Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
Own it:
With: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran, Chintara Sukapatana, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl, J.T. Walsh, Noble Willingham, Richard Edson, Juney Smith, Richard Portnow, Floyd Vivino, Cu Ba Nguyen, Dan Stanton, Don Stanton
Written by: Mitch Markowitz
Directed by: Barry Levinson
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 121
Date: 12/22/1987

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Play It Loud, OK?

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Robin Williams found his perfect role in this Vietnam comedy/drama, which came right in the middle of a trend of Vietnam movies. He plays Adrian Cronauer, an army radio DJ who strays from the normal, conservative programming and riles things up by telling jokes, playing rock 'n' roll and reading forbidden news reports.

Director Barry Levinson and writer Mitch Markowitz create a stiff, dreary environment for Williams to clash against, and although Cronauer is portrayed as an anti-authoritarian rebel, he is shown to care about the well being of the natives (he falls in love with a local girl) and gets righteously angry over government cover-ups.

The entire package doesn't always jell, but the movie explodes to life whenever Williams riffs. It's said that Williams improvised most or all of his material, and he manages to keep everything within the proper time frame and within the real Cronauer's life experience.

A collection of superior character actors play dupes to Williams's wit: Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl, J.T. Walsh and Richard Edson. Chintara Sukapatana plays the love interest. Williams received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor, but lost to Michael Douglas (Wall Street).

Touchstone's 2006 DVD release is a Special Edition that comes with Williams' outtakes, various featurettes and trailers. In 2012, the company followed up with a beautiful new Blu-Ray, including most of the same extras.

Movies Unlimtied