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A squad of American soldiers loses one of its members in a village in the Central Highlands
which is believed to be an ally to the Viet Cong. In retaliation, the squad kidnaps a Vietnamese
girl, Than Thi Oanh (Thuy Thu Le) to be their sexual slave, much to the objection of one soldier,
Private First Class Sven Eriksson (Michael J. Fox) who wants no part of it. This is quashed by
the likes of the squad's psychopathic leader, Sergeant Tony Meserve (Sean Penn), who frequently
antagonizes the hero for his conscience. During a firefight, the troops viciously murder the girl
to avoid being discovered by their superiors. After the battle, they cover up the murder but
Eriksson refuses to let the secret die. He jeopardizes both his life and military career (thanks
in large part to indifferent superiors who prefer to bury the matter) to expose the crime.
Eventually, there is an investigation and the four men who participated in the rape and murder
are court martialed and receive long sentences. Later, Sergeant Meserve and Corporal Thomas E.
Clarke's sentences were reviewed and greatly reduced. Privates Herbert Hatcher (John C. Reilly)
and Antonio Diaz (John Leguizamo) were retried and acquitted on appeal after it was determined
that their Fifth Amendment rights were violated during the investigation and their confessions
were ruled as inadmissible.
Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey, John C. Reilly, |
Director: Brian De Palma
Producer: Art Linson
Year Released - Aug. 1989
Length - 112 minutes
Music Composer: Ennio Morricone
Movie Distributed by Columbia Pictures
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