Platoon script
Platoon (1986)
Synopsis: Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) leaves his university studies to enlist in combat duty in Vietnam in 1967. Once he's on the ground in the middle of battle, his idealism fades. Infighting in his unit between Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), who believes nearby villagers are harboring Viet Cong soldiers, and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), who has a more sympathetic view of the locals, ends up pitting the soldiers against each other as well as against the enemy.

FADE IN:

A QUOTATION AGAINST A BLACK SCREEN:

'REJOICE, O YOUNG MAN, IN THY YOUTH ...'

The sound now of a C-130 air cargo plane roaring over us and we

cut sharply to:

EXT.AIRSTRIP - BASE CAMP - VIETNAM - DAY

As the C-130 coasts to a stop, the hatch rotating down on a hot,

dusty lifeless airstrip somewhere in Vietnam. Nothing seems to

live or move in the midday sun.

TITLES RUN:

A DOZEN NEW RECRUITS step off the plane, unloading their duffel

bags, looking around like only the new can look around, their

hair regulation-clipped, crisp, new green fatigues fitting them

like cardboard.

CHRIS TAYLOR is just another one of them - as he turns into a

tight closeup, to look at a motorized cart pulling up alongside

... He's about 21. Newmeat. His face, unburned yet by the sun,

is tense, bewildered, innocent, eyes searching for the truth.

They fall now on a heap of BODY BAGS in the back of the cart.

Two soldiers begin loading them onto the plane. Flies - hundreds

of flies - buzz around them, the only cue to their contents.

GARDNER:

(next to Chris, Southern accent)

That what I think it is?

SOLDIER 1

(a look)

I guess so ...

An uncomfortable look between them.

SERGENT:

Okay, let's go ...

As they move out, Chris' eyes moving with the body bags being

loaded onto the plane. Moving over now to a motley HALF DOZEN

VETERANS bypassing them on their way to the plane. They look

happy. Very happy, chatting it up.

They pass the newboys - and they shake their heads, their eyes

full of an almost mocking pity.

VETERANS:

Well I'll be dipped in shit - new meat! Sorry bout

that boys - 'sin loi' buddy ... you gonna love the

Nam, man, for-fucking-ever.

Chris looking at them. They pass, except for the last man who

walks slower than the rest, a slight limp. His eyes fall on

Chris.

They're frightening eyes, starved, hollow, sunken deep in his

face, black and dangerous. The clammy pallor of malaria clings

to him as he looks at Chris through decayed black teeth. Then

the sun flares out on him and he's past. And Chris looks back.

Disturbed. It's as if the man was not real. For a moment there.

As if he were a ghost.

Chris walking, duffel bag on the shoulder, looks up at the

lollipop sun burning a hole through the sky. A rushing SOUND

now. Of frightening intensity, an effect combining the blast of

an airplane with the roar of a lion as we hardcut to:

EXT. JUNGLE - SOMEWHERE IN VIETNAM - DAY

The sun matches the intensity of the previous shot as we move

down into thick green jungle. We hear the sound of MEN coming, a

lot of men. The thwack of a machete. Brush being bulled. We

wait. They are getting close.

The CREDITS continue to run.

SUBTITLE reads:
December 1967 - Bravo Company, 25th Infantry

Division - Somewhere near the Cambodian Border.

A sweating white face comes into view. CHRIS - cutting point.

Machete in one hand, whacking out a path for the platoon, M-16 in

the other, he looks like he's on the verge of heat exhaustion.

Breathing too hard, pacing himself all wrong, bumping into

things, tripping, not quite falling, he looks pathetic here in

the naturalness of the jungle. An urban transplant, slightly

neurotic and getting more so.

His rucksack is coming apart as well, about 70 badly packed

pounds banging noisily.

Behind him BARNES now comes, the Platoon Sergeant. Then the RTO,

his radio man, humming lightly. Others are behind, the column

snaking back deep into the brush.

We cut around some FACES of the Platoon - all to be seen later.

Young faces, hard and dirty after weeks in the field, exhausted

yet alert, fatigues filthy, slept-in, torn, personalized, hair

way past regulation length, medals, bandanas. A jungle army.

Boys.

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Oliver Stone

William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Stone came to public prominence between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had participated as an infantry soldier. Many of Stone's films primarily focus on controversial American political issues during the late 20th century, and as such that they were considered contentious at the times of their releases. more…

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