Title

Truth Over Time: The Evolution of Hollywood's Thinking on the Vietnam War

Presenter Information

Kellie Hedgers

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The Vietnam War is an event that has seared itself onto the mind of the American public, initially due to comprehensive news coverage and later, generations of filmmakers. The American people of today most definitely have a very concrete set of beliefs about the Vietnam War-- mainly that it was a war fought in vain, responsible for the needless deaths of tens of thousands, a war that should never have happened. This begs the question: how did we as a people arrive at this point of view? Did we always feel this way, or was it a gradual process? Interestingly enough, we may find the answer in an unlikely place: Hollywood. The films made about Vietnam, starting in the late sixties and continuing up to the present day, serve as a graphic illustration of the evolution of our thoughts and feelings as a nation regarding the Vietnam War. The lens through which Hollywood has viewed the Vietnam War has undergone quite a bit of evolution over the years. Hollywood’s first foray into the conflict, The Green Berets, asked an important question--did America still have the stomach for WWII-era patriotism? The subsequent movies answered that question with a resounding no. Starting in the late seventies and continuing up until the present day, Hollywood has regarded Vietnam with a potent mixture of resentment and anger, hammering away at several important themes-- innocence lost and the bitter veteran in particular.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Rex Wirth

Additional Mentoring Department

Political Science

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 16th, 1:10 PM May 16th, 1:30 PM

Truth Over Time: The Evolution of Hollywood's Thinking on the Vietnam War

SURC 271

The Vietnam War is an event that has seared itself onto the mind of the American public, initially due to comprehensive news coverage and later, generations of filmmakers. The American people of today most definitely have a very concrete set of beliefs about the Vietnam War-- mainly that it was a war fought in vain, responsible for the needless deaths of tens of thousands, a war that should never have happened. This begs the question: how did we as a people arrive at this point of view? Did we always feel this way, or was it a gradual process? Interestingly enough, we may find the answer in an unlikely place: Hollywood. The films made about Vietnam, starting in the late sixties and continuing up to the present day, serve as a graphic illustration of the evolution of our thoughts and feelings as a nation regarding the Vietnam War. The lens through which Hollywood has viewed the Vietnam War has undergone quite a bit of evolution over the years. Hollywood’s first foray into the conflict, The Green Berets, asked an important question--did America still have the stomach for WWII-era patriotism? The subsequent movies answered that question with a resounding no. Starting in the late seventies and continuing up until the present day, Hollywood has regarded Vietnam with a potent mixture of resentment and anger, hammering away at several important themes-- innocence lost and the bitter veteran in particular.