PlatoonA scene from Platoon.  Taylor walks away from the village his platoon has set on fire.A scene from Platoon Elias contemplates the torching of the village.

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Platoon is a 1986 Vietnam war film, written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Forest Whitaker. more...

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The story is loosely based on Stone's experiences as an Army combat infantryman in Vietnam, and was written by him upon his return as a counter to the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets.


A young US Army soldier, Private Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) arrives in Vietnam with several other rookies replacing the casualties his new platoon has suffered in recent combat operations. Prior to his arrival, he dropped out of college, feeling that it was leading him nowhere and that it was unfair that lower-class youths had to carry the burden of the fighting in Vietnam, while rich kids could shirk the draft.

Upon his arrival in Vietnam, he sees the seasoned veterans who have just finished their tours of duty, (with the "Thousand Yard Stare" fully developed), taunting the new guys as they board a transport plane home.

His enthusiasm quickly evaporates and turns into frustration and regret as he goes on endless patrols all day and, as a new guy, is assigned to dig foxholes and do other arduous tasks.

On his first night-time ambush, his unit is set upon by a squad of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops who walk into the sleeping men meant to be on guard duty. The other new guy with Chris, Gardner, soon dies of a sucking chest wound from the fire fight, and Chris himself is grazed by shrapnel.

Returning to the base camp with light duty for medical leave, he befriends several of the more seasoned troops who introduce him to the "Underworld", a disused bunker converted into a pseudo-nightclub, where they smoke marijuana, drink beer and dance with each other to popular music.

The following day, during a routine patrol, a bunker complex is discovered, and during the examination of the campfire left by the enemy, two of the soldiers are blown to pieces by a well-concealed booby trap connected to a box of documents. After leaving the bunker complex area, the soldiers come across another member of their unit, Manny, who has been tied to a post and mutilated.

Reaching a nearby village several kilometers north of the bunker with hard intelligence that the enemy was spotted there, the squad discovers huge stockpiles of weapons and food which the locals say was forced upon them by the NVA. The troops, tired and angry because of the deaths of some of their comrades, take out their frustrations on the village, with murders and torture of several civilians, as well as a gang rape of a teenage girl (which Chris prevents). Sgt. Elias, (Willem Dafoe) having witnessed Staff Sgt. Barnes' (Tom Berenger) and Lt. Wolfe's (Mark Moses) illegal actions, attacks Barnes and then puts the two men on report to their Captain. Chris, having originally admired Barnes, now finds his loyalties leaning towards Elias, while Barnes' supporters talk of fragging Elias to prevent him from acting as an eyewitness in a formal report about the illegal killings.


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