THE HANOI HILTON —-the story of the American POWs held in North Vietnam deserved to be told, and some decent actors were enlisted for the 1987 telling: Michael Moriarty, Paul LeMat, David Soul.
Too bad, as this sludge about Hoa Lo, the infamous hell-hole of the title nickname, is one of the worst offenders among the gallery of cinema flotsam spilled by the Indochina War. Badly directed, poorly produced, ineptly written, lamely performed.
Amazing how chubby these prisoners remain after years of starvation and torture. Only Victory (the lousiest WW2 POW flick) had its actor-captives as well-fed. Fair warning was given when it was understood the producers were that sensitive duo Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan. Turkey vets should have known something was further suspect after reading Ronald Reagan’s recommendation on the video jacket. The tormented servicemen deserved a better treatment than this.
A flop, it only grossed $750,000. The director and author of the screenplay was Lionel Chetwynd. Other actors serving time are Stephen Davies, Lawrence Pressman, Jeffrey Jones, John Diehl and Aki Aleong. 125 minutes.