From Apocalypse Now to Forrest Gump, there are hundreds of incredible films about the Vietnam War, but there’s only one movie focused on the radio waves of Vietnam. Starring Robin Williams, the 1987 movie “Good Morning, Vietnam” is loosely based on the experiences of Armed Forces Radio DJ Adrian Cronauer. In the film, Cronauer is hugely popular with American soldiers but infuriates his superiors with his irreverent style and antics. Here are the best quotes from Good Morning Vietnam.
“I hate that you people never salute me.”
- Lt. Steven Hauk: You know, I hate that you people never salute me. I am a lieutenant and would like salutes occasionally, that’s what being a higher rank is all about.
The Abbreviation Scene With Military Jargon
- Adrian Cronauer: Seeing as how the VP’s such a VIP, shouldn’t we keep the PC on the QT, ’cause if it leaks to the VC he could end up MIA, and then we’d all be put on KP.
“My whole life passed before my eyes, and it wasn’t even interesting to me.
- Edward Garlick: A truck’s bumper was this close to my face. My whole life passed before my eyes, and it wasn’t even interesting to me.
“Sometimes you’ve got to go specifically out of your way to get into trouble.”
- Adrian Cronauer: That’s it. I’m reading’ this.
- Edward Garlick: No, I can’t let you do that.
- Adrian Cronauer: Oh, Edward, don’t you ever do anything that’s not by the book?
- Edward Garlick: Not when I get into trouble. No, I don’t.
- Adrian Cronauer: You know, Eddie, sometimes you’ve got to specifically go out of your way to get into trouble. It’s called fun.
- Edward Garlick: What’s that? Come on.
- Adrian Cronauer: Take some chances once in a while, Edward. That’s what life’s all about. Find anything?
- Adrian Cronauer: No, I’ll have to make something up… Hey, we’re back. That last two seconds of silence was Marcel Marceau‘s newest hit single, “Walkin In The Wind.” And now here are the headlines. Ah! Here they come at you right now.
- The Pope actually found to be Jewish, Liberace is Anastasia… and Ethel Merman jams Russian radar.
- The East Germans today claimed that the Berlin Wall was a fraternity prank.
- Also, the Pope decided today to release Vatican-related bath products, an incredible thing. Yes, it’s the new Pope-on-a-Rope. That’s right. Pope-on-a-Rope. Wash with it, go straight to heaven. Thank you!
- Ethel Merman was today used as test to jam Russian radar. Here’s a brief of that jamming.“Oh, I’ve got a feeling That love is here to stay.” When asked for a reply, the Russians went, “What the hell was that?”
- Here’s a news flash. Today President Lyndon Johnson passed a highway beautification bill. The bill basically said that his daughters could not drive in a convertible on public highways.
- Adrian Cronauer: Hey, we got a great show comin’ your way today. Former Vice President Richard Nixon‘s in town. That’s right, the big Dick is here. Get ready.
“Your ass is grass, and I’m a lawn mower.”
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: You better stay cool. You better not get involved in anything. You better not even come within range of anything that happens, or your ass is grass, and I’m a lawn mower. Am I being fairly clear?
- Adrian Cronauer: Yes, sir.
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: “Sir”? Do you see anything on this uniform indicating an officer? What does three up and three down mean to you, Airman?
- Adrian Cronauer: End of an inning?
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: Sergeant Major! Now, you get the hell out of here right now.
“I can’t even make fun of Richard Nixon, and there’s a man who’s screaming out to be made fun of!”
- Adrian Cronauer: I’m sayin’ “I’m through,” Ed. I’m tired of people telling me what I can’t say. “This news isn’t official.” “That comment is too sarcastic.” I can’t even make fun of Richard Nixon and there’s a man who’s screaming out to be made fun of!
“You’re also very quiet. And I’m not used to girls being that quiet unless they’re medicated.”
- Adrian Cronauer: (to Trinh) You know, you’re very beautiful. You’re also very quiet. And I’m not used to girls being that quiet unless they’re medicated. Normally, I go out with girls who talk so much you could hook them up to a wind turbine, and they could power a small New Hampshire town.
“I just want to report the truth. It’ll be a nice change of pace.”
- (Adrian sees the story about the bombing that he witnessed, and he starts taking it to the control room, going past the two censors.)
- Censor #1: What do you think you’re doing? You know you’re forbidden to read anything not checked by this office.
- Adrian Cronauer: What was there to check? I was there.
- Censor #1: You know the rules, airman. If this is a legitimate news story, it must go through proper channels.
- Adrian Cronauer: (pointing to the blood on his shirt) Look, Tweedledee, it’s an actual event. What do you think this came from? Shaving? It’s the truth. I just want to report the truth. It’ll be a nice change of pace.
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: What’s going on here?
- Adrian Cronauer: Sir, will you listen to me?
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: (reads the story) This is not official news, airman. As far as I’m concerned, it didn’t happen.
