84 From ’84: Purple Hearts

Purple Hearts

Purple Hearts poster

In middle of the Vietnam War, a Navy surgeon and a nurse fall in love. Their affection for one another provides a striking contrast to the violence of warfare


  • Ken Wahl as Don Jardian
  • Cheryl Ladd as Deborah Solomon
  • Stephen Lee as “Wizard”
  • Annie McEnroe as Hallaway
  • Paul McCrane as Brenner
  • Cyril O’Reilly as Zuma
  • David Harris as Hanes
  • Hillary Bailey as Jill
  • R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant “Gunny”

1984 viewing

When I was growing up, my dad was into World War II history. He read everything on the subject, watched all the documentaries and was well versed on all aspects of the war.

While I enjoyed the subject and talking about it with him I had an interest in the Vietnam war. In 1984 that was a tough subject. The war was still a fresh wound in American history and no one wanted to talk about it. I watched movies on the war and later would read books on it and study the subject in college.

All that to say, I didn’t see Purple Hearts in 1984. I was a fan of Cheryl Ladd from Charlie’s Angels but I missed this movie.

Let’s see how it looks today…

40th Anniversary Re-watch

As romantics wartime movies go this is one of the better ones set during the Vietnam war. Maybe because it’s the only one I can think of set during the Vietnam war.

Ladd was coming off her successful stint on Charlie’s Angels and a couple TV movies. Wahl was a rising movie star whose career was cut short by a broken neck in the late 80s. He’d continue to work through the mid-90s until the pain became to great and he retired from acting.

Wahl’s probably best known for playing Vinnie Terrance on the TV series Wiseguy. For his role in Wiseguy he was nominated for three Golden Globes and won the award in 1990.

Wahl’s character, Navy surgeon Don Jardian, is numb from his increasing time in-country dealing with injuries and dying soldiers. On a trip to Da Nang he meets Ladd’s character, Navy nurse Deborah Solomon. Jardian is immediately attracted to Solomon and slowly begins to ‘feel’ again.

Jardian takes his leave and visits Solomon in Da Nang. With his frequent trips Jardian must accept more dangerous missions to keep getting leave.

Purple Hearts da nang

During one of the missions Jardian is sent with a group of Navy seals on a rescue mission. A mission loosely based on real life events. The seal team is well cast and characterized. Jardian proves himself as capable in the field as in the operating room.

Critics at the time blasted Purple Hearts calling it a waste. I completely disagree. I enjoyed this movie. Wahl and Ladd to a good job as well as the supporting cast. With an appearance by Gunnery sergeant R. Lee Ermey, before his Full Metal Jacket fame.

Favorite Line:

As soon as you hit the deck I want to see nothing but assholes and elbows heading for that tree line

Purple Hearts is a good romantic movie and a good Vietnam war movie. It’s not streaming free on any service. You can rent it on Amazon or YouTube. If it every hits a free service it’s definitely worth watching.

Did you watch Purple Hearts? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on X(Twitter). The main Geekster channel is @TRNSocial and I’m @MileHighSamurai You can also find me on Bluesky @MileHighSamurai

6/10 stars

6 Stars

Check out the entire 84 From ’84 movie series

About Pitfall Gary 146 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

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