Television Mini-Series or Series
China Beach (1988), Director: Rob Holcomb, Running Time: 62 one-hour episodes.
A popular TV series that made Dana Delany a star. Set at the 510th EVAC Hospital at China Beach, Vietnam, the movie presents the stories of the doctors, nurses, soldiers, and USO entertainers who populated the base. Each character struggles to find their own way to deal with their personal problems and the war surrounding them.
A Rumor of War (1980), Director: Richard T. Heffron, Running Time: 195 Minutes.
The two-part TV movie Rumor of War was based on the 1977 memoirs of Vietnam veteran Philip Caputo. Brad Davis stars as Caputo, who during the mid-1960s was a Marine lieutenant. In battle after battle, Caputo performs his duties admirably, even when questioning the wisdom of America's Vietnam involvement. As both the war and the body count escalate, Caputo suffers a nervous breakdown. A Rumor of War bears an inevitable resemblance to the much-earlier antiwar epic All Quiet on the Western Front, right down to the presence of a father-figure combat sergeant (Brian Denneh). Its few cliches aside, the film is a powerful indictment of the brutalization and depersonalization of America's Vietnam forces. A Rumor of War premiered on September 24 and 25, 1980. (Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide)
Tour of Duty (1987-89), Producer: Zev Braun. Running Time: 21 episodes per season.
The first television series to depict the American soldier in combat during the Vietnam War, Emmy-nominated Tour of Duty earned critical acclaim during its three-season run. Judging by the number of Internet sites devoted to the program, it also remains a fan favorite more than a decade after its 1989 cancellation. What's untouched on this set is the drama and tension endured by the men of Company B, a racially and socially diverse platoon led by Sgt. Zeke Anderson (Terence Knox), as they serve their twelve-month tour in 1967. The 21 episodes of the first season (largely helmed by veteran TV writer-director Bill W.L. Norton) take the platoon from their formation at Firebase Ladybird ("Pilot") to the brutal battle to take Hill 1000 ("The Hill") that concludes the season on a downbeat note. (Paul Gaita, Amazon)
Vietnam: Television History (1983), Produced by Dick Ellis for Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Director: Stanley Karnow, Running Time: 780 Minutes.
Sprawling, hugely informative PBS miniseries chronicles the origins, course, conclusion, and legacy of the Vietnam War. The documentary is ideal for historians and anyone curious about the Vietnam era. (Reel.com synopsis)
Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War (1980), Written by CNN correspondent Peter Arnett, Running Time: 10 hours and 28 minutes.
This six-part award-winning series clearly dissects the true story of the most controversial war in modern history. Extraordinary footage takes you up close and personal with the "grunts" during the siege at Khe Sahn. Narrated by Richard Basehart.
Vietnam: War in the Jungle (1998), Director: Chris Nolan, Running Time: 55 Minutes per title.
A 10-part series on the war.
Vietnam War Story (1987), Director: Georg Stanford Brown and Ray Danton.
A television anthology series which attempted to illuminate various aspects of the Vietnam War by dramatizing true stories of both combat and personal relations. Most of the stories were not actual representations of the originating events, but were stories which were inspired by real-life events while being wholly fictional in details. Most of the episodes were written by Vietnam veterans. (Summary written by Jim Beaver)