- Uncommon Valor
name = Uncommon Valor
producer = David Brown
Joe Gayton Wings Hauserstory (uncredited)
Fred Ward Patrick Swayze
Stephen H. Burum
16 December, 1983(premiere)
runtime = 105 min.
language = English
amg_id = 1:51698
imdb_id = 0086508
"Uncommon Valor" is a 1983
war filmwritten by Joe Gayton and directed by Ted Kotcheff, about a Marine officer who tries to put together a team to rescue his son, who he believes is a prisoner of war being held in Laosafter the Vietnam War.
Taking place in the early 1980's, former Marine Colonel Jason Rhodes' (
Gene Hackman) is obsessed with finding his son Frank, listed as " Missing In Action" since 1972. After ten years of searching Southeast Asia and turning up several leads, Rhodes believes that Frank is still alive and being kept in Laosas a prisoner of war.
Despite petitioning the
United Statesgovernment for help, but receiving none, Colonel Rhodes brings together a disparate group of Vietnam War veterans, including some who were a part of Frank's platoon: Wilkes ( Fred Ward), a "tunnel rat" who suffers from PTSD; "Blaster," a demolitions expert ( Reb Brown); and "Sailor," a boozing, mental case with a heart of gold ( Randall "Tex" Cobb). Additionally, two helicopter pilots, Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Johnson ( Harold Sylvester) and Charts ( Tim Thomerson) join the group. Former Marine Kevin Scott ( Patrick Swayze), joins the team as the son of a pilot who was shot down in Vietnamand listed as "MIA."
With the financial backing of a rich oil businessman (whose son served in Frank's platoon and is also listed as "MIA") (
Robert Stack), the men secretly train near Galveston, Texasbefore embarking on their trip to the Laoscamp in an attempt to bring back the POWs.
Gene Hackman- Colonel Jason Rhodes
Patrick Swayze- Kevin Scott
Fred Ward- Wilkes
Reb Brown- Blaster
Randall "Tex" Cobb- Sailor
Robert Stack- MacGregor
Tim Thomerson- Charts
Harold Sylvester- Johnson
Kwan Hi Lim- Jiang
*The machine guns in the
Hueyhelicopters were German WW2MG-42's, or a derivative, such as the M52 or MG3, rather than the M60 common to American and South Vietnamese helicopters which saw service in the Vietnam War. The 'standard' of armaments for such helicopters will vary, dependent on the service weapon employed by the state or entity which owns and/or operates the helicopters.
*The helicopters used in the film were purchased (as opposed to rented) and repainted, since the
United States Department of Defensewas unwilling to rent the production military-spec Huey or JetRanger helicopters due to the perceived anti-government nature of the film.
*The Laotian POW camp was built in the Lumahai Valley on the island of
Kauai, with scenes filmed in early-August, 1983.
National League of Families
Vietnam War casualties
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
*imdb title|id=0086508|title=Uncommon Valor
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