A Bright Shining Lie (1998)
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A Bright Shining Lie Videos & Photos
Adapted from Neil Sheehan's 1988 Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller, this $14-million TV docudrama, re-creating the Vietnam War with convincing combat footage, was the most expensive two-hour movie ever produced by HBO Pictures. Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann (Bill Paxton) spends ten years (1962-72) in Vietnam. When Vann exposes falsified casualty figures, deceptive battle reports, and other lies about the war, journalist Steven Burnett (Donal Logue) relays the truth to American newspapers, and Vann takes heat from higher-ups. Meanwhile, he's involved with a Vietnamese teacher (Vivian Wu), and his wife (Amy Madigan) is forced to lie so he won't be court-martialed for sexual relations with an underage Vietnamese girl. Back for a second tour, he gets another young Vietnamese woman pregnant and is forced to marry her. Returning in 1968 as a civilian, he's decorated and eventually promoted to general for his contributions during the Tet offensive. The music track features Grace Slick singing "Somebody to Love" while peasant villages are bombed. Filmed in Lompburi, Thailand. Premiered May 30, 1998 on HBO. … More
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as John Paul Vann
as Mary Jane Vann
as Doug Elders
as Gen. Weyand
as Captain Frank Drummo...
as General Paul Harkins
as General Chin
as British Reporter
as Col. Huynh Van Cao
as School Teacher
as Major Jones
as Capt. Frank Drummond
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Critic Reviews for A Bright Shining Lie
Audience Reviews for A Bright Shining Lie
Interesting HBO movie based on the experiences of John Vann soldier, and military advisor, during the Vietnam conflict. A revealing story of cover-ups, and mistakes that are ultimately revealed about all wars. Decently done.
I barely remember this one, but I liked it because Paxton was in it.
Having read the other reviews of this movie, I guess I'd have to defer to those who read the book this is based on and those who actually served in Vietnam as to its historical accuracy. As to the movie itself, though, I was pleasantly surprised. Generally, even the best made-for-cable movies fall just a bit flat, but this one didn't at all. More importantly, it opened my eyes to another perspective to the war that I've not seen in any other Vietnam film. For my generation, we only really know the war through movies, and generally that image is of the quagmire, of no one knowing what the hell was going on. This is the first that I'd seen where victory seemed attainable. More importantly, it stirred debate as to how the lessons learned in Vietnam apply to our current situation in the war on terror. The depiction of John Paul Vann was excellent. This was an imperfect man fighting an imperfect war. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to get a different perspective on the conflict.
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