The 317th Platoon 06/22/21

Icarus Films

This unheralded story of the French retreat in 1954 Vietnam is one of the best films ever about guerilla combat. The professional French soldiers do what they can to avoid capture, but the new Lieutenant won’t abandon their wounded. The Alsatian top sergeant fought with the Germans ten years before, yet is the best and fairest man in the unit. Director Pierre Schoendoerffer knows of what he films — he was captured by the Viet Minh at the fall of Dien Bien Phu. With the able camerawork of the legendary Raoul Coutard, the movie feels very realistic; we’re told that it was used to teach military cadets. On DVD from Icarus Films.