Reviews

Hamburger Hill 20th Anniversary Edition

3

War is hell and so is making war movies: a decade after Coppola caught jungle fever shooting Apocalypse Now, Brit-director John Irvin led a platoon of no-name actor grunts to the Philippines for this gritty but overly familiar ’Nam flick. It’s based on the 101st Airborne’s costly assault on Hill 937 in the summer of ’69, but the real story was on the set itself. As the yak track and Making Of ’fess up, Hamburger Hill was the Dien Bien Phu of location-shoot disasters: the crew arrived in Manila just as President Marcos’ regime collapsed; snipers took pot-shots at the cast; a technician was electrocuted on set. “It was the most crazy and frightening environment,” shivers one of the thesps, “you didn’t have to do any acting.” Purple hearts all round.

 

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