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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #1  
Old 25 Sep 13, 03:13
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Post The real life Sgt Barnes from the film Platoon

In the the film Platoon, Oliver Stone based the 2 sgts (Barnes and Elias) Charlie Sheen serves under from the real life versions he served under.
Yet understandtably he does not mention the real Sgt Barnes name, So who was he and was he really the pyscho as portrayed in the film.
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  #2  
Old 25 Sep 13, 09:05
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Originally Posted by History fan View Post
In the the film Platoon, Oliver Stone based the 2 sgts (Barnes and Elias) Charlie Sheen serves under from the real life versions he served under.
Yet understandtably he does not mention the real Sgt Barnes name, So who was he and was he really the pyscho as portrayed in the film.
Hot guess: If Stone didn't mention, who'd know? And if he did, it could have well started a perception pissing contest when the film was released as more than a few members of his platoon survived the war to see the film, and he met with them.

Good question, but methinks we'll never know.
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Old 25 Sep 13, 14:20
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Stone's work is all fiction. While he may have "based" some of his characters on some people he knew it is safe to conclude that when oliver stone says something is based on fact there may be only the smallest factual detail in that basis.

In the film JFK stone was so thoroughly, fantastically, and verifiably wrong that it calls into question anything he presents as factual. And yet, for a while the Film JFK was provided to some schools as a teaching aid.
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Old 25 Sep 13, 14:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Saigon View Post
Stone's work is all fiction. While he may have "based" some of his characters on some people he knew it is safe to conclude that when oliver stone says something is based on fact there may be only the smallest factual detail in that basis.

In the film JFK stone was so thoroughly, fantastically, and verifiably wrong that it calls into question anything he presents as factual. And yet, for a while the Film JFK was provided to some schools as a teaching aid.
In this case Woo (you'd have to see the movie of the same name) he appeared to have nailed it and somewhere; maybe in the rest of the comments provided in the same link, I forgot I read where Elias' daughter co-signed it. Been awhile...

Sign, Your Humble Servant,

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http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/foru...d.php?t=470079
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Old 25 Sep 13, 15:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Saigon View Post
Stone's work is all fiction. While he may have "based" some of his characters on some people he knew it is safe to conclude that when oliver stone says something is based on fact there may be only the smallest factual detail in that basis.

In the film JFK stone was so thoroughly, fantastically, and verifiably wrong that it calls into question anything he presents as factual. And yet, for a while the Film JFK was provided to some schools as a teaching aid.
Yeah, I love watching JFK for its dramtic impact, while cursing it all the while for its fictional depiction of events.
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Old 25 Sep 13, 19:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Saigon View Post
Stone's work is all fiction. While he may have "based" some of his characters on some people he knew it is safe to conclude that when oliver stone says something is based on fact there may be only the smallest factual detail in that basis.

In the film JFK stone was so thoroughly, fantastically, and verifiably wrong that it calls into question anything he presents as factual. And yet, for a while the Film JFK was provided to some schools as a teaching aid.
I remember seeing an interview with Robert Blakey when that movie came out. He said he had counted 360 factual errors in that movie. That's a factual error every 30 seconds of that movie.
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Old 26 Sep 13, 03:36
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Yes but in this case it's Platoon and not JFK and many things that happen in the film we know are from his own service ie him shooting at the feet of Vietnamese guy and Elias was based on Johnas Elias.
I did find a quick clip where he talks about the real Barnes but thats it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqlkGxakWUA
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Old 26 Sep 13, 08:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Saigon View Post
Stone's work is all fiction. While he may have "based" some of his characters on some people he knew it is safe to conclude that when oliver stone says something is based on fact there may be only the smallest factual detail in that basis.

In the film JFK stone was so thoroughly, fantastically, and verifiably wrong that it calls into question anything he presents as factual. And yet, for a while the Film JFK was provided to some schools as a teaching aid.

