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The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965) 

Fearing Saigon's collapse, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes the bombing of North Vietnam, and sends U.S. ground troops to the south.


Ken Burns, Lynn Novick




Episode credited cast:
Peter Coyote ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Everett Alvarez Everett Alvarez ... Himself - Navy Pilot U.S.S. Constellation
Charles A. Beckwith Charles A. Beckwith ... Himself - Major U.S. Army (archive footage) (as 'Chargin' Beckwith)
Philip Brady Philip Brady ... Himself - Marine Advisor
Phil Caputo ... Himself - Journalist
Le Quang Cong Le Quang Cong ... Himself - Viet Cong
Carol Crocker Carol Crocker ... Herself - Sister of Denton Crocket
Denton Winslow 'Mogie' Crocker Denton Winslow 'Mogie' Crocker ... Himself - Private First Class
Jean-Marie Crocker Jean-Marie Crocker ... Herself - Gold Star Mother of Denton Crocket
Bui Diem Bui Diem ... Himself - S. Vietnamese Diplomat
Le Duan Le Duan ... Himself - New Leader of N. Vietnam (archive footage)
Huy Duc Huy Duc ... Himself - N. Vietnam
Bill Ehrhart Bill Ehrhart ... Himself - Marines
Duong Van Mai Elliott Duong Van Mai Elliott ... Herself - Saigon (as Duong Van Mai)
Joe Galloway ... Himself - UPI Journalist


Fearing Saigon's collapse, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes the bombing of North Vietnam, and sends U.S. ground troops to the south.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-MA | See all certifications »





English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

19 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Eve of Destruction
Words and Music by P.F. Sloan
(C) Universal Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Performed by Barry McGuire
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

The River Styx (January 1964-December 1965)
10 October 2017 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

This episode is inter cut with an elderly woman from the New York state who tells the story of her son Denton Crocker Jr. Her daughter joins her in recounting how as a boy he loved to read and he learned to hate reds.

Denton ran away from home when he was 17 years old and would not return unless his parents signed his army papers as he was keen to join up. We can guess he never returned home.

We are now seeing the hardening of the conflict under Lyndon B Johnson, taking over the presidency from JFK. Deep down LBJ had misgivings, some of his advisers were cautious others wanted hardening of attitudes and the generals wanted escalation of the war. This included a sustained air war in North Korea, tit for tat retaliation and sending ground troops to the south.

However war was never formally declared as one American airman found out, he was not afforded the protections of the Geneva Convention.

Yet we also see stirring of the anti war movement back in the USA with atrocities committed by the US troops in North Vietnam, homes burned, civilians killed and the young soldiers interviewed at the time appearing unconcerned.

A sobering, troubling episode. It ends as the Crockers record a televised Christmas message for their son in Vietnam.

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