United Artists at 90 Short Film Competition

Platoon

Directed by Oliver Stone

Platoon is an Academy Award winning 1986 Vietnam War film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Dillon, Keith David, John C. McGinley and Johnny Depp. The story is drawn from Stone's experiences as an Army combat infantryman in Vietnam and was written by him upon his return.



Chris Taylor is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two commanding officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin. A line is drawn between the two officers and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon.



Director

Oliver Stone

Writer

Oliver Stone

Cast

Chris Taylor … Charlie Sheen

Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes … Tom Berenger

Sergeant Elias K. Grodin … Willem Dafoe

Big Harold … Forest Whitaker

Rhah Vermucci … Francesco Quinn

Sergeant "Red" O'Neill … John C. McGinley

Bunny … Kevin Dillon

Junior Martin … Reggie Johnson

King … Keith David

Sergeant Warren … Tony Todd

Lieutenant Wolfe … Mark Moses

"Gator" Lerner … Johnny Depp

Gardner … Bob Orwig



Trivia

  • The movie was filmed nearly sequentially. Therefore, as soon as their characters were killed in the movie, the actors also returned home. The emotion that Sheen shows in the closing helicopter scene was largely real, knowing that he was finally going home.
  • Director Oliver Stone had a cameo as an officer at the bunker that gets destroyed by a suicide runner.
  • Oliver Stone considered casting Johnny Depp for the lead role of Pvt. Chris Taylor but Depp was too young for the part and unknown at the time. Stone said that Depp would someday become a huge star and is thus one of the first filmmakers who introduced Johnny Depp to Hollywood.
  • Winner of the 1986 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound.
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