Oliver Stone’s Biography

Director Oliver Stone on location filming “Platoon

Stone’s education and his childhood background had a significant impact on his social and political agenda that show in his films. His experience in Vietnam was unique and different from other soldiers because he was well-educated; he was trained and inspired by the classical teaching in literature and music. Stone and Platoon make a great study case for understanding how film can reconstruct the public memory of the Vietnam War, especially when it was based on Stone’s personal experience. For example, Charlie Sheen’s character as Chris Taylor was Stone’s replication of himself in the film. Chris Taylor and Oliver Stone are both white, upper-middle-class kids, who went to Vietnam to escape from the boredom and rigors of civilized life.[1]Before enlisting to the Army, Stone worked as an English teacher in Vietnam, then quitted to travel and focused on his writing. Growing up in the 1950s, he believed in the war and in the cause of anti-communism; but his perspective changed after he was enlisted. He viewed the war as a politician’s war fought by the poorest Vietnamese and Americans and that lives were expendable in the political war.[2]Moreover, the tag-line of the film poster says, “The first causality of war is innocence,”[3]set the tone of a zealously anti-war film. The soldiers that fought in the war were young, the majority were young college drop-out and poor men, who looked for an opportunity to escape from reality. They were ordinary people that got caught in the middle of the world conflicts, and when they purposely stabbed themselves, so they could go back home not because they were coward, it was simply because they could not continue to fight or to get killed by someone.

[1]Randy Roberts and David Welky, “Coming to Terms with the Vietnam War – A Sacred Mission: Oliver Stone and Vietnam,” in Hollywood’s America Understanding History through Film, ed. Steven Mintz and Randy Roberts, and David Welky, (United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016), 314.

[2]Ibid., 309.

[3]“Platoon,” IMDb, accessed November 5, 2017, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091763/?ref_=tttg_tg_tt.

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(Platoon)                                                                                                                                                                                                (Apocalypse Now Redux)