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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.