TIME TO ROCK IT FROM THE DELTA TO THE DMZ!
In 1965, Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) arrives in Saigon to serve as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio Service, but starts breaking protocol right away. Williams’s breakthrough, a story inspired by the real-life Cronauer, was a big commercial and critical hit, a perfect vehicle for his talents both as a comedian and actor. On the air he’s incredibly funny and energetic, but when Cronauer faces the consequences of the war, Williams’s dramatic skills are also tested. As in Diner (1982), Barry Levinson finds a very effective balance between drama and comedy, but there are times when we can feel a little too much how reality has been squeezed into a formula, scored by pop hits of the day.
1987-U.S. 120 min. Color. Produced by Larry Brezner, Mark Johnson. Directed by Barry Levinson. Screenplay: Mitch Markowitz. Cast: Robin Williams (Adrian Cronauer), Forest Whitaker (Edward Garlick), Tung Thanh Tran (Tuan), Chintara Sukapatana, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl… J.T. Walsh.
Golden Globe: Best Actor (Williams).
Quote: “The Mississippi River broke through a protective dike today. What is a protective dike? Is it a large woman that says ‘Don’t go near there! But Betty – Don’t go near there! Don’t go down by the river!’… No, we can’t say ‘dyke’ on the air, we can’t even say ‘lesbian’ anymore, it’s ‘women in comfortable shoes.'” (Williams on the air)
Last word: “The director Barry Levinson deliberately kept us apart. He was afraid that if Robin and I met, that Robin would somehow start to do an unconscious imitation of me, which would change his characterization. So we were kept deliberately apart all through the filming until the film was supposed to premiere in New York. Robin and I were introduced before the film was shown. We shook hands and he said, ‘Well, I’m glad to finally meet you.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m glad to finally meet me, too.’ We got along fine after that.” (Cronauer, USA Today)