- Adrian Cronauer: It did happen.
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: You shut your mouth!
- Adrian Cronauer: What are you afraid of, Dickerson? People might find out there’s a war going on?
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: This news is not official.
- Adrian Cronauer: You wanna know the assumption is perfectly safe around here? Well, it’s not. The fighting’s not in the hills, it’s downtown. It’s a couple of f**king blocks!
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: I said it’s none of your g*ddamn business!
- Adrian Cronauer: I see your point. I’m sorry. Once I get inside and hit these air conditioners, I get a little dizzy. Thanks for setting me straight.
Who Let Him In Here?
- (An Army sergeant demands to know who allowed a Vietnamese kid named Tuan in the bar)
- Adrian Cronauer: That’s all right. I did. Hey, come on now. If you kick out the gooks, the next thing, you have to kick out the chinks, the spicks, the spooks and kikes. All that’s gonna be left in here are a couple of brain-dead rednecks, and what fun would that be?
Who Is the Enemy?
- Adrian Cronauer: (to Tuan who’s hiding from him) I know about the bombing, Sparky. No wonder you hauled ass. You were my friend. I trusted you.
- Adrian Cronauer: (shouting) You hear me?
- Tuan: (hidden) You a naive man, Cronauer. You take a stupid side. Now you have to go. You’re better off.
- Adrian Cronauer: That’s not the f**king point! You understand me? I fought to get you into that bar! And then you blow the f**king place up! Listen… I gave you my friendship… and my trust! And now they tell me that my best friend is the g*ddamn enemy!
- Tuan: (in tears, showing himself) Enemy? What is enemy? You killing my own people so many miles from your home. We not the enemy! You the enemy!
- Adrian Cronauer: You used me to kill two people! Two people died in that f**king bar!
- Tuan: Big f**king deal! My mother is dead. And my older brother, who be 29 years old, he dead! Shot by Americans! My neighbor, dead! His wife, dead. Why? Because we’re not human to them! We’re only little Vietnamese… and I’m stupid enough to save your bullsh*t life at An Lac.
“You are in more dire need of a __________ than any white man in history.”
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: Welcome back.
- Adrian Cronauer: Thank you, Sergeant. I’ve missed you.
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: I’m informing you that you’re outta here. I want your bags packed and ready to go tomorrow afternoon.
- You don’t have the power. I’ll take this right to the authorities.
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: I am the authorities, you moron! Oh, I got your pansy ass in a sling now, Cronauer. Who’s Tuan? The guys who flew you in from An Lac radioed they’d picked up a young South Vietnamese boy with you and Garlick. Who is this South Vietnamese boy?
- He’s a friend from my class who risked his ass to save my life.
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: A friend? Your friend is a VC terrorist.
- Yeah, and my mother’s a werewolf, right? Yeah.
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: Tuan is also known as Phan Duc Tho. He’s currently wanted by the South Vietnamese police in connection with several bombings in th area… including the one at Jimmy Wah’s. Surely you’re familiar with that incident. Did you ever wonder how a young South Vietnamese boy gets into and out of VC-held territory? It’s dangerous out there. Things just jump out at you. And yet this boy can get in and out without a scratch. And what about Jimmy Wah’s? Didn’t you ever wonder why you were pulled out… just moments before the whole place blew up? Or are you normally not that inquisitive? (shows a photo to Adrian) Friends of Phan Duc Tho. These three were executed shortly after this photo was taken. Your friend is next.
- Adrian Cronauer: (shocked)
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: I don’t recommend that you tangle with me on this one, Airman. There’s not too many high-ranking officers would be sympathetic to a serviceman with links to terrorists. The army is kind of quirky that way. A conviction on the charge of treason against the United States carries with it some penalties… kind of on the stiff side, if you know what I mean. I have arranged for an honorable discharge, provided you leave without incident.
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: Ten hut.
- General Taylor: At ease.
- General Taylor: Cronauer, I’m sorry as hell about this thing. G*ddamn it, I like you, son. I like what you do. Most of all, I like what you’ve done for the men. But facts are facts. This could give the army a black eye. I’m not gonna cover for you this time, son.
- Adrian Cronauer: Sir? What about the show?
- General Taylor: We’ll handle it. I’m sorry, son.
- Adrian Cronauer: Why’d you do this?
- Sergeant Major Dickerson: I don’t like your style, your politics or your sense of humor. I don’t like what you say or how you say it. From now on, the fighting men of Vietnam will hear exactly what they’re supposed to hear. You’re on a DC from Tan Son Nhut airport tomorrow at 0100 hours. I recommend you pack quietly. That’s all I have for you, Airman.
- Adrian Cronauer: (to Sergeant Major Dickerson as he walks away) You know… you’re in more dire need of a blow job than any white man in history.
- General Taylor: Woah, Dick, put the brakes on. I wanted to wait until the airman left to talk with you. Dick, I’m transferring you.
