GO TELL THE SPARTANS
DIRECTED BY TED POST
MAR VISTA/ SPARTAN PRODUCTIONS
Information From IMDb
A unit of American military advisors in Vietnam
prior to the major U.S. involvement find similarities between
their helpless struggle against the Viet Cong and the doomed actions
of a French unit at the same site a decade before
in this bitter look at the beginnings of the Vietnam war.
Written by Keith Loh
Burt Lancaster ... Maj. Asa Barker
Craig Wasson ... Cpl. Stephen Courcey
Jonathan Goldsmith ... Sgt. Oleonowski
Marc Singer ... Capt. Alfred Olivetti
Joe Unger ... Lt. Raymond Hamilton
Dennis Howard ... Cpl. Abraham Lincoln
David Clennon ... Lt. Finley Wattsberg
Evan C. Kim ... Cowboy (as Evan Kim)
John Megna ... Cpl. Ackley
Hilly Hicks ... Signalman Toffer
Dolph Sweet ... Gen. Harnitz
Clyde Kusatsu ... Col. Minh
James Hong ... The Old Man
Denice Kumagai ... Butterfly
Tad Horino ... One-eyed man
Phong Diep ... Minh's Interpreter
Ralph Brannen ... Col. Minh's ADC
Mark Carlton ... Capt. Schlitz
Dabney Coleman ... Helicopter pilot (uncredited)
Daniel Ford novel "Incident at Muc Wa"
Wendell Mayes writer
Allan F. Bodoh .... producer
Mitchell Cannold .... producer
Jesse Corallo .... associate producer (as Jess Corallo)
Michael Leone .... executive producer
Harry Stradling Jr.
The title comes from a quote by Herodotus, the Greek historian, about the famous Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. 300 Spartan soldiers held a mountain pass against the entire Persian army; they all gave their lives, but the delay allowed Greece to prepare for their victory at Salamis. The epitaph of the Spartan soldiers reads "Stranger, go tell the Spartans that here we are buried, obedient to their orders."
The psychological operations model used by Lt. Wattsberg is still used by the US Army. It now uses computer databases rather than color charts.
While high on drugs in the observation tower, Corporal Abraham Lincoln sings the Gettysburg Address.
'Amapola' is the Spanish word for poppy, and used in the film as slang for opium.
Crew or equipment visible: During the beginning of the movie, when the XO is showing Major Barker a map of MukWa, a microphone boom briefly appears at the bottom between them.
Anachronisms: When Lt. Wattsberg walks into Major Barker's office to tell him that they got the air support they needed, Barker was reading a book called "Seven Firefights in Vietnam", which wasn't published until 1970.
Revealing mistakes: At the very beginning of the movie during the credits and the overview of the camp and right after the title shot, if you look in the far background at the top of the scene you can see what looks like traffic and cars passing by.
Factual errors: Burt Lancaster (Maj Barker) was about 64 years old when this movie was made. No real Army major would be able to stay in the service until that advanced age. He would have been retired at a much younger age as a result of being continually passed over for promotion, as Major Barker had been.
Factual errors: Major Barker tells his executive officer that he served in Korea during the Korean War, yet he wears no Combat Infantryman's Badge. He would have earned a CIB for his infantry service during that earlier war.
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Both Corporal Coucey and Corporal Lincoln salute Major Barker incorrectly when they report to him for duty. Instead of saluting, waiting for the major to return the salute, then dropping theirs, both men quickly drop their salutes before Barker even begins his.
Factual errors: Many of the American soldiers, especially Corporal Coucey and the executive officer, have hair styles that are much longer than allowed by Army regulations.
Maj. Asa Barker: Are you sure we're not in a looney bin? sometimes I think we're in a god damn looney bin!
Cpl. Courcey: I am your friend. I have chocolate.
Gen. Harnitz: Ole Barker might just come down here and shoot my balls off
Maj. Asa Barker: Never in the U.S. have we asked for anything back. It would screw up the bookkeeping.