Boys in Company C, The (1978)

Columbia

Sidney J. Furie’s war-actioner “The Boys in Company C,” from a screenplay by Rick Natkin, depicts the harsh experiences of a group of green recruits in the Vietnam War and the incompetence of the ruthless military brass that exploits them and risks their lives. 
 
An ambitious author acts as a chronicler of the war. When the story begins, a drug pusher turns the young marines into a tough fighting unit. The group includes a grunt that becomes hooked on drugs, a hippie who adjusts to the Marine Corps and the war but retains his pacifist disposition, and a tough boot camp drill instructor.
 
Like other Vietnam War films, this anti-military drama critiques the incompetent and corrupt leadership. In the course of the action, several soldiers are killed while transporting supplies to an army post, which contain liquor, cigarettes and furniture for a general. 
 
Other rigid officers, abiding by their petty rules and showing insensitivity, carelessly place the lives of the men under them in constant danger. Thus, it’s not surprising to hear the drug pusher telling a ruthless officer, "You are the real enemy."   
 
While the picture depicts the brutality of war atrocities and the enormous waste of life involved, “Boys in Company C” relies too heavily on contrived convention of WWII patrol pictures. Thus, the platoon is politically correct, being composed of representatives of different race, color, and creed.
 
In his review in the Village Voice, Andrew Sarris pointed out that, “the super-hawks will regard the film as commie propaganda, and the super-doves will dismiss it as hypocritically exploitative,” which may explain why the movie failed to find an audience. 
 

 

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