|Good Morning, Vietnam|
|Directed by||Barry Levinson|
|Produced by||Larry Brezner
|Written by||Mitch Markowitz|
|Music by||Alex North|
|Editing by||Stu Linder|
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures|
|Release date(s)||December 23, 1987|
|Running time||120 minutes|
|Gross revenue||$123,922,370 (USA)|
Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 American comedy-drama film set in Saigon during the Vietnam War, based on the career of Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams), a disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS), who proves hugely popular with the troops serving in South Vietnam, but infuriates his superiors with what they call his "irreverent tendency." The film was written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson.
In 1965, United States Air Force Airman Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) arrives in Saigon from Crete to work as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service. His first contact is with Private First Class Edward Garlick (Forest Whitaker), whom he unsuccessfully tries to persuade to help chase down a couple of pretty local girls before taking him to the radio station.
Cronauer’s irreverence contrasts sharply with the rest of the staff and soon rouses the ire of two of his superiors, Lieutenant Steven Hauk (Bruno Kirby) and Sergeant Major Dickerson (J. T. Walsh). Hauk adheres to strict Army guidelines in terms of humor and music programming, while Dickerson is annoyed by Cronauer’s behavior in general. However, General Taylor (Noble Willingham) and the other DJs quickly grow to like the new man and his brand of comedy – which begins as soon as he first goes on the air with a yell of "Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-d morning, Vietnam!"
Cronauer’s show consists of unpredictable humor segments mixed with news updates (vetted by the station censors, which at one point causes Cronauer to dryly comment 'Ooh, censor, censor, censor—join the army and mark things!') and rock and roll records that are frowned upon by his superiors. Hauk finds nothing funny about any of it and tries, without success, to get him to change his approach.
After Cronauer goes off the air, he spots Trinh (Chintara Sukapatana), one of the Vietnamese girls he tried to chase down earlier, and follows her to an English class. Bribing the teacher to let him take over the job, he starts instructing the students in the use of American slang. Once class is dismissed, he tries to talk to Trinh but is stopped by her brother Tuan, who tells him to leave her alone. Instead, Cronauer befriends Tuan and takes him to the local G.I. bar to have drinks with Garlick and the station staff. Two other soldiers, angered at Tuan’s presence, start a fight with the group that rapidly escalates into a full-scale brawl.
Dickerson reprimands Cronauer for this incident, but the broadcasts and unorthodox English classes go on as usual. Impressed with the DJ’s behavior, Tuan sets him up on a date with Trinh, with the rest of the family chaperoning them. While relaxing in the bar one afternoon, he is pulled outside by Tuan moments before the building explodes, killing two soldiers and leaving Cronauer badly shaken. The cause of the explosion is determined to be a bomb planted inside; the news is censored, but he locks himself in the studio and reports it anyway. Dickerson cuts off the broadcast signal in mid-report and Cronauer is suspended. Hauk takes over his time slots, but his poor attempts at comedy and insistence on playing polka music, instead of rock and roll, lead to a flood of letters and phone calls from servicemen who demand Cronauer be put back on the air.
In the meantime, Cronauer spends most of his time drinking and trying to pursue a relationship with Trinh, only to be rebuffed at every attempt. Taylor intervenes on his behalf, ordering Hauk to reinstate him, but Cronauer refuses to go back to work when Garlick brings him the news. He now fears that Dickerson will send him to the front lines if he does anything else wrong. Garlick drives him up to a convoy of soldiers stuck in a traffic jam and persuades him to do an impromptu “broadcast” for them. The performance reawakens his love of radio, and he is soon back on the air.
Dickerson devises a ploy to get rid of Cronauer by sending him and Garlick to interview soldiers in the field – knowing that the only road into this particular area is controlled by the Viet Cong. As the two men drive the road, their jeep is blown off it and they are forced to hide from the VC patrols. Back in Saigon, Tuan learns of their trip after Cronauer fails to show up for English class, then steals a van and drives off after them. He finds them, but the van breaks down and they must flag down an Army helicopter to take them back to the city.
