Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) was directed by Barry Levinson and written by Mitch Markowitz.
This is the signature, oft-quoted scene of the movie. The scene takes place when Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) arrives in Vietnam. He is transferred from Crete to Vietnam as a military radio DJ. This scene represents quite well the rest of the movie, and the general feeling among soldiers in Vietnam at that time, with a Robin Williams twist of course. I shall attempt to break it down...one might say I am explicating lyrics, except this is a monologue. This is track one on the soundtrack.
Someone roughly drags this poor guy out of bed at 0530. He hurredly dresses, then goes into the studio and selsects a few records to play. He then sits down and puts his headphones on. Cronauer starts his first morning broadcast with the following:
"Good Morning, Vietnam!!! Hey, this is not a test, this is rock 'n roll. Time to rock it from the delta to the DMZ. Is that me or does it sound like an Elvis Presley movie? Viva, Da Nang. Oh, viva, Da Nang. Da Nang me, Da Nang me. Why don't they get a rope and hang me? Hey, is it too early for being that loud? Hey, too late. It's 0600, what's the "o" stand for? Oh, my God, it's early. Speaking of early:"
"(hums The Twilight Zone theme song) Picture a man going on a journey beyond sight and sound. He's left Crete, he's entered the demilitarized zone. What's a demilitarized zone? sounds like something from The wizard of Oz."
"(female voice) Oh no...don't go in there!! (deep voice)HO HE HO HO-Che Minh. (Female Voice) Oh look landed in Saigon, you're among the little people now.. (midget voice imitation)We represent the ARVN Army. The northern army. (male voice) Oh, no, follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. (Witch Voice) "Oh, I'll get you my pretty!" (Dorothy) Oh, my God, it's the wicked witch of the north. It's Hanoi Hanna! (Witch Voice) "Now, little G.I., you and your little Tutu too.!"
A parallel is drawn to the morale of the soldiers. "...hang me?" speaks of the blinding desire some draftees had to leave, by any means possible, even if it was in a pine box. Vietnam, and war zones in general are called foreign. He is drawing a parallel to Korea, which was a far different conflict then Vietnam. The Wizard of Oz and Vietnam are compared. It implies that the US just dropped into a foreign land without knowing what was happening.
"(female voice)Oh Adrian.. Adrian...giggle...What are you doing Adrian? (Cronauer)Oh Hannah you slut, you've been down everything but the Titanic, stop it right now (witch)I'm melting...HEHEHE... (Cronauer)But hey, here is some advice...Don't eat at a restaurant located next to a pound."
A very oblique reference is made to the stereotype that domestic pets were consumed as meals in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.
"Hey, can you tell me what's your name? "My name is Roosevelt E. Roosevelt." Roosevelt, what town are you stationed in? "I'm stationed in Poontang." Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What's the weather like out there? "It's hot! Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest thing is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking." Well, tell me what it feels like. "Fool, it's hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It's damn hot! It's so damn hot, I saw these little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It's that hot! Do you know what I'm talking about?" What do you think it's going to be like tonight? "It's gonna be hot and wet! That's nice if you're with a lady, but ain't no good if you're in the jungle!" Thank you, Roosevelt."
Roosevelt is supposed to be the stereotypical US soldier. He is supposed to be an urban black guy who couldn't afford an educational deferment. The soldiers had it rough. This speaks of the current social climate in Vietnam. Buddhist monks were committing suicide by burning themselves to death in protest of the war. Robin Williams also makes light of the heat, which was very hard on the soldiers, and led to increased rates of malaria.
"Here is a song coming your way right now...Nowhere To Run - Martha and the Vandellas YES!"
The selection of this song represents just how few options there were for soldiers in Vietnam. There truly was no where to run. It is track two on the film soundtrack.
Wasting far to much time, I managed to transcribe this. This is my first time attempting something like this, msg me if I made a mistake. This is being used under the fair use section of copyright law. I am not sure if this was scripted or a masterful piece of ad-libbing by Robin Williams. See Adrian Cronauer for a good in depth analysis of Cronauer by Davidian.
Thanks to reefer for correcting me. It isn't Noorthern Army, it's ARVN Army.