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Boyle, Brenda M. "Rescuing Masculinity: Captivity, Rescue and Gender in American War Narratives." Journal of American Culture 34.2 (2011): 149-60.
Boyle focuses on American masculinity and the persuasive tack it uses to lure young people into the American military. The book We Were Soldiers Once…and Young strongly suggests that masculine performance does not always or even usually end in masculinity's confirmation. The common American war narrative suggests that war inherently provides the means for the enactment of heroic masculinity, and this adds to its strength and interest.
Clarke, E. A. "Ideal Heroes: Nostalgic Constructions of Masculinity in Tigerland and We Were Soldiers." Literature Film Quarterly 34.1 (2006): 19-26.
Clarke argues that We Were Soldiers is unlike the typical 1980s Vietnam War films that preceded it. He believes it is a conservative war film harking back to the narrative patterns and representations of masculinity. The film also suggests that a recent movement toward conservatism in war films has completely erased the critical representation of war that was discernible in earlier war films.
Doherty, Tom. "The New War Movies as a Moral Rearmament: Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers." Cineaste 27.3 (2002): 4-8.
Doherty talks about the transition of war-movie topics over time and with new technologies and capabilities. We Were Soldiers focuses primarily on the action and battle-scene effects rather than the characters and the more important political aspect: "Better not inquire too deeply into why American soldiers must be ordered into the killing fields of a barren, sun-drenched African desert or a humid Southeast Asian jungle." The blood and gore in modern war movies speaks for itself. He calls these types of war movies a moral rearmament that doesn't bring into focus the big picture and telescopes in on the action.
Prats, Armando José. "Last Stand at the Ia Drang Valley: Memory, Mission, and the Shape of Victory in We Were Soldiers." Arizona Quarterly 62.2 (2006): 99-144.
"We Were Soldiers explicitly engages a source text, Moore and Galloway, that gives a vivid and often touching account of the battle by many of the participants (including the field commander of the enemy North Vietnamese battalion). Moreover, the movie deploys narrative strategies that seem to account for the historical context of the battle, so that, besides initiating the action through a voiceover narrator who witnessed the battle, it appeals to historical precedents that generate much of the narrative's tension. Yet We Were Soldiers's mode of remembering the past -- not only the battle itself but the antecedents that it brings to bear upon it -- aligns its historicist ambitions more with the habits, stratagems, and artifacts of cultural memory than with any formal historical methods in evidence throughout the source text or in other accounts of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley."
Wetta, Frank Joseph, and Martin A. Novelli. "'Now a Major Motion Picture': War Films and Hollywood's New Patriotism." Journal of Military History 67.3 (2003): 861-82.
"In this film one cannot appeal to any traditional notions of patriotism, let alone a crusade against Communism. Norman Mailer's question -- decades old -- 'Why Are We in Vietnam?' was never addressed in these films. The answer was perhaps too embarrassing for the screenwriter to even contemplate. So We Were Soldiers reflects the new patriotism in its story. No one explains why they are in Vietnam. They fight for each other. They fight to ensure that everyone comes back -- dead or alive."
Young, Marilyn Blatt. "In the Combat Zone." Radical History Review 85 (Winter 2003): 253-64.
"The movie has very patriotic American values and the audience embraces those values. Joseph Galloway with Lieutenant Colonel Harold Moore, wrote the book on which the movie is based, and they both expressed delight with the film. The book, like the movie, is relentlessly patriotic." In the new metaphor war movies seem to be presenting, Neil Gabler states Americans are no longer distrustful of authority and no longer doubt the cause, rather we trust each other and see the cause as us.

See Also

Caputo, Philip. A Rumor of War. New York: Holt, 1996.

Dittmar, Linda, and Gene Michaud. From Hanoi to Hollywood: The Vietnam War in American Film. Ed. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2000.

Eberwein, Robert. The War Film. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2005.

Gates, Philippa. "'Fighting the Good Fight': The Real and the Moral in the Contemporary Hollywood Combat Film." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 22.4 (2005): 297-310.

Haun, Harry. "Man of War: Wallace's We Were Soldiers Recalls Key Vietnam Skirmish." Film Journal International 105.3 (2002): 10-12, 42.

Hunter, Stephen. "The director, on a mission; ‘We were soldiers' is personal; Randall Wallace fought to keep it so." Washington Post 3 March 2002: G1.

Lutz, R. C. "Transformation of Trauma without Rehabilitating Failure: The Dual Attempt at Reshaping America's Memory of the War in Viet Nam in Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers." At the Interface: Continuity and Transformation in Culture and Politics. Ed. Joss Hands and Eugenia Siapera. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004.

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York, Penguin, 1991.

Pierce, Charles P. "(Mel) Gibson." Esquire February 2002: 62-69.

Rollins, Peter C. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.

Sharrett, Christopher. "Hollywood and the New Militarism." USA Today May 2002: 37.

Webb, James. Fields of Fire. 1978. New York: Bantam, 2000.

Weber, Cynthia. Imagining America at War: Morality, Politics, and Film. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Online Resources

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