Thursday, April 17, 2014


Here are the other rounds:


Boys in Company C (11) vs. Casualties of War (6)
84 Charlie MoPic (7) vs. We Were Soldiers (10)
Bat-21 (9) vs. Go Tell the Spartans (8)
Platoon (5) vs. Siege of Firebase Gloria (12)
The Deer Hunter (4) vs. The Green Berets (13)
Full Metal Jacket (3) vs. Platoon Leader (14)
Apocalypse Now (2) vs. The Tunnel Rats (15)
Hamburger Hill (1) vs. Under Heavy Fire (16)


Hamburger Hill (1) vs. Go Tell the Spartans (9)
The Deer Hunter (4) vs. Platoon (5)
Apocalypse Now (2) vs. 84 Charlie MoPic (7)
Full Metal Jacket (3) vs. Casualties of War (6)


Final Four #1
Final Four #2


The survivors of this intense competition are “Platoon” and “84 Charlie MoPic”. One is a blockbuster that won the Best Picture award and the other is on the other end of the spectrum. One had a substantial budget, acclaimed director, and famous actors. The other has none of this. One is the best known Vietnam War movie. The other is virtually unknown. This is David versus Goliath! As per the tournament rules, the final match-up is a summary of all the categories (because there is no way I can think of four more) and to ensure I do not show favoritism in the finals. So here it is:

ACTING                                            Platoon = 10                 MoPic = 9
PLOT                                                 Platoon = 9                   MoPic = 9
COMBAT                                          Platoon = 9                   MoPic = 8
REALISM                                         Platoon = 8                   MoPic = 10
CHARACTERS                               Platoon = 9                    MoPic = 9
BEHAVIOR                                     Platoon = 9                    MoPic = 9
WEAPONS AND TACTICS          Platoon = 8                    MoPic = 8
ACCURACY                                    Platoon = 8                   MoPic = 8
CLICHES                                         Platoon = 7                   MoPic = 8
DIALOGUE                                     Platoon = 9                   MoPic = 9
IMPLAUSIBILITIES                     Platoon = 8                   MoPic = 9
EDUCATIONAL VALUE              Platoon = 9                   MoPic = 9




I have to say truthfully that I am shocked by the results of the tournament. I know that seems fake because I set the rules and do the reviews, but I seriously did not see this coming. When you look at the field, two things were apparent from the beginning. First, there are some great Vietnam War movies and several have strong claims for being the best. They also have fan bases that insist they are the best and their challengers suck. Second, there are some movies in the field that had no chance of winning. In between, there was a little movie called “84 Charlie MoPic”. I first saw this movie on PBS more than thirty years ago. I managed to tape it on VHS and even showed it to my classes occasionally. I had not seen it for decades. Thank God for You Tube! If ever there was a forgotten gem, this is one. I hope this tournament encourages people to view this movie. (I have posted the You Tube link below). By the way, I personally think “Platoon” is the best Vietnam War movie. I also think Florida had the best basketball team this year.

 84 Charlie MoPic


  1. I need to watch 84 Charlie MoPic one of these days, thanks for spreading the word. All of the eight movies that made it to the semi-finals are good movies, although I am not the world's largest fan of the deer hunter. That is pretty impressive, since it means that half of the movies made on the Vietnam War are good and worth watching. The same could not be said about WWI, WWII or even the more recent Korean War.

  2. You make an interesting point about the high quality in the final eight so I looked back at last years' tournament to determine the best WWII Combat movie and here were the Elite 8: A Bridge Too Far, Cross of Iron, Saving Private Ryan, Merrill's Marauders, The Big Red One, When Trumpets Fade, The Longest Day, and Attack!. That is not a bad list although Merrill's Marauders is not a good movie and BR1 is overrated. I will say that percentage-wise the Vietnam War has produced the highest quality movies of any war. I would put Korea at the lowest.


Please fell free to comment. I would love to hear what you think and will respond.