We Were Soldiers is an emotionally-charged story that shows the struggle that occurred at the Ia Drang Valley, or Valley of Death as it was known in those days. The conflict was between US and North Vietnamese soldiers and like many such combat zones it was a bloody mess by the time all was said and done. Unfortunately while it was well-received the film is historically inaccurate as the director felt the need to change a few things along the way.
The Vietnam War was, by all accounts, not a glamorous or entirely successful engagement, but many prefer to see the triumph of their own country as much as possible.
10. One of the original soldiers that survived perished in the 9/11 attack.
Lieutenant Rick Rescorla was the head of security for Morgan Stanley. He died while making sure that all the company’s employees were evacuated from the building.
9. There were Vietnamese actors in the film that had been in the North Vietnamese army.
The feelings this movie brought back had to have been extremely intense, not to mention it must have brought up a lot of memories.
8. Great care was taken to match the actors to their characters.
The real Hal Moore was heard to say that every movie he’d seen got things horribly wrong each time, so a lot of care was put into the making of this movie.
7. The real Joseph D. Galloway had to leave the theater.
His involvement with the conflict was far too emotional and he decided that he didn’t want to relive it in the theater after so long.
6. Around one hundred and fifty hours of film was shot.
It took six days and nights for the editing team to watch it all, then they had to cut it down to what could be taken out and what needed to stay in the movie.
5. Apparently this film is shown to Navy SEAL’s right before Hell Week.
Chris Kyle, the inspiration behind American Sniper, said that this film was shown as inspiration to those joining the SEAL’s program.
4. Lieutenant General Hal Moore passed away in 2017.
He was a highly respected and whether or not he thought this movie portrayed the battle more accurately than others is hard to say.
3. The six Huey helicopters came from private donors, not the military.
Something tells me that the military likes to see a good representation of its many different branches but doesn’t step in all that often unless they feel the need.
2. Sam Elliott participated in boot camp training with the rest of the cast.
Even at the age of fifty-eight he was willing to get in there with the younger guys and gut it out. That’s someone you can look up to.
1. The explosions in the film were real, not computer generated.
They wanted to make the film look as real and as practical as possible so the explosions were for the most part very real.
This film gives a horrifying look into the Vietnam War just like many others, but from many different viewpoints.