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Films >> We Were Soldiers (2002) >>

The film We Were Soldiers is based on the New York Times bestseller for seventeen straight weeks, We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young (1992), written by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. Moore led the charge as the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry’s commander, and Galloway assisted as he was on scene as a tagalong reporter/journalist forced into being a soldier. Together they crafted one of the most remarkable books of military combat ever written. "This book,” they write in the preface, “is about what we did, what we saw, what we suffered in a 34-day campaign in the remote Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in November, 1965, when we were young and confident and patriotic and our countrymen knew little and cared less about our sacrifices." The book provides more detailed context than the film and accurately describes the events that happened in the Ia Drang Valley at two LZ’s. Moore and Galloway pile together information and references from numerous accounts, including even enemy soldiers. Journalist Galloway works with Moore to put the battle events into compelling prose that gives the reader a complete sense of the war. The motion picture, on the other hand, focuses only on the first landing zone with a glorified focus on Moore’s character as well as intense battle scenes. In the book Moore explains his belief that every Hollywood movie about the war had not “got it right.” Director Randall Wallace was inspired by this comment and determined to “get it right.” After seeing the movie, Moore would state that We Were Soldiers is, indeed, the first war movie to “get it right.”