AMC Examines How Hollywood Influenced America’s Understanding of the New Face of War in “HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM”

One-Hour Original Production Directed and Produced by Oscar®-Nominated
Filmmaker Robert Stone Premieres May 30 at 10 PM ET/PT

Special Part of Network’s Memorial Day Movie Festival

JERICHO, NY, May 16, 2005 – In the years following the end of the Vietnam War, a generation of Hollywood filmmakers set out to make movies about this troubled time in our nation’s history. These films reflected not only the artistic inclinations of the creators, but the times in which they were made and the country’s changing attitudes about the war. Vietnam War films can be viewed as a portrait of how America processed the trauma of Vietnam, and how the U.S. faced the aftermath of this irresolute conflict. The result was a new sub-genre of war film, which, like the times and the war itself, marked a significant departure from the war movies of the past.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and in tribute to the Vietnam Veterans, AMC presents the new one-hour original special, HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM, on Monday, May 30 at 10 PM ET/PT. The documentary, directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Robert Stone (“Radio Bikini,” “Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst”) examines the Vietnam War movie, and their influence on our understanding of both the Vietnam War and itself. HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM is also part of AMC’s “Memorial Movie Festival,” which includes the films “Apocalypse Now,” “G.I. Jane,” “Midway” and other war related films (full schedule attached). In addition, the festival also features the restored letterbox version of Robert Altman’s 1970 Academy-Award® winning movie, MASH.

HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM takes us on a unique cinematic journey to the Vietnam War and back, as it was imagined by Hollywood. With an emphasis on how these films both succeed and fail to depict the reality of Vietnam, the documentary sets out to examine how history is communicated through storytelling, and ultimately, what these stories tell us about our conflicted relationship with warfare.

HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM draws on more than 20 films of the genre from the classics such as PLATOON, APOCALYPSE NOW, FULL METAL JACKET and COMING HOME, to others that run the gamut from FIGHT OF THE INTRUDER to RAMBO to IN COUNTRY and even the obscure Roger Corman film NAM ANGELS. The one-hour original production also includes heartfelt and insightful interviews with several prominent Vietnam veterans and people involved in the making of these films:

  • SENATOR MAX CLELAND (Vietnam Veteran)
  • SENATOR CHUCK HEGAL (Vietnam Veteran)
  • JEROME HELLMAN (ex-Marine; producer COMING HOME)
  • BOBBY MULLER (Vietnam Veteran; founder Vietnam Veterans of America)
  • RON KOVIC (Vietnam Veteran; writer, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY)
  • R. LEE ERMEY (Vietnam Veteran; actor and military technical advisor, FULL METAL JACKET, BOYS OF COMPANY C, APOCALYPSE NOW).

The Vietnam War presented unique challenges to Hollywood filmmakers because the war upended the standard narrative of Hollywood convention. It was a hugely divisive and unpopular war that ended in defeat for the United States. Many of its veterans returned home as heroes and some as misunderstood victims of a failed cause. Faced with such troubling subject matter, filmmakers were forced to approach the subject of war in a new and unique way that sometimes rose to the level of great art, sometimes descended into absurdity, and more often than not, landed somewhere in between. Good, bad and indifferent, these films – taken as a whole – played a fascinating role in forging the basis for our collective memory of the Vietnam War. It is this multifaceted recreation of the war and its relation to the reality that is the central subject of HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM.

The films in HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM examine the thrilling and heart wrenching journey through boot camp, to combat, to coming home, to memorializing the dead through the lens of Hollywood The special itself follows a strong dramatic narrative that mirrors the triumphs and challenges of the very films it sets out to examine, and ultimately becomes itself a vision of the war in Vietnam.

HOLLYWOOD VIETNAM is directed and produced by Robert Stone of Robert Stone Productions for AMC.

About AMC
AMC, a division of Rainbow Media’s Entertainment Services, which also includes WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC Companies, is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 86,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and a critically-acclaimed slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. AMC has garnered many of the industry’s highest honors, including 14 Emmy awards. AMC is “TV for movie people.”

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