Apocalypse Now has the big movie stars. Platoon has the budget. Full Metal Jacket has Kubrick. But Forgotten Heroes has the truth. And when history does what history always does best and shakes itself loose of the blistering lies told of and about America's involvement in Vietnam, it will be Jack Marino's Forgotten Heroes that's first acquitted.
Watching the history of Vietnam through the eyes of mainstream Hollywood you'd never know our goal was to help a people retain their self-determination. You'd never know that what the critics wrist-flicked as a civil war was in fact a national act of fratricide; one brother trying to oppress and butcher another. You'd never know the consequence of our leaving -- our breaking our promise to our allies -- our caving to the anti-war left -- was a holocaust of millions. And you'd never know that our men and women over there were honorable, self-sacrificing, heroes. You'd never know this because in order to present its twisted view of the war mainstream Hollywood must demonize our troops. It must lie.
In Forgotten Heroes we finally see an honest portrayal of these good and decent men who left their homes and risked their lives for something bigger than themselves. Marino's film reminds us how that once meant something. Marino's film also reminds us that when those men are forgotten by a government unwilling to finish what it started, the price they pay doesn't end with the war.
Using relatively unknown actors and a meager budget, Marino expertly mixes themes larger than politics with a briskly paced emotional story and action scenes that defy that meager budget. And watching Forgotten Heroes is a reminder of just how far Hollywood has fallen.
There was a time Hollywood believed in spreading liberty and stopping tyranny. There was a time it marshaled every force at its disposal because it believed everyone, regardless of skin color or religion, deserved freedom. That belief died sometime in the late 1960's. And from it sprang an ideology of anti-Americanism and pro-Communism that has infested our films for forty years and lives on today in the form of Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, and all the others who find the tyrants Castro and Saddam more tolerable than our own President.
But that's just politics. We can disagree on politics. But what about the men? Why must the heroes of Vietnam be slandered in film after film to support the misguided political agendas of the Hollywood left? Can't we draw a line of decency somewhere?
Well, Marino has drawn a line. He put his money and talent and reputation on the line to tell the truth about these men. And for over fifteen years he's shown this film to anyone willing to listen. Anyone with enough of an open mind to consider that there are still stories left untold in Vietnam. Stories of heroism and sacrifice. In other words: The Truth.
Every viewing of Forgotten Heroes makes these heroes less forgotten. Every viewing jabs a finger in the eye of a Hollywood that lies about them. The forgotten heroes of Vietnam have a friend in Jack Marino. And so do maverick filmmakers everywhere with a dream. With a love of country. With a love of freedom. With a love of truth.
-John Nolte - Internet/Writer/Reporter
Our nation is fortunate to have patriots like Jack Marino and John Lebert who had the courage to create Forgotten Heroes.
- Brigadier General (CA, Ret ) Ronald B. Flynn
Former Platoon Leader, 2nd Bn, 7th U.S. Cavalry, Vietnam 1966
"In an age when heroism and patriotism have been consumed by guilt and shame, "Forgotten Heroes" offers a welcome and inspirational antidote. A heartfelt tribute to the young men who lived, served, fought and died in the jungles of Vietnam, "Forgotten Heroes" is a throwback to the great films of the World War II era, when traits like courage, camaraderie and conviction were revered and rewarded - no matter who won. As most Vietnam films continue to focus on the ideological and moral implications of the war, "Forgotten Heroes" dares to turn its sights on the brave young men who lived it. Producer/director Jack Marino has created a tale of courage, conviction and camaraderie reminiscent of the great films of the World War II era. "
- Wade Major - Associate Editor - Entertainment Today
"As a Vietnam veteran I can tell you that you have captured the essence of every platoon, and squad and small unit that ever served over there. I led an infantry platoon of the 1st Air Cavalry Division and I had a little bit of every one of your characters in the guys in my unit. What a pleasure to see in your film was that you didn't cop out to the clichés of most of the movies out on the war with the standard atrocities and racial, drug, psycho themes. The kids in your movie are just like the tens of thousands of 19 year olds who served over there. And there were hundreds of small unit missions with heroics such as you portrayed in your film, many which have been long been forgotten because of security classifications, and quite frankly, time because people back home just didn't want to hear about it anymore. It's good to see the Vietnam soldiers and marines presented in a positive light for a change."
- R. Flynn - Platoon Leader 1st Air Cav Division - Vietnam 66-67
"After seeing your film "Forgotten Heroes" I can say that your concept of American's helping Russians is far ahead of its time. Who would have known then the the United States and our former adversaries could be friends and work together for world peace. William Smith's performance of a Russian officer is outstanding and gives insight to some of the attitudes that prevailed in the former Soviet Union. The actors who portray the "Forgotten Heroes" show that young American warriors will give their all to carry out the mission in spite of overwhelming odds. We wish you success with your film, it is one that shows Americans serving in Vietnam in a positive light. Thank you for that."