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: Transferring me? Where to, sir?
- General Taylor: You’re going to Guam.
- Sgt. Major Dickerson: Guam sir? There’s nothing going on in Guam. Why Guam?
- General Taylor: Dick, I’ve covered for you a lot of times cause I thought you were a little crazy. But you’re not crazy, you’re mean. And this is just radio. (Walks to the elevator and laughs to himself)
- General Taylor: “More dire need of a blowjob than any white man in history.” That’s funny.
The Origional Good Morning Vietnam Trailer
Here’s the original movie trailer for Good Morning Vietnam:
Life in the Army will never be the same after an unforgettable wake-up call from Academy Award winner Robin Williams in the smash hit comedy, “Good Morning, Vietnam”. Williams delivers a tour de force performance in the role critics agree he was born to play – legendary armed forces radio DJ Adrian Cronauer. Deployed to Saigon to host a morning radio show during the Vietnam War, Cronauer’s sidesplitting antics and rapid-fire wit make him an instant hit with the troops in the field but soon get him in hot water with his by-the-book superiors. An unforgettable supporting cast and a red-hot soundtrack of 1960s hits make this the quintessential Robin Williams comedy.
Good Morning Vietnam Cast: Where Are They Now?
- Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer: After a long and notable career in stand-up comedy and acting, Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California on August 11th, 2014. According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, Williams was the victim of an apparent suicide.
- Forest Whitaker as Edward Garlick: Almost two decades after Good Morning Vietnam, Whitaker won an Academy Award in 2006 for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the film The Last King of Scotland. In addition to acting, producing and directing, Whitaker also has his own multimedia company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, and is an active supporter of several charitable organizations.
- Bruno Kirby as Lt. Steven Hauk: Besides Good Morning Vietnam, some of Kirby’s other more famous roles included playing Billy Crystal‘s best friend in both When Harry Met Sally… (1989) and City Slickers (1991) as well as his scene in Rob Reiner‘s cult hit This Is Spinal Tap (1984). Kirby died on August 14, 2006, after battling leukemia.
- Robert Wuhl as Marty Lee Dreiwitz: The stand-up comedian and former joke writer for Rodney Dangerfield, is memorable for his roles in Batman (1989), Bull Durham (1988), and the popular TV series, Arli$$ (1996-2002).
- Tom T. Tran (Tung Thanh Tran) as Tuan: The young actor who played Tuan in Good Morning Vietnam only occasionally acts in TV and film projects. Since his debut in Good Morning Vietnam, he’s only taken on new roles every 3-5 years.
- J.T. Walsh as Sgt. Major Dickerson: In addition to being Robin William’s nemesis in Good Morning Vietnam, J.T. Walsh also had notable roles in several major films, including Sling Blade (1996), Breakdown (1997) and A Few Good Men (1992). He died on February 27, 1998, in La Mesa, California from a heart attack.
Good Morning Vietnam: The Film That Made Robin Williams A Hollywood Star
Williams was already a popular actor thanks to the hit TV series Mork & Mindy (1982), but it wasn’t until Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) that he finally got his big break.
In the film, he played a fictionalized version of the real Air Forces Radio disc jockey, Adrian Cronauer. The role gave Williams an opportunity to show both sides of his personality, the quiet, sensitive side off-air and the manic, crazy man on the radio. Williams was also able to use his improvisation experience in his performance. Williams ad-libbed all of his radio broadcast scenes in the film, making his performance one of the best examples of improv in movies.
The sleeper hit was released in the void between Christmas and New Year’s on December 27, 1987. In just a few days, Good Morning Vietnam went on to become one of the most talked about movies of 1987 and the 3rd highest grossing film of 1988.
A rare entry into the genre of war comedies, Good Morning, Vietnam was praised by critics. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and 2 BAFTA awards and won an American Comedy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy.
Williams followed up the success of Good Morning Vietnam with a string of hit films, including Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), and Jumanji (1995), before winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Good Will Hunting (1997).
NERD NOTE: Barry Levinson, the director of “Good Morning, Vietnam”, forbid Adrian Cronauer and Robin Williams from meeting each other during production. According to Cronauer, Levinson “was afraid that if Robin and I met, that Robin would somehow start to do an unconscious imitation of me, which would change his characterization.” Williams and Cronauer finally met in person at the movie’s New York premiere.
The Best Good Morning Vietnam Quotes
Good Morning, Vietnam is more than just a Vietnam War movie. It’s a unique story that blends comedy and drama. This mixture, along with a great script and stellar performance from Robin Williams, elevated it above all other 1980s comedies.
Good Morning, Vietnam is full of memorable one-liners and meaningful conversations. And here’s the best part, many of the Robin Williams Good Morning Vietnam quotes on this list were improvised.
What did you think about Robin Williams’ performance in the film? Did we miss any of your favorite quotes from Good Morning Vietnam? If so, please let us know in the comments.