The Anderson Platoon. 1967. France. Written and directed by Pierre Schoendoerffer. 35mm. 63 min.
Made while the filmmaker was embedded in a 33-man platoon within the US Army’s 1st Cavalry Division, Pierre Schoendoerffer’s cinéma vérité documentary examines the daily life of soldiers during the Vietnam War. A veteran of the First Indochina War, Schoendoerffer saw the Vietnam War as that conflict’s successor, with US troops instead of French. Stanley Kubrick was an admirer of the film, and Kubrick’s use of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” in Full Metal Jacket is a direct tribute. Originally broadcast on French television, The Anderson Platoon aired on CBS in the US before going on to win the 1968 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.