Good Morning, Vietnam Movie Poster Image

Good Morning, Vietnam

(i)

 

Robin Williams at his scatological finest.
  • Review Date: September 19, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 119 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Questions the premise of the Vietnam War, as well as the freedom of information.

Positive role models

Mixed messages. The main character breaks the rules, routinely disobeys orders, is irreverent to his superiors. He is usually praised or forgiven for this behavior. He routinely makes jokes at other people's expense and for this gains popularity and the respect of his peers. However, he possesses a great deal of respect for the Vietnamese and their culture, and treats the locals he encounters with admiration and a caring attitude.

Violence

There is a bar brawl and a bomb blows up at a bar, the latter of which shows the dead and wounded. There is also a sequence of shots during the song "What A Wonderful World" that depict war time violence (e.g. burning villages, explosions, people being executed).

Sex

Several jokes based on sex. Soldiers socialize with what appear to be Vietnamese prostitutes in a bar.

Language

Frequent swearing in both comedic and serious moments.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking and smoking. The main character gets drunk once.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, compared to the sexual and violent content of some of today's PG-13 films, this one is tame. But its themes of relative morality are definitely adult in nature. The violence (infrequent but sudden) serves specific purposes. A bar brawl is spurred by some GIs' racist behavior; an explosion at the same bar (which kills two people) sets up storylines that ultimately question the premise of the Vietnam War, as well as the freedom of information allowed at that time. Foul language occurs mostly in the form of jokes.

What's the story?

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM is based on the true story of Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams), a mouthy air force radio DJ who's transferred to Vietnam during the height of the conflict. With his irreverent and sometimes biting humor, Cronauer almost immediately conflicts with his commanding officers. Things get serious as he falls in love with a local girl and experiences firsthand how war affects individuals as much as it does a nation.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

While this film is incredibly funny, there are some downright serious moments. Williams handles both in full stride. Rather than gloss over the conflict, director Barry Levinson and writer Mitch Markowitz manage to provide some very poignant commentary on the war, with scenes ranging from Williams' wild cries of "Good morning, Vietnam!" to his harrowing experience being stranded behind enemy lines.

While the dialogue is a little lackluster (save for Williams' classic monologues), Good Morning, Vietnam offers strong performances by Williams (who was nominated for an Oscar for the role) and Forest Whitaker.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about situations in which disrespecting or disobeying superiors might or might not be considered acceptable. Should Adrian's superiors have been more flexible about the content of his radio show?

  • How does censorship play a role in his attitude toward the army and the conflict itself?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 23, 1987
DVD release date:October 1, 1998
Cast:Forest Whitaker, Noble Willingham, Robin Williams
Director:Barry Levinson
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Comedy
Run time:119 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence

This review of Good Morning, Vietnam was written by

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Kid, 11 years old December 31, 2009

Okay for teens

This is a okay movie, but a lot of language like f--k, s--t, goddamn
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byCaesar_12219 April 9, 2008
This is definitely a movie you want to see. It contains some outright irreverant humor, some of it rather crude to say the least, but it provides contrast to this with a relatively well-managed love story and a poignant and thought-provoking critique of the Vietnam war. Unlike most movies of this day, there is no senseless violence. All of it serves some purpose to push the plot forward. There are two especially wonderful scenes. One, where he finally decides to fight against the scenario and reads aloud all of the news that "wasn't", of all the real deaths and explosions that were really happening. Another, possibly the best of the movie, is where he airs the song "It's a Wonderful World". While it is playing, the movie cuts to several scenes of first the beauty of the country, and then how it is ravaged and destroyed by the war waged in it. Overall, this is not a movie that you would ever want to miss.
Teen, 17 years old Written bypassionapples01 May 28, 2012

Funny

It is a really good movie, really funny, but there is some bad language. All in all, you can't pass it up because Robin Williams is hillarious.
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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