Skip to main content

Vietnam War Memory Project: Vietnam War: Background Information

This guide has been developed to assist students and instructors participating in Pensacola State College's Vietnam War Memory Project.




Below is a list of documentaries available at PSC libraries.

Hearts and Minds:  A documentary that unflinchingly confronted the Unites States' involvement in Vietnam at the height of the foment that surrounded it. Using a wealth of sources, from interviews to newsreels to footage of the conflict and the upheaval it occasioned on the home front, Davis constructs a powerfully affecting picture of the disastrous effects of war.

Inside the Vietnam War:  First-hand accounts of U.S. veterans' experiences during the Vietnam War  matched with in-country archival film footage, audio recordings and personal photos. Using innovative tactics like helicopter warfare, U.S. soldiers fought bloody battles at Ia Drang River Valley, Dak To and the Iron Triangle and undertook large-scale operations such as Cedar Falls and Junction City. 

Last Days in Vietnam:  In the final weeks of the Vietnam War, American servicemen and others begin the difficult mission of evacuating as many friends, family members and South Vietnamese collaborators before Saigon falls to the North Vietnamese.

Maya Lin:  A Strong Clear Vision:  Reveals the origins of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and tells the story of its 21 year old creator, a Yale architecture student. Lin's plan was selected from over 1,000 different designs. What began as one of the country's most bitterly disputed monuments has become one of the world's most inspirational and frequently visited memorials. 

Return with Honor:  A documentary film that interviews American pilots who became prisoners of war in Vietnam and shows footage of prison camps and captured prisoners.

Military History Websites

Major Motion Pictures About the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War provided fertile ground for films, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s.  Below is a list of DVDs available through the PSC libraries.

Coming Home (1978)     "A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there."





The Deer Hunter (1978)    "An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania."





Apocalypse Now (1979)  "A United States Army officer/trained assassin is sent into the depths of a southeast Asian jungle to seek out a renegade colonel and terminate his command during the Vietnam War."




Platoon (1986)     "A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man."



Full Metal Jacket (1987)  "Vietnam war drama which begins with a depiction of the brutality of Marine Corps training and then shifts to Vietnam, focusing mainly on a group of Marines responding to the Tet Offensive of 1968. "






Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)    "Imported by the Army for an early morning radio show in Vietnam, disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) blasts the formerly staid, sanitized airwaves with a constant barrage of rapid-fire humor and the hottest hits from back home."





Hamburger Hill (1987)  "A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War."






Born on the 4th of July (1989)     "The biography of Ron Kovic.

Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for."




We Were Soldiers (2002)    "The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it."





Rescue Dawn (2006)     "A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Viet Nam War."