Good Morning, Vietnam

"Excellent"

Good Morning, Vietnam Review


Think back to middle school for a moment. Who was the class clown? What was he like?

If your eighth-grade classroom was like most, your class clown was a guarded, smallish boy who was utterly terrified of being himself for even a moment, for fear of suffering the ridicule of others. So he made cracks all day long, and if your classmates laughed every one in a while, you may have eventually seen this kid in adulthood spitting jokes professionally in the vicinity of a brick wall.

In Barry Levinson's Good Morning, Vietnam, Robin Williams is this very kid, advanced 30 years but still guarded and more joke-bot than human being. As Adrian Cronauer, Williams the standup comic finds himself in the toughest of rooms, Saigon, for a slot on Armed Forces Radio during America's escalating war in Asia. With Williams' Gatlin gun shtick, Cronauer brings staticky joy to the beleaguered grunts in the bush and simultaneously runs afoul of the brass trying to maintain military order on the air.

While the movie occasionally smacks of a Williams concert film that's been run through a time machine, Levinson and writer Mitch Markowitz have crafted a brilliant story about a comedian way, way off his stage. Out of the studio, Cronauer teaches English to locals, befriends the regulars in a local bar, and even romances a pretty young thing in town. Confronted with love, friendship, fear, violence, and eventually betrayal, Cronauer finds himself forced to lower the funnyman shields that protect him from dealing with his own reality. Years later, this is Williams' best acting work.

Also thanks to Levinson's fine work, the supporting cast manages to shine through Williams' massive shadow, particularly Bruno Kirby as a stuck-up station manager who quite incorrectly considers himself an accomplished comic personality, and Robert Wuhl as, well, Robert Wuhl.

Although Good Morning, Vietnam was just one of a firehose blast of late '80s 'Nam pictures (Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Casualties of War), Levinson distinguished it by moving the focus away from the inhumanity of war and to something both smaller and bigger at the same time. His GMV is not a comedy about Vietnam; it's a story about a mere class clown becoming a man at the gates of Hell.

The new Special Edition DVD includes numerous making-of featurettes and, notably, raw footage of Williams improvising his on-air scenes.



Good Morning, Vietnam

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 15th January 1988

Box Office Worldwide: $123.9M

Budget: $13M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures

Production compaines: Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners III

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Adrian Cronauer, as Edward Montesque Garlick, Tung Thanh Tran as Tuan, Chintara Sukapatana as Trinh, as Lt. Steven Hauk, as Marty Lee Dreiwitz, J. T. Walsh as Sgt. Major Dickerson, as Gen. Taylor, as Pvt. Abersold, Juney Smith as Phil McPherson, as Dan 'The Man' Levitan, Cu Ba Nguyen as Jimmy Wah, Dan Stanton as Censor #1, Don Stanton as Censor #2, Floyd Vivino as Eddie Kirk

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.