Randall Wallace, writer of Braveheart and Pearl Harbor, transports us this time to1965 and the most controversial war in American History.  In this beautiful yet heart-wrenching drama, Wallace follows the men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry as they attempt to infiltrate the Vietcong’s Ia Drang Valley, “The Valley of Death.”  The movie is based on the New York Times Best Seller, We Were Soldiers Once… and Young (1991), written by General Hal Moore and Vietnam reporter Joseph Galloway.  Mel Gibson portrays LTC Hal Moore, the commander of the 1st Battalion, as he trains and later leads his 450 men into the bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War.  While the men fight the fierce and determined Vietcong, Wallace simultaneously gives us a glimpse into the world of the wives and children left behind.  Madeline Stowe beautifully depicts Moore’s wife, Julie, as she copes with the unimaginable task of delivering the death telegrams to the wives of men in the 1st Battalion.  This film depicts the unwavering heroism of these 450 men who did not question their love for America or, more importantly, their love for each other.  The comparisons between the struggles at home and the struggles in battle serve as the heart of this film.  Perhaps the most important film ever regarding the Vietnam era, We Were Soldiers captures the spirit of the men and women who became heroes in such a tragic time.

Copyright (c) 2003 by Catherine Elizabeth Breckenridge, Undergraduate Student at Lehigh University.

This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of the U.S. copyright law, and it may be archived and redistributed in electronic form, provided that the author is notified and no fee is charged for access.  Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the consent of the author.