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The Green Berets and Casualties of War

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The Green Berets and Casualties of War

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  • December 12, 2006
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The Green Berets and Casualties of War

The films I chose to do my comparative paper on are The Green Berets and Casualties of War. Both of these films deal with issues concerning the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was viewed as unpopular and pointless by society; The Green Berets objective was to gain support for the Vietnam War. The film puts great emphasis on liberal war journalist George Beckwith (David Janssen). Beckwith originally doubts America's involvement in the war, but after spending time with the Green Berets, his attitude changes significantly. Casualties of War has a different perspective on the Vietnam War. The film is based on a real-life incident and it focuses on the emotional and psychological aspects of war. The film puts emphasis on Sergeant Meserve (Sean Penn) and how he is becoming changed by the savagery of war and his uncertainty on why the U.S. is fighting Vietnam. This is signifcant because it shows the evils of war and how it makes people change into something they are really not. Both of these films use light, sound, and color to express a variety of ideas for the audience. Editing also plays a key factor in these films to foreshadow what the films are going to be about. The Green Berets and Casualties of War express the Vietnam War in different ways and they persuade the audience to believe in the ideas that these films are promoting.

The Green Berets was made right in the middle of the Vietnam War. The government was looking for ways to promote this war. President Lyndon B. Johnson was extremely interested in making a propaganda film about the war in hopes of changing the opinions of naysayers. Johnson freely supplied Vietnam War consultants for the Green Berets to train the actors and help them speak the Vietnam language. (Yosarian, 1996). The film tries to persuade the audience to believe that this war is necessary. This is proven when the film focuses our attention on George Beckwith, who is a liberal war journalist. At the...