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"Hollywood to Cover My Lai Massacre in New Film" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2022 7:58 p.m. PST

"Two Wolves will tell the stories of US Army pilot Major Hugh Thompson and General William Peers, who openly opposed the attack, despite being branded traitors by US congressmen and the public.

The Mỹ Lai Massacre occurred on March 16, 1968, when soldiers with Company C, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, and Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division entered the town of Mỹ Lai, Sơn Tịnh District and began massacring its residents, the majority of which were unarmed. Women and children were also sexually assaulted and their bodies mutilated…."
More here

link

Armand

ThePeninsularWarin15mm08 Jan 2022 10:22 p.m. PST

Setting aside the politics of the movie for a moment, what studio in its right mind would back this sort of film at this moment in time? Presuming they don't cut a lot of corners, it's going to take a good budget to hire Viggo Mortensen, obtain the use of Hueys and build a realistic set with the intention of burning it all. Movie theaters are pretty empty these days. Does anyone think people are going to rent this at home to watch on a Saturday night?

Skarper09 Jan 2022 3:17 a.m. PST

I'm guessing it's not about the money…

Sadly Oliver Stone's planes to make Pinkville fell victim to the writer's strike.

We need more films about topics like this – there is an appetite and it needn't cost an fortune to make.

I'd hope they make it in Vietnam, nowhere else ever looks quite right, and with Vietnamese to play the victims. Though that could be problematic too.

Mortensen is a big star but also willing to make films that mean something even if there isn't much money in them. He's made his pile of cash and then some.

Thanks Tango. I will add to my IMDB watch list.

Wolfhag09 Jan 2022 6:38 a.m. PST

Massacre films what great fun!

If successful it could spawn a whole new genre of films for Hollywood. There is a lot to choose from:
link

Don't leave out the atrocities of the Comanches in North America, think of all of the indigenous people and Mexicans that would get jobs: link

These make Freddie Kruger look like Mother Teresa. So if you like seeing the absolute worst of humanity in full living color with state-of-the-art visual effects and the most in torture and killing of your fellow human beings, including women and children, the Mi Lai massacre film and the spin offs may be just what your viewing pleasure calls for.

Wolfhag

Ferd4523109 Jan 2022 7:30 a.m. PST

If it is done correctly, and that is a big IF, it is good to face up to our bad natured angels. I use to show my history classes the Life magazine photos and tried to explain, not explain away, the mind set of a 19 year old GI. I also explained some of the horrendous things the VC and NVA did, some of which I saw first hand. H

KevinV09 Jan 2022 8:25 a.m. PST

Wolfhag,
Interesting article about the Comanches. Also an interesting What If situation. What would have happened with no drought in the 1840-60 period? A very much stronger Comanche after the Civil War.
What figures could be used to represent Comanche?

14Bore09 Jan 2022 9:58 a.m. PST

From their political stand point,why wouldn't they push that narrative bad military?

witteridderludo09 Jan 2022 12:32 p.m. PST

Sounds like another "get woke, go broke" project to me

Striker09 Jan 2022 12:38 p.m. PST

From their political stand point,why wouldn't they push that narrative bad military?

I'm seeing this more as the angle. "Hey if you only had more caring and nurturing officers this would never have happened. Now go write your representatives."

The other stick is if there's any interest in a PRC market for it then that's giving it another angle to use. Right off the bat it looks like it's going to be a loaded movie. I could be wrong but usually am not surprised.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 1:04 p.m. PST

WHY?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2022 2:18 p.m. PST

No mention my good friend….

Armand

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2022 6:39 a.m. PST

"Setting aside the politics of the movie for a moment, what studio in its right mind would back this sort of film at this moment in time?"

As politicized as Hollywood has become I don't think you can set aside politics. Ever.

Just look at the latest streak of box office bombs.

Blutarski14 Jan 2022 7:36 a.m. PST

Wasn't there, but from what I have read about VN, public torture and assassination of "uncooperative" village elders and wholesale massacres of entire villages by Communist political cadres were pretty much "business as usual" components of the their political indoctrination campaign in the south.

I wonder when they will make a movie about that? Not holding my breath, though. What big Hollywood actors will line up to star in it …..

B

ekessler507 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2022 4:25 p.m. PST

I doubt our VN veterans have any interest in seeing this project come to fruition. They already dealt with it and the public response the first time around.

Legion 420 Jan 2022 4:56 p.m. PST

If it is done well, is accurate, unbiased, etc. If might be an interesting.

However, in the current woke, CRT, etc., atmosphere that is going on. It will show a biased, hate the military, etc., message … It will show the US GIs as the white oppressor subjecting a other- than-white-race to White Supremacist imperialism, etc.

