have achieved a remarkable bridge with PLATOON. He has personalized a war for us..." - 12/19/1986 Los Angeles Times, p.C1
"...With incredible set pieces and gripping firefights the belie the tiny budget, PLATOON's impact has barely diminished over the years..." - 10/01/2000 Total Film, p.112
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] phenomenon....Importantly, Stone captured something of what it felt like to fight in the war." - 04/01/2006 Uncut, p.138