"We Were Soldiers"

1st Cav Troopers
Photo Copyright © 1971-2004 by Johnny Hubbs

The Film:
"We Were Soldiers"

From Paramount Pictures/Icon Productions

Directed by
Randall Wallace

Mel Gibson (Col. Hal Moore)
Greg Kinnear (Maj. Bruce Crandall)
Chris Klein
Barry Pepper
Sam Elliot
Madeline Stowe
Dylan Walsh

Written by
Randall Wallace

Picture of a Hollywood Huey...
Notice the 229th Crest On The Nose!

We Were Soldiers Once... And Young

(coming Winter 2001 from Paramount Pictures)
In a place soon to be known as The Valley of Death, in a small clearing called landing zone X-Ray, Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) and 400 young fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons-all troopers from an elite American combat division-were surrounded by 2000 enemy soldiers. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history. We Were Soldiers Once… And Young is a tribute to the nobility of those men under fire, their common acts of uncommon valor, and their loyalty to and love for one another.

Written for the Screen and Directed by Randall Wallace
Produced by Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, and Randall Wallace
Based on the New York Times Bestseller by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway

Set in 1965, the story centers on 80 men from the U.S. Air Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Mel Gibson), who find themselves surrounded by enemy soldiers after being airlifted into a clearing in Vietnam's Ia Drang Valley. Maj. Bruce Crandall (Greg Kinnear), an all-American college baseball star and devoted military man, is called upon by Moore to start up the Air Cavalry unit. Fearless in battle and constantly risking his life, Crandall mans the chopper for the duration of the battle. Directed and written by Randall Wallace (the writer of Braveheart).


At the controls of a Hollywood Huey
Tom Flew with A/229th '67-'68
Good luck Tom, we know that you will do a great job!
Tom Can Be Reached for comments if you care to at:


Letter from Randy Wallace, the Screenwriter and Director, about the film:

The Wheelhouse
15464 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403-3002

Randall Wallace
7 February 2001

To all men who fought in the Ia Drang Valley, November 1965, and their families.


As many of you have already heard, we are preparing to make a film version of Hal Moore and Joe Galloway's book WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE...AND YOUNG.

I am the writer of the screenplay for the film, and also the director. Mel Gibson is set to play the lead role as Lt. Col. Moore, and Mel's company, Icon, and mine, The Wheelhouse, are producing the film, in association with Paramount Pictures.

As you can imagine, this is an enormously ambitious undertaking. As the prologue of Hal and Joe's landmark book states, "Hollywood has gotten the story of the Vietnam veteran wrong every damn time, whetting the knives of twisted politics on the bones of our dead brothers."

Well this time we mean to get it right.

Whether we achieve that goal will be judged by many people: a worldwide audience; a collection of film critics; our families and friends; but most of all we will be judged by you whose lives were so personally intertwined with the events of the Ia Drang Valley.

For whatever success we achieve, there will be many people to thank; but blame for however we fall short will rest on my shoulders since I'm the director of the film and the one who first asked Hal and Joe to let me make this movie. I accept this responsibility; I welcome it; I'm deeply proud of their trust, and I hope to earn yours.

Therefore, I want to be up front with all of you. This film is not a documentary. The story of what happened in the Ia Drang Valley in 1965 has been documented in many ways already. What we are making now is a dramatization that sets out to do what those other ways of telling your story could not: to capture the subjective experience of that war. It is not meant to tell the story of each individual, or to capture the same kind of truth a documentary would.

This is not to say that any of us making the film are unconcerned with accuracy. Some of the finest film making talents in the world are involved with this production, and we are going to great length to capture the real experiences of you and your buddies and loved ones. The main difference in our approach and that of other media is that in making feature films, we are out to communicate on an emotional level, to communicate emotional truth. Most stories of Vietnam emphasize tragic dimensions, dimensions which are true. But there is more truth than just the tragedy, and this story celebrates the truth of love, loyalty, and heroism.

To tell the story of all, I must leave out the details of some. The book documents the heroism of many; the movie will focus on a few particular characters, and even those characters will be combinations of traits and actions that existed among many characters.

An example of this is the fact that the movie will focus on LZ X-Ray. The events of LZ Albany, its heroism and its tragedy, are alluded to, but are not the focus of the narrative of this movie. And even within the telling of the events of LZ X-Ray, the heroic acts of so many of you cannot be specifically detailed.

This is not because any of us lack reverence for your courage, or have any desire whatsoever to celebrate some and ignore others. It is simply the only effective way, in my judgment, to make a film that will communicate clearly and most powerfully the greater message that those who fought in Vietnam, and those who fought the emotional wars at home by loving and longing and grieving for those who fought, were heroes.

So that is our goal. From you who have already given so much, I ask more: I ask for your understanding, your faith, and your prayers.

And if you feel over-looked or slighted because your name or your particular acts of heroism are not specifically portrayed in this film, I ask your forgiveness.

But I will take what comes. I am inspired by your example, by you who gave your fullest measure of courage and commitment and have lived by the light of your own example.

I salute you.

Best regards,

Randall Wallace

"We Were Soldiers"
Movie Pictures Below

- Gaggle of Hueys -

Birds in LZ

Bird Downed



Mel Gibsons as Col Hal Moore




Some images contained on this site are © Paramount Pictures, The Wheel House, and Icon Entertainment




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