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Return with Honor 1999
Description: The storyline of U.S. warrior pilots shot down over North Vietnam who became POWs for up to 8 and a half years.
Released: 11 Jun 1999 Director: Freida Lee Mock, Terry Sanders Writers: Freida Lee Mock, Terry Sanders, Christine Z. Wiser Actors: Everett Alvarez, Ron Bliss, Fred Cherry, George Day Genres: Documentary
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See VIETNAM WAR U.S. PRISONERS OF .

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See Retorno con Honor (Return with.

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See Kenneth Cope Return With Hon.

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See Return with Honor.

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See Return With Honor Trailer - MO.

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See With Honor- Intro/ Rethink, Re.

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See Opening to return with honor T.

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See RETURN WITH HONOR.

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See TAKING IT HOME WITH ME - EFY T.

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See Closing to return with honor T.

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Return with Honor Reviews:

Boys face the camera and recant their prisoner of fight ordeal over thirty years ago yet their voice and mannerism do not betray any animosity nor cry for retribution. Instead there is humility and a surprising resilience and sanity you would hardly expect from boys isolated and tortured by North Vietnamese soldiers, some for as long as eight years. The remarkable film, "Return With Honor", chronicles in no uncertain terms about the strength of the American hero and the steadfastness to pride and dignity then and now, embodied in young cadets schooled at the Air Force Academy. It is a tale of young, determined airmen who leave their families behind to war a fight they hardly understood. Their missions are already known to the Viet Cong and they become simple prey to opponent fire. Those who survive are marched around unceremoniously as fight propaganda. One black airman is singled out for dishonor so as to break the morale of fellow black troops fighting in South Vietnam while other pilot, highly publicized in the cover of ‘Time Magazine' is made to look utterly powerless. They are place in the tombs of the ‘Hanoi Hilton' where their spirits are broken by their own torture as well as the horrific screams of the fellow pilots. Imprisoned, they learn to war back. They develop their own communication with a 5x5 alphabetic code and their leaders, Risner, Denton, and Stockdale stand steadfast in their code of honor. Upon realization that they will not go home soon, they develop a shield epitomized by ‘tough luck' - getting test to confinement. One boy builds a house in his mind and repeatedly goes over the specifications while other memorizes all the squalor and humiliation that he will soon painfully sketch out on canvas. They memorize all 260 names of fellow pilots so that they can hold track of every other. They defiantly say the globe about their predicament, one blinks out in Morse Code the word ‘torture' as he is publicly displayed, other has both his middle fingers extended even as he bows in submission, while other writes to his wife about the ‘darkness at noon', his cryptic warning of his plight. Repeated attempts to escape only land them back in confinement with more torture while, ironically, they soon refuse early release because to do so would be to return without honor. Finally with the Paris Peace Accords, they are released. One boy asked for a steak and 19 fried eggs and others cannot sleep on mattresses with clean sheets because they have had only concrete and wooden boards. Yet these men, robbed of productive years of their lives, are not embittered. One learns that a survivor of Auschwitz is greeting them and states he could be greeting her. They moved ahead with their lives - one (Pete Petersen) comes back as the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, other (John McCain) is a U.S. Senator, other (James Stockdale) becomes a Vice-Presidential Candidate. What makes "Return With Honor" a nice movie is that no one had to act their roles to give us a remarkable portrait of courageous Americans - by their mere retelling, they speak volumes about their steadfast character.


This movie says the storyline of folks who are living in your neighborhood who were named upon to endure things that no one could have to endure and did so with dignity, humor and honor that reflects on us all. No matter what your views are about the Vietnam fight or patriotism or America this storyline will touch you and enlarge your view of humanity in some way.


I saw this movie in March 1999 at the Cleveland International Movie Festival, and was blown away. Remarkably candid, disturbing, and honest revelations from Vietnam veterans about their captivity and release, combined with remarkable archival footage of the prisoners from the war, made this movie touching and inspiring. The directors are both previous Oscar winners, and this movie shows their experience and skill in the medium. Unbelievable movie about a hard topic, said by the veterans themselves.



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