A flashback to 1966 shows McMurphy as a hospital ward nurse who joins the army and after months in basic training, arriving for the first time at China Beach where she meets Dr. Richard for the first...
The Herlihys are a working class family from Chicago whose three children take wildly divergent paths: Brian joins the Marines right out of High School and goes to Vietnam, Michael becomes ... See full summary »
A drama focusing on the suffering, torture, and brutal treatment the American P.O.W.s had to deal with daily while in North Vietnam's Hoa Lo Prison, the most infamous P.O.W. camp in Hanoi. ... See full summary »
Paul Le Mat,
John Edwin Shaw
Dateline: November 1967, within klicks of Danang, Vietnam, sits a U.S. Army base, bar and hospital on China Beach. This is the 'Nam, filled with wounded soldiers and one very lovely but damaged Army Nurse Colleen Mc Murphy. Many heroes, dead and alive, in the forms of nurses, warriors, Donut Dollies, lifeguards, politicians, USO entertainers, Chopper Chicks, doctors, officers and enlisted men, brothers and sisters, Kool-Aid Kids, orderlies, medics, morticians, Army brass and one hostile prostitute named K.C. try to make sense of life and death in between bourbon, bullets and battles.Written by
Taxi Driver has a disturbed Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle who tries to assassinate the president and goes on a killing spree at the ending. 1980's Don't Answer the Phone has crazed Vietnam Vet Kirk Smith stalking and murdering the women of Los Angeles. Also Christopher Walken's disturbed and suicidal Nick in the Deer Hunter winds up killing himself and endangering the people around him. And Sylvester Stallone's John Rambo in First Blood gets into a conflict with several locals and law enforcement officials; ends up going into crazy Vietnam flashbacks and winds up killing most of the town. All of this can be seen as part of the dangerous Vietnam Veteran Trend. In the 1970s, (and the early 80s); as the Vietnam War ended and the veterans came home and re-entered society, there was a fear that the veterans were disturbed, dangerous; might be a threat to society. This was a reflection of our overall ambivalence about the war in general. One of the outgrowths of these negative attitudes was that Vietnam Veterans were often portrayed in movies as dangerous, and self-destructive psychopaths. Taxi Driver, Don't Answer the Phone; First Blood and Deer Hunter were all part of this trend. This trend flip flopped in the mid to late 1980s where Vietnam Veterans were now being deified in the movies. Where John Rambo was a psychopath in First Blood Part 1; in Rambo: First Blood Part 2 he is enlisted by his sergeant Richard Crenna to go on a mission back to Vietnam to save POWs that are still trapped there. He goes from misunderstood Frankenstein-Psychopath in part 1, to hero in part 2. Arnold Schwartzenegger's Commando was another Vietnam Hero in the eighties; trying to save his daughter Alyssa Millano, who has been kidnapped by terrorists. Good Morning Vietnam has DJ Robin Williams entertaining the heroic soldiers of the Vietnam war; Born On the Fourth of July has Tom Cruise portraying an almost Christ-like paraplegic War Veteran Ron Kovic and his transition from from soldier to protester. And on television in the 1980s we had China Beach; which had Dana Delaney and the other heroic nurses of the Vietnam war dealing with the war and it's traumas. The transition in movies from Psychotic Kirk Smith in 1980s Don's Answer the Phone; to the saintly Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July nine years later is staggering; and suggests the dramatic transitions in society's attitudes towards the war during that period. See more »
Many of the Asian actors used were not actually Vietnamese. While Vietnam has (and had at the time of the war) a large ethnic Chinese population, some of the actors used were Koreans, Japanese and even Filipinos. See more »
This was a very special show, one of television's finest moments. It saddens me that in an era of reality TV, we no longer have shows of integrity like this one. As with "Homicide: Life on the Streets," this show had more in common with film than it did with television. That may have been both shows' undoings, because plots require attention, etc. I'm puzzled that with "China Beach's" fan base that we haven't seen this show released on DVD. Emmy-winning performances, beautiful writing, and cinematography to match -- PLEASE GIVE US "CHINA BEACH" ON DVD!!! It would be an honor to add this one to my collection, and would give those who didn't have the pleasure of seeing it when it was new the chance to enjoy it.
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