Go Tell the Spartans (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

Go Tell the Spartans (1978)

Go Tell the Spartans (1978)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This film is set in Vietnam during that period in which American troops were euphemistically termed "advisors." Reluctantly dispensing much of that advice is veteran American major Asa Barker. Barker is obliged to carry out the go-nowhere policies of the American military brass.


Burt Lancaster
as Maj. Asa Barker
Marc Singer
as Capt. Alfred Olivetti
Craig Wasson
as Cpl. Courcey
Jonathan Goldsmith
as Sgt. Oleonowski
Joe Unger
as Lt. Raymond Hamilton
Dennis Howard
as Cpl. Abraham Lincoln
David Clennon
as Lt. Finley Wattsberg
John Megna
as Cpl. Ackley
Hilly Hicks
as Signalman Coffee
Dolph Sweet
as Gen. Hamitz
Clyde Kusatsu
as Col. Minh
James Hong
as Cpl. Oldman
Denice Kumagai
as Butterfly
Tad Horino
as One-Eyed Charlie
Phong Diep
as Minh's Interpreter
Ralph Brannen
as Minh's Aide-de-Camp
Mark Carlton
as Capt. Schlitz
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Critic Reviews for Go Tell the Spartans

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (1)

Go Tell the Spartans is a competent war film, to be sure, but there's no directorial commitment, no vision.

Full Review… | April 9, 2007

This is a solid and memorable film about American military involvement in Vietnam.

Full Review… | January 24, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Go Tell the Spartans


A classic war movie about one of the opening moments of the Vietnam War in 1964 when it was still considered a "conflict". Based on the novel inspired by actual events "Incident at Muc Wa" by Daniel Ford, a journalist who wanted to become the Ernie Pyle of Vietnam. And Burt Lancaster's performance as Major Barker was a memorable one.

War Related
War Related

This was the first movie Hollywood made about the Viet Nam War after John Wayne's "The Green Berets". It's set just before Johnson's reelection in 1964. It shows the problems the U.S. had in fighting the war. It's low budget and they tried to use the weapons, equipment and uniforms that were used in 1964. It's about the quality of a made for TV movie. Some of the extras didn't look very Vietnamese and their hair was too long and some had mustaches. I don't think there were very many soldiers with mustaches in 1964. It got an R rating due to the language and violence, no nudity. It is a war movie though. It's a pretty good movie. I first saw this movie in Stillwater, OK in what had been the old Aggie Theater but had been converted into a twin theater. When I got to the theater I ran into a couple of guys from my dorm floor. Turns out the one I thought was just some hippy dude about my age had actually been to Viet Nam and was an ex-Marine and was three years older than me. We all enjoyed the movie and then we went to a beer joint and talked for a while. The best line in the movie was "Nobody drives slow in this country."

Donald White
Donald White

Best film ever made on the Vietnam war with an excellent performance by Burt Lancaster. Go Tell the Spartans is undeservedly obscure and it has been overshadowed by more popular movies which came out around the same time. The film is very realist in its depiction of events. While not picking sides or playing politics, the movie shows the circularity of the war and how it was fought entirely the wrong way. It is titled after the epitaph following the Battle of Thermopylae. "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here obedient to their laws we lie."

Zach Elfers
Zach Elfers

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