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  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Good Morning Vietnam (1987)

You might remember that last year I had a bit of a Robin Williams movie marathon after realising there were a lot of his films I’d never seen.

As much as I’d like to tell you that I watched every movie he ever made in that short time I’d be lying, and I have to fess up to the fact that there are still a shameful amount I’ve still not seen. Last night though I finally watched:

Good Morning Vietnam (1987)

I have to admit I felt a little hypocritical yesterday writing my Happy 70th Birthday Robin Williams post having not seen this and a few of his other films. It feels good to have finally watched it though and more importantly, I really enjoyed it!

If like me until last night you’ve never seen this film, it’s a biographical/comedy/war/drama starring Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting), Forest Whitaker (Phone Booth), J.T. Walsh (A Few Good Men), Robert Wuhl (Batman) and Bruno Kirby (City Slickers) among many others.

This is what it’s about according to the folks at IMDb:

“In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer (Williams) begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services radio station in Vietnam.”

As you know I’m not a massive fan of war movies, and I guess I thought this was one which is probably why I’ve avoided it till now. Although it’s set during the Vietnam war and contains a lot of that social commentary, it’s really not a “war movie” in the usual sense.

The story is actually loosely based on the experiences of AFRS radio DJ Adrian Cronauer.

Robin Williams who plays Cronauer is (as you’d expect) superb, and I was delighted (although not entirely surprised) to read that he ad-libbed most of his radio broadcast dialogue in the film.

The role was just made for him. The Robin Williams we knew and still love is at his most “Robin Williams” for most of this movie, but at the same time he demonstrates what a fantastic dramatic actor he was.

There are other good performances too by a young Forest Whitaker, J.T. Walsh (who always played a brilliant as#hole) and Tom. T. Tran as Tuan. I think my favourite character though was Lt. Steven Hauk (played by Bruno Kirby). He’s such a jobsworth, and considering he thinks he’s funny in the movie, has no sense of humour whatsoever!

A sequel called “Good Morning, Chicago“ was written in 1992 with Williams attached to reprise his role as Adrian Cronauer. It was eventually scrapped due to disagreements between he, the director and Disney over which direction to take the film.


If you haven’t seen this and you’re a fan of Terminator 2, look out for the Stanton twins who play the censor guys. They played the guard and the shape-shifted T-1000 in the psychiatric hospital that Sarah Connor is being held at.

This film is funny, sad in places, meaningful and it showcases what a great all round actor Robin Williams was.

It’s also not particularly PC which, as bad as it sounds is kind of refreshing in a world where no one’s allowed to have an opinion or say anything remotely offensive.

I loved it!

Seen it? (Of course you’re have) let me know below.

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