Go Tell the Spartans

Synopsis: A unit of American military advisors in Vietnam prior to the major U.S. involvement find similarities between their helpless struggle against the Viet Cong and the doomed actions of a French unit at the same site a decade before in this bitter look at the beginnings of the Vietnam war.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Ted Post
Production: AVCO Embassy Pictures
  1 nomination.
114 min


Get that man out of that jug!

He say he not Cong.

We make him say he Cong.

He can't say anything if

you drown him. Now get him out!

Yes, sir, major. Instamment.


He lie, major.

He goddamn bastard.

Put him back in the cage,

you hear me?

God damn it, Cowboy!

Do you hear me?

Yes, sir, major. Instamment.

Any traffic?

Uh, let's see. Mung Tau

wants to get lit up tonight.

You pass the signal

to Nighthawk?

It's passed.

What are you juicing up now,


Carrots and onions.

You think it'll cure

your pimples?

It'll keep my bowels open


- AI.

- Major.

"Instamment, major."

I'm gonna zap that goddamn gook.

Which gook, sir?

Cowboy. He had a prisoner

stuck in the water jug again.

Well, you can't shoot

that goddamn gook, sir.

He knows English, French,

Chinese, and 75 Viet dialects.

I can shoot him. I can shoot him

and his goddamn dialects.

Thank you, Kwan.

I didn't get

my combat infantryman's badge.

Why not?

New regulation from Saigon...

that you gotta have

thirty days under fire.

I've only got twenty-two.

Well, I guess you'll have

to get out in the field, Al...

and kick a little ass, huh?

When, sir?

When I don't need you here

anymore. What's the new map?

We got a query from Saigon...

about some crummy hamlet

called Muc Wa.

It's in this map plot here.

What do they want?

Complete position paper.

Oh, sh*t.

Too goddamn many

static defense posts as it is.

That's what happened

to the French.

They got themselves tied down

in static defense.

What do we know

about this... this Muc stuff?

Muc Wa.

- Hey, sir.

- "Hey, sir."

Jesus Christ.

What is it, Toffee?

The replacements are here.

Close the door a minute.

Make up a position paper, Al.

Tell them that Muc F***

has about...

Muc Wa, sir.

Muc Wa. Muc Wa

has about two hundred people...

mostly old men,

women, and children.

No Cong activity there

for years.

Severe drought conditions.

No water for troops.

Uh, it's on a river, sir.

Well, fix it up.

In the opinion

of this command...

this hamlet is of no strategic

significance whatsoever?

"Et shitera."

Toffee. Toffee?

Yes, sir?

- You got their papers?

- Yes.

Hamilton, Raymond...

second lieutenant.

What the hell are they sending

us second lieutenants for?

All right, Toffee. Show the o...

- Yes, sir.

- Show the officer in.

Yes, sir.

Come in, lieutenant.

Lieutenant Hamilton, sir.

I'm Major Barker.

Captain Olivetti, the exec.

- So, lieutenant?

- Sir!

Relax, kid. Sit down.

Thank you, sir.

How old are you, lieutenant?

Twenty-three, sir.

And still a second?

What the hell do they expect us

to do with you?

We don't have any slots

for second lieutenants.

Send me into the field, sir.

I feel that

I can kill communists...

as well as any

first lieutenant, sir.

Well, let's not rush things.

Why did you volunteer

for Vietnam?

Well, sir...

I feel that

if my country's at war...

it's my duty to fight for it.

All right, lieutenant.

We'll see if we can't

find a slot for you.

Thank you, sir.



Oleonowski, sir.

How've you been, Oleo?


Have I changed that much?

Goddamn. Mr. Barker.

Captain Olivetti, exec.

- How do you do, sir?

- Oleo and I served in Korea.

He kept my butt from being

shot off more than once.

Well, he was a pretty good

officer, too, sir.

Officers didn't have to be

very good with men like Oleo.

Where have you been stationed?

- South, sir. Delta.

- Hairy?

Oh, Jesus.

I'll tell you, sir...

I had three teams

shot out from under me.

How's it up here, sir?

Hairy sometimes, but

the casualties aren't too bad.

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Daniel Ford

Daniel Ford (born 1931 in Arlington, Massachusetts) is an American journalist, novelist, and historian. The son of Patrick and Anne Ford, he attended public schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, graduating in 1950 from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He was educated at the University of New Hampshire (A.B. Political Science 1954), the University of Manchester (Fulbright Scholar, Modern European History 1954–55), and King's College London (M.A. War Studies 2010). Ford served in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg and in Orléans, France. Following an apprenticeship at the Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt, Germany, he became a free-lance writer in Durham, New Hampshire. He received a Stern Fund Magazine Writers' Award (1964) for his dispatches from South Vietnam, published in The Nation; a Verville Fellowship (1989–90) at the National Air and Space Museum to work with Japanese accounts of the air war in Southeast Asia; and an Aviation - Space Writers' Association Award of Excellence (1992) for his history of the Flying Tigers. He is best known for his Flying Tigers research and for the Vietnam novel that became the Burt Lancaster film Go Tell the Spartans. Ford is a resident scholar at the University of New Hampshire. He writes for the Wall Street Journal, Michigan War Studies Review, and Air&Space/Smithsonian magazine; maintains the Warbird's Forum, Piper Cub Forum, and Reading Proust websites; and blogs on Daniel Ford's Blog. He soloed in a J-3 Piper Cub at the age of 68 and flew as a sport pilot until he turned 80. Office: 433 Bay Road, Durham NH 03824 USA. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Go Tell the Spartans" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Jun 2023. <https://www.scripts.com/script/go_tell_the_spartans_9055>.

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