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This is not a test, this is ROCK AND ROLL!
Good Morning Vietnam is a 1987 comedy-drama film set in Saigon during The Vietnam War, based on the career of Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams), a disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS), who proves hugely popular with the troops serving in South Vietnam, but infuriates his superiors with what they call his "irreverent tendency." The film was written by Mitch Markowitz and directed by Barry Levinson.
Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. This film is number 36 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies."
In 1965, United States Air Force Airman Adrian Cronauer arrives in Saigon from Crete to work as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service. His first contact is with Private First Class Edward Garlick (Forrest Whitaker), whom he persuades to help chase down a couple of pretty local girls before taking him to the radio station.
Cronauer's irreverence contrasts sharply with the rest of the staff and soon rouses the ire of two of his superiors, Lieutenant Steven Hauk (Bruno Kirby) and Sergeant Major Dickerson (J. T. Walsh). Hauk adheres to strict Army guidelines in terms of humor and music programming, while Dickerson is annoyed by Cronauer's behavior in general. However, General Taylor (Noble Willingham) and the other DJs quickly grow to like the new man and his brand of comedy, which begins as soon as he first goes on the air with a yell of "Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-d morning, Vietnam!"
Cronauer's show consists of unpredictable humor segments mixed with news updates (vetted by the station censors, which at one point causes Cronauer to dryly comment 'Ooh, censor, censor, censor -- join the army and mark things!') and rock and roll records that are frowned upon by his superiors. Hauk finds nothing funny about any of it and tries, without success, to get him to change his approach.
This Movie Contains Examples Of:
Adrian Cronauer: Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn't we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? 'Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we'd all be put out in K.P.
- Awesome Yet Practical: The reason Cronauer drew out his "Gooooooooood" was to time the beginning of his show with the top of the hour. (viz. Paul Harvey's " ... Good day").
- The real Adrian Cronauer used the time to prepare for his broadcast; getting albums lined up, for example.
- Blithe Spirit: Adrian Cronauer, to the constant frustration of his superiors.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Remedied, when Cronauer teaches English to a class of Vietnamese. One sample quiz:
Adrian Cronauer: Okay, if someone is not telling the truth, you say that they are full of...
Vietnamese Class: Shit!
Adrian Cronauer: If someone has made you angry or angrier, they have...
Vietnamese Class: Pissed me off!
- Bowdlerize: In a television broadcast, much of Robin's blue humor was bowdlerized. Ironic, considering the plot.
- Catch Phrase: "GOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM!" Best wakeup call ever.
- Could Say It, But...: Cronauer broadcasts an unapproved news report in this fashion and is yanked off the air because of it.
- Don't Call Me "Sir"!: Sgt. Dickerson is particularly insistent on this point, taking excessive pride in his non-commissioned status.
Dickerson: Cronauer, you better stay cool. You better not get involved in anything. You better not even come in range of anything that happens. Or your ass is grass and I'm a lawnmower. Am I being fairly clear?
Cronauer: Yes, sir.
Dickerson: Sir! Do you see anything on this uniform indicating an officer? [Pointing to his rank insignia] What does three up and three down mean to you, airman?
Cronauer: End of an inning?
- Also an example of Shown Their Work: In the US Air Force (Cronauer), it is common to call your superiors "sir" whether commissioned or not, but in the Army (Dickerson), the term is reserved for commissioned officers and will earn you the ire of any NCO on the receiving end.
- Fire-Breathing Diner: It's Vietnamese cooking!
Adrian Cronauer: Shit! This stuff is burning the hair off my feet!
- Giftedly Bad: Hauk has certain opinions on what is and isn't funny, but his routine falls flat. He even goes so far as to use a squeaky horn for comedic interrupts and bleeping.
Hauk: In my heart, I know I'm funny.
- Gung-Holier Than Thou: Dickerson.
"That is humor. I recognize that. I also recognize your brand of soldier."
- Harpo Does Something Funny: It is impossible to write dialogue like Cronauer's radio broadcasts. They just pointed Robin in the general direction they wanted him to go and let him run.
- Heroic BSOD: Cronauer gets into a bit of a funk following his suspension (see Could Say It, But... above). He's reluctant to return to the radio even after Gen. Taylor revokes the suspension, until...
- He's Back: ...Edward, driving Cronauer, pulls over near a troop convoy and convinces him to do an impromptu session to prove that Cronauer really is loved by the troops, come what may.
- Hollywood History: The real Adrian Cronauer readily admits he was nowhere near as funny or outrageous as Williams.
- Me Love You Long Time: Almost averted. She warms to him, but the relationship remains platonic.
- Mood Whiplash: the movie starts off very funny and irreverent, as Cronauer adjusts (or doesn't) to life in South Vietnam with characteristic hilarity. Then he's almost blown up by a VC bomb, and finds out that the Vietnamese kid he'd become friendly with is actually a North Vietnamese spy trying to kill as many Americans as he can, and Cronauer eventually becomes horribly disillusioned with the whole situation. Needless to say, the movie ends on a bit of a downer.
- No Indoor Voice
Cronauer (faking like he's taking a phone call): Who's this?
Cronauer (faking like he's calling in): BOB!
Cronauer: Hey Bob, what do you do?
Cronauer: What can we play for you?
Cronauer: ANYTHING MAN, JUST PLAY IT LOUD!
- Reassigned to Guam: Sgt. Dickerson's ultimate punishment for his vindictiveness towards Cronauer.
- Running Gag: "When the engine is already running, you generally don't need to turn the key, you know."
- Something Only They Would Say: "FLIP THEM THE BIRD!"
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "What a Wonderful World", played over a montage of troops fighting in the field, officers at base looking reflective, and a village being carpet bombed.
- Throw It In: All the funny bits were ad-libbed by Williams.
- Uriah Gambit: Dickerson issues Cronauer a pass through a road which (unbeknown to Cronauer) is held by the enemy and dotted with landmines. He's hoping it'll look like an accident.
- You Need to Get Laid: "You are in more dire need of a blow job than any white man in history."
- ↑ Translation: Seeing as the Vice President is a Very Important Person, shouldn't we keep the Press Conference on the Quiet? Cause if it leaks to the Viet Cong he could end up Missing In Action, and then we'd all be put on Kitchen Patrol.