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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.09%
Worth A Look: 27.27%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 5 user ratings

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Go Tell the Spartans
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by Rob Gonsalves

"A missed opportunity."
3 stars

In recent years this Vietnam drama has been re-evaluated in light of its having been overshadowed by its peers at the time ('Coming Home,' 'The Deer Hunter') as well as later, bolder efforts like 'Apocalypse Now,' 'Full Metal Jacket' and 'Platoon.' The retrospective hype may lead you to expect a better movie than you get.

Go Tell the Spartans is a competent war film, to be sure, but there's no directorial commitment, no vision; veteran hack Ted Post essentially just films what's in front of him, and the dialogue, praised for realism, often rings false anyway.

The star, Burt Lancaster, as the commanding officer who sends a motley platoon to the village of Muc Wa, is sharp as usual but spends most of the movie at his desk. The actual hero is Craig Wasson, that terminally uninteresting actor, as a pacifist colonel who befriends the local Vietnamese (who turn out to be Congs). The acting, in short, is erratic — Marc Singer, whose idea of creating a character is to chew gum throughout the movie, is borderline embarrassing — but there's a gem of a performance by Jonathan Goldsmith as a burned-out soldier who's been in the shit for three years.

Given that this is one of the few Vietnam War films to raise explicit doubts about our involvement there, it deserved a director with more to give; this looks and sounds like a TV movie (Dick Halligan's inept score doesn't help).

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originally posted: 04/03/07 11:35:50
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User Comments

12/23/17 Dan One of my favorites. Lancaster is himself, the film is worth the time. 4 stars
9/24/16 Tim Link Moral conflict content spot on, but no CO would send those screw-ups in the bush. 4 stars
10/16/13 Peter Keane Has to be viewed as a product of its time,this is a very good film,that told the truth 4 stars
3/08/11 Jay Regner A+ 5 stars
4/27/06 Sugarfoot Overrated but still watchable war epic. 3 stars
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  14-Jun-1978 (R)
  DVD: 30-Aug-2005

  14-Aug-1978 (15)

  14-Aug-1978 (M)

Directed by
  Ted Post

Written by
  Wendell Mayes

  Burt Lancaster
  Craig Wasson
  Marc Singer
  Clyde Kusatsu
  Jonathan Goldsmith
  Joe Unger

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