Albeit there are many Black & Hispanic soldiers in the unit as well. But they do not fit the narrative of the White oppressors. They will cover it by saying these minorities were drafted to fight the white man's oppression of another minority. I.e. the poor paddy farmers of a 3d world Asian country …

Most of those under the age of 30 or 40 have little to no idea about the Vietnam War anyway.

Skarper20 Jan 2022 11:11 p.m. PST

I applaud the desire to make a film about this topic. Even if less than perfect, it will stimulate debate and could counter some of the ignorance endemic in the US. [This is not a dig at the US, the UK and other nations are also largely ignorant of what their governments and militaries have done in their names.]

What worries me is the high risk of oversimplifying a complex topic. But it's worth a try surely.

Shame Pinkville never got made. I was going to apply to be an extra as I was living nearby at the time.

uglyfatbloke21 Jan 2022 1:59 a.m. PST

X2 for Skarper.

Blutarski21 Jan 2022 7:50 a.m. PST

The timing of this project is certainly timing …..

B

Legion 421 Jan 2022 8:08 a.m. PST

it will stimulate debate and could counter some of the ignorance endemic in the US.
It's too late as I said … If you watch the US media, etc., the Vietnam War may as well had happened on the Mars, with many in the US. Vietnam ? Huh?

And IMO, most won't know or care … but the woke media mob with get their torches & pitchforks out. Again …

And again, the few that watch who don't know history will get the standard bias, against the US Military, etc. As I have said I started ROTC in '75. Many who saw you in uniform were rude, belligerent, etc.

[This is not a dig at the US, the UK and other nations are also largely ignorant of what their governments and militaries have done in their names.]
This is and has been going on since for centuries … but since we follow history we know this.

What worries me is the high risk of oversimplifying a complex topic
Won't matter, most won't get it either way.

The Woke media mob will want to defund and "reimagine" the military. They did the same thing with LEO. And we see the lack of LEOs only has increased crime. Plus many of the DAs were funded by Soro to get these progressive SJWs in office. Yes if you have enough $ behind you … you will get elected.

Meanwhile recently in at least 4 case, criminals with a long rap sheet who should have been in jail. But yet … they just killed innocent people for no reason.

If this type of thing happens even more so in the US military … we will see Putin, Xi, Un, Iran, AQ, etc. just be emboldened.

I am going to a Mil Ofcs luncheon today. With many Vietnam Vets there. I'm pretty sure they still are stinging from what happened when they came back for Vietnam.

Of course all history should be studied. So if it this is going to be a movie … I hope it is not too biased. In the Inf Ofc Adv Course we spent a day or so on Mia Ly. What happened, why it happened, how to prevent such a War Crime.

uglyfatbloke21 Jan 2022 4:36 p.m. PST

Hollywood has always been politicised – same with the film & TV business anywhere. In the the UK the BBC is very much the mouthpiece of the government of the day with a few minor spats to show how 'independent' it is. The current government makes a big fuss about the BBC because it's not subservient enough and because the faux outrage sounds good to the more extreme end of their supporters. All the same, it's still better than any other 'news outlet' I've come across whether in France, Malaysia, Germany, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Spain, Egypt or the USA.

Skarper21 Jan 2022 11:32 p.m. PST

Bias is just a fact of life. Everyone is biased. And every news source is too.

Independent channels, that are funded by subscription are at least not censored by their owners/adbertisers.

This film if it ever gets made, will just about cover its costs.

I hope it is made and they do the topic justice from all angles. I don't want to see a film that paints the American perpetrators of the crimes and the cover up in black and white. It's more nuanced than that.

I recommend Nick Turse's excellent book, 'Kill Anything That Moves' to anyone who wants to know how things like My Lai happened with such regularity and casualness.

Legion 422 Jan 2022 8:21 a.m. PST

Bias is just a fact of life. Everyone is biased. And every news source is too.
Of course … goes without saying. I'd like to see Ken Burn's do a documentary on this topic. His Vietnam War series was excellent.

I hope it is made and they do the topic justice from all angles.
If so that would be great …

I recommend Nick Turse's excellent book, 'Kill Anything That Moves' to anyone who wants to know how things like My Lai happened with such regularity and casualness.
I knew a former Marine with 2 tours in Vietnam. He was very "damaged", sadly. However, when someone asked him about My Lai. He said something like, he was not there so his comments would not count. I see his point …

As far as regularity and casualness … How many My Lias' happened ? 2 3 20 50 100 ? Casualness, that happens in a situation like we saw in Vietnam, or even in probably in some cases in A'stan or Iraq.

Insurgencies are particularly "messy". You can't tell who is the enemy, who is trying to kill you and your comrades, etc.

Of course, again, what occurred at My Lai was wrong, a war crime. And yes there were similar situations like that have happen. But few in the overall big picture of the war …You deploy 100,000, 500,000, whatever, troops … few will commit war crimes. But they will still happen regardless.

