Genres:Educational, Documentary Sub-Genres:Educational, Vietnam War Studio:Madacy Home Video Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 01/03/2006 Original Release Date: 01/01/2006 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006 Release Year: 2006 Run Time: 6hr 40min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 5 SwapaDVD Credits: 5 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 0 Edition: Box set MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
"Viet Nam as a country, as a history, as a people, and as a war is not easy to explain, even by someone like me who spent several years there during the war. However, if a film production company is going to try, they really should do their homework.
This collection of DVDs could have been a five-star review, given the many previously unseen video clips, from both sides of the war. However, the first red flag was that the collection was made in Canada! Although quite a few Canadians came to fight in the US forces, it is no secret that most Canadians, including the government, were against the Viet Nam war and generally anti-American, treating draft dodgers as heroes (which they are still doing). In retrospect it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and Canada has been very good at that!
The next problem is technical. Although most of the video is fairly good (given age, climate, etc.), much of the voice over, the on-scene spoken word and interviews are DROWNED out by the noise of the combat footage, the extremely irritating and completely useless and loud music played from time to time, or, as in one case, some supposed former "Green Beret," identified as "John," who prefers to remain in dark shadow (and is, therefore, suspect as a wannabe, or complete phony) who whispers through his on-camera scenes, which is also overridden by the very loud and irritating music. This is just very bad and unprofessional editing.
Also, historically many important FACTS leading up to US involvement in the war are glossed over or completely ignored, not the least of which was the fanatical desire of the Vietnamese to be independent - of ANYONE! This goes back hundreds of years to Trieu Au, a woman who led Vietnamese forces and fought against the Chinese for Vietnamese independance in the third century AD.
American involvement did not begin in 1959 as the set claims, but during World War II, when OSS officers (the precursor to the CIA) were dropped into Indochina and worked with the local freedom fighter forces, including Ho Chi Minh, against the Japanese - after the French had been defeated by, or had surrendered to, the Japanese. Therefore, in Vietnamese eyes, the French no longer had any claim to Indochina.
The very basis of the American involvement in the Viet Nam war is neatly glossed over at the end of WW II, showing that the French just marched back in and took over. It wasn't that simple.
As a country that prided itself on independence, self reliance and anti-colonialism, the United States, under Truman's watch, was contacted by Ho Chi Minh no less than three times asking for US aid in ridding Viet Nam of its French colonial past. Truman ignored the requests, supported the French colonists, and we ended up in a non-winable war and over 58,000 dead Americans.
Ho Chi Minh was a communist of the day out of necessity, because no other entity was anti-colonial, with the possible exception of the United States. However, above all else, Ho Chi Minh was a NATIONALIST and it is impossible to be a nationalist AND a communist. When the United States turned its back on Viet Nam, he had nowhere else to turn, but to the Soviets and the Chi-comms. Given that, when, in 1945, Ho Chi Minh addressed the people of Viet Nam, he presented them with a constitution based on that of the United States, not as a communist puppet regime.
All this is left out, but is extremely important in really understanding the US involvement in Viet Nam and the subsequent war.
If you just want to see combat footage, maybe this is for you. If you want to actually learn something, look elsewhere."
Buyer beware of Madacy Entertainment
Ronald Sudjian | 06/23/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Much of the footage is exactly the same as another set put out by Madacy Entertainment called "We Were Heroes, Vietnam" with a date of 2006. What crooks these people are. They release a 5 dvd set in 2005 called "Battleground Vietnam", then a year later they trim it down to 3 dvds and change the picture on the box and title it as "We were Heroes". Do not buy anything from Madacy Entertainment.
A much better set is called "Vietnam War with Walter Cronkite" with 12 hours of viewing time instead of the 6 hours on the Madacy garbage."
J. Lavigne | 10/28/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I just received this package and was looking forward to viewing it. However, I wass very dispointed. The Stockdale interview is the only good part of it. The rest of it is mostly made of a guy reading VERY technical minute to minute battle stories while showing battle scenes that probably have nothing to do with the narration as you can easily notice that they are showing the same battle scenes over and over, in loop! I'm sure there ia a much better product out there. But I haven't found it yet."
RICH | PA, USA | 06/12/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The narrator sounds like he's reading the script for the first time, and the footage is dark, grainy, and seems unrelated to the storyline. The best series on the Vietnam War is BattleFIELD Vietnam. A 12 hour, BBC produced series that aired on PBS over 10 years ago. It was released in the U.S. on VHS and in Europe on DVD, (PAL format). Incredibly good military history of the war, no political bias."
All over the place, very dissapointing
K. Logwood | hell | 01/18/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Where do I start... 1. Very sappy, which adds a fakeness ra ra ra quality to it. The background noise that drowns out the technical expertise of the narrator is extremely annoying. The background noise consists of constant machine gun fire and mortar fire that has nothing to do with the narration and John Wayne type "let's go get em boys" music constantly blaring in the background, so half of what they are trying to teach you, you miss. I felt like I was watching a 1950's propaganda film half of the time.
2. The title of the DVD is very misleading and that pissed me off! The title reads Battlefield Vietnam War In The Jungle... there's very little footage of any real battles in the jungles of Vietnam on any of these five DVD's. Almost an entire DVD is devoted to POW Scotsdale and his wife, which although had its moments I did not buy this DVD for this, this was drawn out wayyyy too long and should have been a movie on Lifetime or Oprah's network vs. in this DVD set. I thought I was going to be hearing real testimony from soldiers who fought at actual battles and seeing footage of those battles... nope aint gonna happen. The battle field footage does not match the narration at all. At one time a guy was talking about flying a helicopter onto a mountain top at night, yet the battle field scenes were in the middle of the day. Terrible!
This DVD set is kinda like a long version of Oliver North's nightly show on Fox News. Look, I don't need patriotic music playing in the background constantly or a nice feel good story to tie it all up in a pretty bow for me. I'm a serious student of military conflict I want the real deal and this aint it. I will likely get another DVD set and give this one away as a Christmas gift."