Can you say propaganda? From what I have read about the Vietnam War it was nothing like what goes on in the film. Factual matters aside it is not an awful film as far as war films go. The film does do a good job bringing attention to the fact that plenty of men died in this war. Though I must warn you, as you might expect from a John Wayne film, it is decidedly pro war.
I was a little turned off by the whole Big Bad Vietnamese vs. the Good Americans slant of the film. But you have to realize that this is John Wayne's own personal argument as to why the U.S. should be in Vietnam. It almost had that World War II feel to it where the good guys were waging the honourable battle against the evil empire. There is plenty of over-the-top melodrama in "The Green Berets" (what better to pump up the American film watching public with?) and the scene where they capture the enemy general actually made me laugh out loud.
What is strong about the film is the cinematography (despite the fact that it was filmed in Georgia and it doesn't really bear any resemblance to Vietnam) and the pacing of the film. It is neither too slow nor fast. Does look a bit dated at times, but get past that as it was filmed in 1968.
Colonel Kirby (John Wayne – True Grit, The Longest Day) leads his elite group of Special Forces to Vietnam to establish a base camp from which he can protect the local farmers from the Viet Cong and capture one of their colonels. While there the soldiers teach the farmers how to fight, update their technology and tend to their medical needs.
When the Viet Cong try to overtake the camp a battle ensues. The Special Forces then decide to go on the offensive and plan a raid deep in enemy territory that has as its goal the capture of an important Viet Cong colonel (Jack Soo – from television's Barney Miller).
-The Moviemakers: The Making of The Green Berets