Good Morning, Vietnam follows disc jockey Adrian Cronauer as he is reassigned to the Armed Forces Radio Saigon airwaves in Saigon, Vietnam in 1965. Throughout the film Cronauer experiences the bombing of a G.I. bar, and attempts to start a relationship with a Vietnamese woman. However, he runs into trouble as he finds the Vietnamese culture to be very different from his own. He experiences first hand the civilian attacks as buildings are blown up without warning or reason, and the tactics behind guerilla warfare as he befriends Vietnamese citizens who he doesn’t know are actually Vietcong. His radio shows provide comic relief to all the soldiers, but infuriates his superiors as he wants to report actual news about the war to the soldiers and not just what is approved to be aired (Good Morning, Vietnam).
This movie is set during the Vietnam war so, it is crucial to understand the war in order to understand this movie. In 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson took office and had to make a crucial decision on America’s limited military involvement in the Vietnam conflict. This was because of the naval incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. North Vietnamese gunboats supposedly shot at U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin allowing Johnson to persuade Congress that this was an act of aggression. Thus, Johnson received a blank check to take “all necessary measures” needed to aid the United States in Vietnam (Newman). Communist leader Ho Chi Minh led the Vietcong guerillas in the North. He developed an elaborate 9,940 mile network of roads built from the North to the South to aid North Vietnam troops and the Vietcong. This network of roads was referred to as the Ho Chi Minh Trail and was the target of numerous American air strikes (Ho Chi Minh Trail).
However, the creation the Ho Chi Minh trail crossed the demilitarized zone, which had been established at the 17th parallel as a combat-free zone during the Potsdam Conference (DMZ Vietnam). With tensions increasing, especially after a car...
Cited: "DMZ Vietnam." United States History. Web. 17 May 2011. .
Good Morning, Vietnam. Dir. Barry Levinson. Perf. Robin Williams. 1987. DVD.
"Guerilla Warfare." Web. 17 May 2011. .
"Ho Chi Minh Trail." United States History. Web. 17 May 2011. .
"C-4 Plastic Explosives” How Stuff Works Science. Web. 17 May 2011.
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