- Vaughn Binzar - Editor/Art Director - Bravo Veterans Outlook - U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, 1965-66
"Forgotten Heroes" is a time capsule of what a unit of ten men witnessed deep in the Vietnam War jungles my generation only read about and is still trying to understand almost 30 years later. "Forgotten Heroes" is an excellent portrait of some of the Vietnam war experience America's young men and women of the time endured fighting a war that many at home questioned and protested. The talented and charismatic cast portrays a believable mixture of Americans who came from many racial/ethnic backgrounds and fought together in the Vietnam war."
Tom Hickey - Movie/TV Marketing Magazine
" Forgotten Heroes", is a film with a thought provoking title which offers the possibilities of a Vietnam era movie with a slightly different slant to it. "Forgotten Heroes" depicts the war with less emphasis on the graphic violence, language and emotional trama You might call it the "Kelly's Heroes" of Vietnam war films. Until now we have been brainwashed into believing all the men who fought in "the Nam" were drug using, psychotic, women and children killers, sometimes resorting to the unforgivable crime of "fragging" their own superior officers. Vietnam vets everywhere know that just isn't true. Which is why so many of them who have reportedly found it refreshing in that it goes against the grain of other more celebrated films of the past decade. "Forgotten Heroes" is in no danger of sweeping the Academy Awards. But at the same time, the film was refreshing and entertaining and in a day of multi-million dollar extravaganzas spewing out of Hollywood at an almost dizzying rate, a respectable low budget film that entertains is a rarity."
Mike Merrett - Everett/Malden Daily News Mercury
"Forgotten Heroes" is a good, solid, old-fashioned entertainment in a Vietnam setting without the distorted stereotypes of drug addicts, murderers, and rapist. I particularly liked the ending with President Kennedy's Inaugural ceremony pledge to defend freedom anywhere, anytime, at any cost. It was not only very effective but helped to put our Southeast Asian involvement in context. "
-Joseph N. Smith Director - Department of Military and Veterans Affairs - County of Los Angeles
"I was very pleased for the opportunity of watching Jack Marino's film "Forgotten Heroes." Despite its obvious flaws and shortcomings - - many of them related to the movie's extremely low budget - - "Forgotten Heroes" struck me as a heartfelt piece of filmmaking that delivers a few moments of genuine power. I'm looking forward to screening and reviewing Mr. Marino's future work."
-Michael Medved - co-host SNEAK PREVIEWS - WTTW Chicago - PBS TV
"Forgotten Heroes" is a feature film about the Vietnam War. Producer/Director Jack Marino made this film to dramatize the underlying reason for this war, which was a confrontation between freedom and communism. Freedom is portrayed by the desire of a Russian General, played by William Smith, to defect and the supreme sacrifice of the platoon that went into Cambodia to rescue him. What is unusual about this film is not that it is a positive portrayal of the American soldiers that served their country and the cause of freedom, but that the film shows heroism of the Vietnam war veterans.
By putting an American platoon against a Soviet squad, Producer/Director Jack Marino achieves a great cinematic feat, since for the first time as a movie audience we can see what the Vietnam war was all about. It was not about killing Vietnamese farmers, oppressed by an ancient feudal system that was supported by communism, but a fight between Soviet communism and American democracy. In scene after scene the drama is played out, the apparent contradiction between the aim of the American Platoon in fighting for their life, yet risking death to rescue an enemy general. The stark realism of this movie and its climatic sequence makes this film a very unique experience for all audiences, but especially for the children of the Vietnam veterans who can see for the first time a movie that portrays their fathers as heroes no longer forgotten.
The last sequence of the movie is a classic of the independent cinema. Demand to see this film in your theaters, you won't regret it. "Forgotten Heroes" is a movie for those who no longer need to regret that the Vietnam war veterans have not been properly recognized."
-Victor Alexander - Independent filmmaker and author
"Platoon", "Pearl Harbor", make room for "FORGOTTEN HEROES" very well produced,directed and REAL. After viewing this Vietnam war film (five times) I actually thought I was in the action, with the troops in Nam. When "F.H." reaches the BIG silver screens, it will definately draw huge fans of the war/drama genre and then some. William Smith's portrayal as a Russian officer is flawless, the direction by Jack Marino is perfect! Reminds me of the movie "BATAAN", gut wrenching suspense, and ALL ACTION!
- Anthony Cardoza - Producer, Director,Writer, Actor