Hearts and Minds

Released 1974


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Movie Summary

Peter Davis (II)
Hearts and Minds is a 1974 documentary directed by Peter Davis. The documentary takes a look at the opposing sides of the Vietnam War by using archival news footage and interviews of the people involved in the debate. The film tries to determine if the leaders of America allowed their racist opinions towards Asians and their own mere arrogance to prolong the length of the war. He uses footage from the war itself, funerals from the soldiers who died in the conflict and depictions of the Vietnamese people themselves to make a case. One of the most memorial quotes included in the film is from General William Westmoreland, who stated "The Orient doesn't put the same high price on life as does a Westerner." Davis includes a wide range of people in this documentary either through an interview with him or previous statements made to the news media. Some of these people include Georges Bidault, Clark Clifford, POW George Coker, Kay Dvorshock, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Daniel Ellsberg. He also goes back to Vietnam to talk to the people about why they fought for so long and what life is like for the since the war has ended.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    San Francisco Chronicle

    The unnerving brilliance of the film owes to the director's skill at assembling information and allowing it to speak for itself.

  • 80

    Washington Post Desson Thomson

    Davis, who won an Oscar for Best Documentary, may not have agreed with presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon on the war, but he heeded Johnson's call to fight for hearts and minds....

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The problem is that the film is at such pains to make its points that it doesn't trust us to find our own connections.

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More Info About This Movie


Documentary, Drama


Politics, Military & War, Independent, History