A Bright Shining Lie

A Bright Shining Lie

Director: Terry George Cast: Bill Paxton, Amy Madigan, Vivian Wu

DVD (Color)

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Adapted from Neil Sheehan's 1988 Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller, this $14-million TV docudrama, re-creating the Vietnam War with convincing combat footage, was the most expensive two-hour movie ever produced by HBO Pictures. Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann (Bill Paxton) spends ten years (1962-72) in Vietnam. When Vann exposes falsified casualty figures, deceptive battle reports, and other lies about the war, journalist Steven Burnett (Donal Logue) relays the truth to American newspapers, and Vann takes heat from higher-ups. Meanwhile, he's involved with a Vietnamese teacher (Vivian Wu), and his wife (Amy Madigan) is forced to lie so he won't be court-martialed for sexual relations with an underage Vietnamese girl. Back for a second tour, he gets another young Vietnamese woman pregnant and is forced to marry her. Returning in 1968 as a civilian, he's decorated and eventually promoted to general for his contributions during the Tet offensive. The music track features Grace Slick singing "Somebody to Love" while peasant villages are bombed. Filmed in Lompburi, Thailand. Premiered May 30, 1998 on HBO.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2012
UPC: 0883316481370
Original Release: 1998
Rating: R
Source: Hbo Archives
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Color]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Surround]
Time: 1:58:00
Sales rank: 31,145

Special Features

Closed Caption; Complete with cast bios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Paxton John Paul Vann
Amy Madigan Mary Jane Vann
Vivian Wu Lee
Donal Logue Steven Burnett
Eric Bogosian Doug Elders
Kurtwood Smith Gen Wm. Westmoreland
Robert John Burke Capt. Frank Drummond
James Rebhorn Ambassador
Ed Lauter Gen. Fred Weyland
Harve Presnell Gen. Paul Harkins
Pichariva Narakbunchai Annie
Les J.N. Mau Gen. Chinh
Lim Kay Tong Col. Huynh Van Cao

Technical Credits
Terry George Director,Screenwriter
Nicholas Beauman Editor
Joan Bergin Costumes/Costume Designer
Lois Bonfiglio Executive Producer
Steven Borne Sound/Sound Designer
Gary Chang Score Composer
Jack Conroy Cinematographer
Dianne Crittenden Casting
Thomas S. Drescher Score Composer
Greg Ricketson Producer
Graham "Grace" Walker Production Designer
Sherry Whitfield Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Bright Shining Lie
1. Clearer Times [8:31]
2. "Skilled and Experienced" [8:18]
3. A Matter of Perspective [6:13]
4. Reluctant Warriors [6:45]
5. The Truth Hurts [7:00]
6. A Promising Career [10:15]
7. The US Aide Program [11:02]
8. Who's Side Are You On? [8:09]
9. Vann's Personal War [12:26]
10. Ill-Advised [5:05]
11. Saigon Under Siege [6:30]
12. Vietnamization [6:44]
13. A Shrewd Strategist [10:16]
14. America's Warrior [6:29]

Customer Reviews

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A Bright Shining Lie 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Bright Shining Lie: Rates as one of the most informative eye opening films I have ever seen on the inner workings of the War in Viet Nam. It takes you on a ride that brings you to the egde of the realization that we ( ? ) did not want to win the war in Southeast Asia. This film shows all too clearly, that one life means nothing if you try to turn the tide of truth against those that see truth in a very different light. John Paul Vann gave his life in pursuit of ideals that were not mainstream. A very gripping and frustrating film in the fact that it exposes lies that many hoped would remain lies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An emotionally charged bio-pic with a hety dose of realism. Bill Paxton never better as American anti-hero John Paul Van. Great locations, soundtrack and all around performances. Shows what $14,000,000.00 can buy when it's spent the right way.
valkyrieJZ More than 1 year ago
this film is a very close reflection of the effect the Vietnam war had ob both america society and the vietnamese population as a whole. it highlights most of the corruption that went by and the military ineptitudes of the US top brass fighting a guerilla war with WWII tactics! good viewing. had a problem initially as the DVD is not all region!