At the station, Dickerson confronts Cronauer with evidence that “Tuan” (not his real name) is a VC member and the one who planted the bomb that blew up the G.I. bar. He will be killed if the Army catches up to him. Cronauer's being used by a known enemy is enough to get him (honorably)discharged and off the air for good. Once he leaves the office, though, Taylor informs Dickerson that he is being transferred to Guam as punishment for his vindictiveness.
Cronauer finds Trinh and persuades her to take him to her brother. Calling out his real name, he chases him into a back lot, where the boy angrily accuses Cronauer and the American forces of being the real enemy in this war and killing most of his family. He then slips away, leaving Cronauer to shout his frustrations across the lot.
The next day, on his way to the airport, he sets up a quick softball game with the students from his English class. Trinh thanks him for warning her about the danger her brother was in. As he boards the plane, he gives Garlick a taped farewell message; Garlick – taking Cronauer's place as DJ – plays the tape on the air the next morning. It begins with a yell of "Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-dbye, Vietnam!" and runs through a few of Cronauer's impressions before ending with his wish that everyone will get home safely.
In 1979, Adrian Cronauer decided to pitch a sitcom based on his experiences as an AFRS DJ. TV networks were not interested because they did not see war as comedy material, despite the fact that one of the most popular shows at the time was M*A*S*H. Cronauer then revamped his sitcom into a script for a movie of the week, which eventually got the attention of Robin Williams. Very little of Cronauer's original treatment remained after writer Mitch Markowitz was brought in. The film was shot in Bangkok, Thailand.
The film is guilty of a number of anachronisms; several of the records Cronauer plays were unknown at the time of the movie's setting (1965), including What a Wonderful World and All Along the Watchtower (both released in 1968). Some of the broadcast equipment shown was manufactured in the 1970s, for example, the stereo domestic hi-fi model tape recorder used to play back Cronauer's comedic, edited interview with Richard Nixon.
American Film Institute recognition
Robin Williams was nominated for an Academy Award, and was awarded a Golden Globe.
|"Around the World in 80 Days"||Lawrence Welk|
|"Baby Please Don't Go"||Them*|
|"Ballad of a Thin Man"||The Grass Roots|
|"Beach Blanket Bingo"||Frankie Avalon|
|"California Sun"||The Rivieras*|
|"Cast Your Fate To The Wind"||Sounds Orchestral|
|"Danger! Heartbreak Dead Ahead"||The Marvelettes*|
|"Don't Worry Baby"||The Beach Boys|
|"Dream On Little Dreamer"||Perry Como|
|"Five O'Clock World"||The Vogues*|
|"Game of Love"||Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders*|
|"There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight"||Lawrence Welk & Myron Floren|
|"I Get Around"||The Beach Boys*|
|"I Got You (I Feel Good)"||James Brown*|
|"I'll Never Smile Again"||Lawrence Welk|
|"In the Midnight Hour"||Wilson Pickett|
|"It's Alright"||Adam Faith|
|"Kit Kat Polka"||Lawrence Welk & Myron Floren|
|"Liar Liar"||The Castaways*|
|"Acapulco"||Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass|
|"Lollipops and Roses"||Jack Jones|
|"Nowhere to Run"||Martha Reeves & The Vandellas*|
|"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"||Ray Conniff|
|"Sugar and Spice"||The Searchers*|
|"The Warmth Of The Sun"||The Beach Boys*|
|"What a Wonderful World"||Louis Armstrong*|
|"Yeh Yeh"||Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames|
|"My Boyfriend's Back"||The Angels|
|"Puff, the Magic Dragon"||Peter Yarrow & Leonard Lipton|
|"Rawhide"||Dimitri Tiomkin & Ned Washington|
|"You Keep Me Hangin' On"||The Supremes|
|"Like Tweet"||Joe Puma & Eddie Hall|
|"Get a Job"||The Silhouettes|
The soundtrack album included only the songs indicated with an asterisk above. It was certified platinum in the US. The Louis Armstrong song was released as a single and became a top 40 hit twenty years after its original release.
|1988||Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart||1|
|1988||The Billboard 200 Albums Chart||10|
Early in 2007, Robin Williams was seen "mulling over" a script that was written for a sequel to the movie. Williams said that he has been "reading over the script and that it's really good so far." No other information is known yet.
Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby
by Terence Trent D'Arby
Music Report number-one
June 6 - June 19, 1988
Wow! by Bananarama