But again, I was not there …

As usual, the actions of a few will paint all with the same broad brush. Again, especially in the current situation in the USA. All members of the military will once again be labelled murderers, baby killers, etc. Just like back during the Vietnam War and afterwards.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2022 12:51 p.m. PST

Such things happen in war, esp in an unconventional war where the enemy does not wear a uniform, strikes from ambush or booby trap, then melts away to become an innocent civilian.

Shove a bunch of scared kids, trained to kill if they are to survive, with the most advanced weaponry, into that scenario and you will get Lawrence Kansas in the ACW, Oradour sur Glane France WWII, Sunday Bloody Sunday in the Occupied Six Counties of Ireland, Kent State Ohio USA or My Lai. What I cannot understand is how anyone thinks this could be a commercial success as a cinema theatre release.

Even with Aragon, from "The Road", one of the best actors of his generation, a film post Covid needs to entertain right now. This will not.

The drawn out court room drama could make for great acting, but we know how it ends. The helicopter pilot, firing on his own men to save the locals, I do recall there were huge doubts about that ever happening, but I may be wronging him.

Did the NLF never commit any war crimes? Will we see a film of Hue after the NVA moved in? The Killing Fields tried to show it next door, but we must not upset the Govt of modern Vietnam.

andresf22 Jan 2022 3:20 p.m. PST

Thompson didn't fire on US soldiers, he ordered his crew to point their guns at them and fire at them if they didn't stop murdering civilians, but it never came to actually firing on GIs. That this happened there is no doubt, and was attested by witnesses.

This goes to show the movie would have something to say even to wargaming enthusiasts ;)

Re: entertainment. Movies are more than entertainment, and I disagree the post covid world only needs fun movies. Re: knowing the end: plenty of courtroom drama movies where we know the end, and they are still very interesting to watch. Maybe won't be a blockbuster, but not every movie needs or wants to be one.

I agree with Skarper in that the gist of it should go beyond blaming the direct perpetrators; many commentators have pointed out the actual blame lies in the US military command and decision makers who put soldiers in an impossible situation, who decided on "body count" as the main metric of success in Vietnam (something which in retrospect is appalling), and who by default counted dead Vietnamese as "VC", and who somehow failed to foresee the implications this would have on the psyche of the grunts.

I would also like to see in this movie the attempts by the US government to discredit Thompson.

Legion 422 Jan 2022 4:23 p.m. PST

deadhead +1 And yes the VC & NVC committed war crimes probably outnumbering the SEATO & ROKs … Regardless few hands are clean …

But as andresf correctly pointed out,

Thompson didn't fire on US soldiers, he ordered his crew to point their guns at them and fire at them if they didn't stop murdering civilians, but it never came to actually firing on GIs. That this happened there is no doubt, and was attested by witnesses.

Again in the Infantry Officers Advance Course at Ft. Benning, GA. As senior 1LTs about to be made CPTs, and newly minted CPTs. We spent a day or two going over what actually happened at My Lai, before, during & after, Why it happened, how to prevent this sort of horrors of war/war crime, etc.

As far as pointing fingers … IMO … #1 was the Draft. By the grace of the Gods, I'm pretty sure we will never have a draft in the USA. Albeit the system is there just in case. 18 year males still have to sign up for the draft. There was a move to have 18 year females having to register for the draft as well. But fortunately, that didn't happen. But that is another discussion.

Skarper22 Jan 2022 10:18 p.m. PST

I suspect a 90-120 minute film could not cover the story in enough depth and would rather see it as a 6 hour miniseries.

Legion 423 Jan 2022 9:25 a.m. PST

Yes, done by Ken Burns …

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2022 1:05 p.m. PST

OK, Domestically, with two of our three sons and a long suffering wife, over an excellent Sunday lunch, all agree that "Dad, you are totally out of order here, you have not got a clue"

I said that to my dad in the late 60s and early 70s. I thought that loser with the beret, with the star, the gaunt look and long hair, that did not last more than a couple of months after "the photo", when he then piled it on, was the ideal to aspire to. We all despised our fathers. They are idiots, who did nothing but create us, fund our upbringing, our education, our record collection, our alcohol intake as kids, our trips abroad. Apart from that…….

I miss my dad terribly for the things I never told him, because I was far too cool back then.

Skarper23 Jan 2022 1:31 p.m. PST

I was thinking 6 hours just on the massacre and cover up/repercussions of My Lai alone.

The Ken Burns series, good though it may be, does not go deep on this specific topic. I tried to watch the Ken Burns series but found it ponderous and too basic for my tastes.

A dramatic though factually accurate TV series akin to Chernobyl could work.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2022 2:31 p.m. PST

Deadhead + 1


Armand

Legion 423 Jan 2022 5:07 p.m. PST

I like Burn's work. But generally, a good book covers the details better.

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