The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it.
- A telling of the 1st Battalion, 7 Cavalry Regiment, 1st Calvary Division’s battle against overwhelming odds in the La Drang valley of Vietnam in 1965. Seen through the eyes of the battalion’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson), we see him take command of the battalion and its preparations to go into Vietnam. We also see how the French had, years earlier, been defeated in the same area. The battle was to be the first major engagement between U.S. and N.V.A. forces in South Vietnam, and showed the use of helicopters as mobility providers and assault support aircraft.
- In 1965, as America prepares to send its troops into South Vietnam’s green Central Highlands, the devoted commander and seasoned paratrooper, Lieutenant Colonel Harold Moore, prepares to lead the young men of the First Battalion of the Seventh Air Cavalry into the war’s first major ground battle. Hopelessly outnumbered, four hundred soldiers against a North Vietnamese infantry division of two thousand men, Moore’s soldiers will fight in Ia Drang Valley, or the Valley of Death, during three days of inferno. This movie displays the courage and the dignity of few men on the fierce battlefield, as well as the pain and suffering of all those who were left behind alive but, nonetheless, wounded.
- In a place soon to be known as “The Valley of Death”, in a football field-sized clearing called Landing Zone X-Ray, Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore and four hundred young troopers from the newly formed 1/7th Cavalry Regiment of the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division were surrounded by two thousand North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the tunnel warren mountainside. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history, and is portrayed here as the signal encounter between the American and North Vietnamese armies. This movie is a tribute to the nobility of those men under fire, their common acts of uncommon valor, and their loyalty to, and love for, one another.
- The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.