Amen, and Amen. Whatever his personal experiences were, Hollywood is something else - primarily a business to create enough interesting exaggerations to make money.
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Old 26 Sep 13, 09:06
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Old 26 Sep 13, 11:08
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Originally Posted by History fan View Post
Yes but in this case it's Platoon and not JFK and many things that happen in the film we know are from his own service ie him shooting at the feet of Vietnamese guy and Elias was based on Johnas Elias.
I did find a quick clip where he talks about the real Barnes but thats it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqlkGxakWUA
What's with this Video?
I see that it was made by some real Experts on the US Army!
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Old 26 Sep 13, 11:26
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What's with this Video?
I see that it was made by some real Experts on the US Army!
Were those Sgt. chevrons upside down..?
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Old 26 Sep 13, 11:52
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Were those Sgt. chevrons upside down..?
Exactly, I don't think we have worn our chevrons like that since the Civil War.
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Old 26 Sep 13, 13:01
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I remember seeing an interview with Robert Blakey when that movie came out. He said he had counted 360 factual errors in that movie. That's a factual error every 30 seconds of that movie.
Are you referring to the G Robert Blakey who was one of Robert F Kennedy's top prosecutors of organized crime cases in the early 1960s Justice Dept? That Robert Blakey? If anyone should know, it'd be him.

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In what respect?
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Old 26 Sep 13, 13:04
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Tell you this much, back in 1986 or so when I sat in a theater and watching Platoon what got me was not any particular real sense of authenticity because I only had one frame of reference...my own tours...and not one of them picture-perfect mirrored Stone's presentation. But man oh man, did it ever ring some familiar bells I could personally relate back-to a then mere 12-15 years earlier. Cut-down a few of the more exaggerated personalities a taste and I could identify every single American in the film to one degree or another.

I had a squad leader that hated the platoon sergeant's living guts in a similar yet different reason for the Barnes/Elias feud.

A platoon leader that was shit worthless in his own way.

A "King" character for damn sure.

A seemingly sadistic and psychopathic "Bunny" that when he got his no tears were shed by anybody in the platoon. None. Bye mfker was the overall sentiment.

A good few FNG situations where guys hadn't acclimatized quickly and passed-out in the field.

The shit-burning at base camp sure made Big Ben strike a time or two.

Other things as well, but I always kept in mind that the film wasn't made with 11 Boos in mind. It was made for civilians for "entertainment purposes only".
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Old 26 Sep 13, 23:12
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Yes but in this case it's Platoon and not JFK and many things that happen in the film we know are from his own service

The thing about Oliver Stone is that he is a very political person. His films deliberately prosthelytize a certain political view point. The fact that Stone served in Vietnam and did his duty, does not mean that he doesn't necessarily exaggerate, fictionalize, or alter the facts to convey the messages he wants to convey. Stone's military advisor for this film was Dale Dye. The man who brought us Band of Brothers. Dye served in Vietnam as well, but he was also professional military. He went on to start his consulting firm "Warriors Inc" to advise Hollywood film makers on the making of military films so that they would "get it right". He advised on Saving Private Ryan, The Pacific, and many others. One of the reasons that the details in Platoon are so good is because of Dale Dye.

Dye routinely fought with Stone over things that Stone wanted to put in the film. Dye was concerned about historical accuracy, while Stone was concerned with getting his political message about the war across. This led to some heated exchanges between the two when Stone took artistic license to make his point. Because it was Stone's film, most of the time he won the battle about content. So we know from Dale Dye that a lot of what Stone put in the film was put there for political reasons, and did not actually reflect Stone's personal experience.

Robert Hemphill, Oliver Stone's Company commander in Vietnam wrote a book called "Platoon", partially in response to Stone''s film. In his book Hemphill states that much of what Stone portrays in the film "Platoon" never actually happened. He says that the film was a highly sensationalized version of Stone's service where a lot of artistic license was taken, and that the actual Platoon Stone served in bore little resemblance to that which was portrayed in the film. The way he described it was that Stone was a gifted movie maker and story teller, who did his service well in Vietnam, but he was not an objective purveyor of historic accuracy.

Therefore, while there is no doubt that Oliver Stone relied on his own service as inspiration for the story he tells in Platoon, the film itself was a vehicle for presenting his political point of view about the war more than an attempt at presenting the objective facts of his tour. Much like his film JFK.
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