Go Tell the Spartans (1978) Skirmishes, Ambushes And Booby Traps

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) movie poster film artwork burt lancaster vietnam war

This was a great surprise! Was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. Thought it be OK but had it chalked down as a low budget Vietnam war film, most probably by the numbers. It’s was getting late, I’ll watch the first hour to see if I like it. Two hours later I’m going to bed at way past midnight and up for work at 5.30, oopft I was mashed up but worth it especially when I saw these three classics pop up ……..

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) vietnam war explosion

James Hong aka Lo Pan from Big Trouble In Little China and freaky eyeball specialist Hannibal Chew from Blade Runner and also Evan C. Kim aka Loo from A Fistful Of Yen (The Kentucky Fried Movie). Not only that he also did the voice for Mercury in the Space Sentinels. Plus Marc Singer aka Mike Donovan from sci-fi classic V stars too. Damn man I nearly lost my shit…

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) cowboy vietnam Evan C Kim 2Go Tell the Spartans (1978) James Hong Cpl. Stephen Courcey

Geek out over, back to the movie. This low budget gem hits all those sweet spots. Hollywood legend Burt Lancaster stars, strutting around at 64 years old with a real limp from a dodgy knee. He gets to fire off so many brilliant lines and tells a story so good that you could turn up to any bachelor party, in any land and smash out that punchline, turn around, pick up your hat and walk into the night a total legend.

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) burt lancaster vietnam war asa barkerGo Tell the Spartans (1978) vietnam war helicopter dust blown up soldiers

Tagline – We’re getting strafed, shelled, bombed and blasted. And it isn’t even our damned war!

Burt plays Major Asa Barker, a field specialist and veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He is put in charge of a rag tag bunch of real misfits. We’ve seen them all before but they got a good bunch of quirks in this outfit. You got the classic war damaged Sgt. Oleonowski, an opium addict medic going by the name Cpl. Abraham Lincoln, wise talking communication officer Signalman Toffee. Then you get a translation expert Vietnamese local and total psychopath action machine, Cowboy.

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) Evan C. Kim jungle attack vietnam war

Plus throw in a rookie Lt. Raymond Hamilton upgraded to Captain, who runs around with the constant squits and an itching for action to add some medals to his uniform, Capt. Alfred Olivetti. And last but not least, drafter demolition expert Cpl. Stephen Courcey .

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) Sgt Oleonowski Lt Raymond Hamilton

Major Asa Barker – “Sign him up to clap patrol”

Major Asa wonders “Why he’s drafted himself? no one drafts here”  This Vietnam story is set at the beginning of the war before the main cluster Fuc took over. So to draft yourself in was a rare event before the recruitment push later on. After the French army had been caught out by the hidden strength of the Viet Cong the Americans come in to assist the South Vietnamese against the communist North Vietnamese. Basically just another proxy Cold War pissing contest which caused a million deaths!

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) vietnam war battle front attackGo Tell the Spartans (1978) scar viet cong war vietnam vetran

Major Asa Barker “Are you sure we’re not in a loony bin? Sometimes I think we’re in a goddamn loony bin!”

Directed by Ted Post who was responsible for the most bonkers addition to the Planet of the Apes film series with underground city run by telepathic humans plus he also got to direct Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan in Magnum Force.

Go Tell the Spartans (1978) burt lancaster vietnam war asa barker 2

If you like a good war film I thoroughly recommend giving this a go, it really has it it all.

Major Asa Barker – “My command is spread thinner than the hairs of a baby’s ass!”


5 thoughts on “Go Tell the Spartans (1978) Skirmishes, Ambushes And Booby Traps

  1. Glad u found this one. It is indeed a gem before Vietnam movies became the acceptable thing to make once Apocalypse and Oliver Stone came along. Kind of forgot about the cast filling out the roles behind Lancaster, one of my go to Hollywood legends when comprising a list of my faves. As many posters as I have in my collection, I NEED to add that one! lol. Since I’m always throwing a recommendation at you, have you seen Burt in Atlantic City? A later film in his career that is just a wonderful role for him.
    Carry on…………….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please keep firing away the recommendations when ever you feel like it.. It’s really why I do this.
      Burt Lancaster has always been a favourite of mine growing up and from all of westerns and war films it’s always been a pleasure to see him on the screen. The Train, Seven Days in May, Birdman and Run Silent Run Deep are big favorites but the one that truly blew my mind and resonated with me was The Swimmer which I saw this year. I don’t know what it was, maybe seeing him in such a different role, but even thinking back to it now it brings back how much I really enjoyed that performance, I was caught hook line and stinker.
      I haven’t seen Atlantic City and you know what I’m on the case and can’t wait to get involved. I try not to look at any plot details as I love going in as blind as possible.
      Yes Go Tell The Spartans was a joy. Really wasn’t expecting it and it caught me off guard how much I liked it.


      1. The Swimmer is a film that stays with you. Magnificent performance from Burt. The Train a classic! He was a real movie star right to the end in Field of Dreams. For a fun Burt flick, see Tough Guys with Kirk Douglas if you already haven’t. Pure fun.


        1. I went straight into Atlantic City last night and thoroughly enjoyed it Mike. So much so that I will be doing a post about it very soon. One thing I will say now, I couldn’t believe it had a happy ending, wasn’t expecting that at all 🙂 . Funny you mention Tough Guys,when he bought his new suit and fedora, the first thought that came in my head was Tough Guys…… I’m trying to get my mitts on Twilight’s Last Gleaming. I do like the sound of that.


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