The Hanoi Hilton (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hanoi Hilton (1987)

The Hanoi Hilton





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Lionel Chetwynd's film documents the horrific struggles that faced American POWs held in the North Vietnamese prison Hoa Lo -- more infamously known as the Hanoi Hilton -- between 1964 and 1975. Williamson (Michael Moriarty) leads a group of American servicemen who are prisoners at the detention camp. He assumes command after Cathcart (Lawrence Pressman) is dragged off to be tortured.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Lionel Chetwynd
On DVD: Nov 11, 2008
Golan-Globus Productions

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Michael Moriarty
as Lt. Comdr. Williamso...
Jeffrey Jones
as Maj. Fischer
Stephen Davies
as Capt. Robert Miles
Lawrence Pressman
as Col. Cathcart
Aki Aleong
as Maj. Ngo `Cat' Doc
John Diehl
as Murphy
Rick Fitts
as Capt. Turner
David Soul
as Maj. Oldham
Dave Smith
as Gregory
Ken Wright
as Kennedy
John Vargas
as Oliviera
Michael Russo
as Fidel the Cuban
Jesse Dabson
as Rasmussen
Bill Cakmis
as Considine
Peter Gray
as P.O.W.
Le Tuan
as Militia Officer
Peter Pan
as Peasant Farmer
Augustine Lam
as Turnkey #1
Joseph Hieu
as Turnkey #2
April Tran
as Turnkey #3
Bill Lee
as Major Ngiap
D. Paul Thomas
as Shipboard Journalist
Ron Barker
as Production Reporter
Marii Mak
as Hanoi Hilton
D. Paul Thomas
as Shipboard Journalist
Kevin Lee
as Guard
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News & Interviews for The Hanoi Hilton

Critic Reviews for The Hanoi Hilton

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 8, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

The film's prisoners of war are so familiar and stereotypical as characters that this Vietnam movie feels like a genre item.

Full Review… | July 12, 2011

March 26, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Hanoi Hilton


We have seen these type characters before....poorly written when the subject matter deserved better.

bill s.
bill secor

Cannon Films spent most of the 1980's solving the Vietnam Conflict by sending in Chuck Norris or some other B-movie action star in country to single-handedly win the war and rescue captured P.O.W.'s. When they made "The Hanoi Hilton", however, they made their first serious film on the subject and it's marginally successful.

Writer/director Lionel Chetwynd interviewed hundreds of P.O.W.s, including Senator and Presidential hopeful John McCain, to make his scenes as accurate as possible, but conditions for these men were no doubt substantially worse than they are depicted here. Many of the Americans were disturbingly nonchalant about their situation, but the movie does honor their bravery and courage, which is where it excels.

There is a stirring moment in which Lawrence Pressman's character urges the men to salute and heed their military ranking even as prisoners. It's a great speech, and it is dutifully followed in the film even though there is some debate as to whether or not that would have been allowed in this situation. The American characters are fleshed out, and Michael Moriarty is given a rare chance to act, which he does quite nicely. He just seems to take it all in stride, which is kind of aggravating.

However, their captors are cartoonish caricatures and only Aki Aleong as the Vietnamese Major is made the feel like a real person. The ending feels abrupt after all the time we spend with these people, as the details of their release are somewhat vague.

I had mixed feelings about "The Hanoi Hilton", a well meaning but somewhat dubious film. The story it tells, however, is a vital one.

Timothy Sanders

Michael Moriarty, Jeffrey Jones, and the FACT it was based on a true story are the only things this movie has going for it.

FilmGrinder S.
FilmGrinder Stone

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