January 30th, 2014: Uncommon Valor (1983)

Uncommon Valor

Cast and Crew: Ted Kotcheff (Director); John Milius (Producer); Wings Hauser (Associate Producer); James Horner (Score); Robert Stack, Reb Brown, Fred Ward, Randall “Tex” Cobb, Tim Thomerson, Gail Strickland, Jane Kaczmarek, Ken Framer, Michael Dudikoff

What It’s About: Retired Marine and father of a P.O.W Jason Rhodes (Gene Hackman) gathers a team of Vietnam vets (funded by the father of a P.O.W.) to mount a rescue operation when he finds evidence of where his son is being held.

Why Watch It Today?: An actor with a career as long as Gene Hackman’s is bound to include some “so bad it’s good” gems, and this P.O.W. rescue mission shoot-’em-up definitely qualifies as one of his, with a fantastically cheesy, chest-pounding ‘MERICA plot and a cast of character actors to die for (along with a little bonus  before-he-was-famous Patrick Swayze).  Uncommon Valor not only manages to beat Rambo II to this plot, it’s a better film. Hackman was born on this date in 1930-happy 84th to this retired legend!

Other Options: Superman, A Bridge to Far, The French Connection, Unforgiven, Young Frankenstein, Twilight, Superman IV

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