Keep in cadence with the "Platoon" quiz



By: Olivia Cantor

6 Min Quiz

Image: Hemdale Film Corporation

About This Quiz

The 1986 film, "Platoon" gave moviegoers another angle about how war affects the psyche of soldiers. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker and war veteran Oliver Stone, the film remains a gem. Think you can score a hit with this quiz? Take it now to find out!

The story’s main character is a clean-cut newbie in what sector of society?

"Platoon" is a story about soldiers and what happens to them during their military duty.


Platoon is set during what war?

The film takes place in 1967. This was the height of the Vietnam War, and the protests against it.


"Apocalypse Now" star Martin Sheen’s son stars in "Platoon." Which son was this?

Newbie soldier Chris Taylor was played by Charlie Sheen. Like his dad, Martin, he also flew to the Philippines to shoot this war film.


Soldier Chris Taylor is heard doing this from time to time, via voiceover.

Chris tries to connect with the outside word by writing letters. We hear his thoughts about things via voiceover while he writes them down.


While many soldiers were drafted into the war against their will, Chris was mocked by his fellow soldiers because he did this to join the army.

Chris Taylor is an army volunteer. Unlike most of his peers, he wasn’t drafted, but he went anyway.


Soldier Chris Taylor writes his letters to be sent to this special relative. Who gets the letters?

Chris is writing to his grandmother. He seems to be closer to her than to his own parents.


It’s the Vietnam War, but Chris and his company of soldiers are tasked to do some duties near the border of this country. Which other Asian country is this?

Chris’ infantry platoon is detailed in Vietnam, but near the border of Cambodia. They follow the commands of their newbie lieutenant and two veteran sergeants.


This military command to prepare a weapon for firing was shouted by Chris’ army bosses. What is this phrase?

“Lock and load!” is a military-originated term to command soldiers to prepare their weapons for firing. It’s also common to hear this in video games with military-style gun fights.


Which "Pirates of the Caribbean" star had a tiny role in this film?

Johnny Depp played a soldier named Lerner. However, he didn’t have many speaking lines.


Before volunteering for the army, what life-altering move did Chris Taylor make?

Chris Taylor was in college before deciding to drop out to join the army. That’s why his parents weren’t talking to him, but grandma was.


Aside from enemies, newbie soldiers like Chris also fight off discomfort in the tropical jungle. Which small creatures invaded his body?

Black ants are very itchy when coming in contact with human skin. Chris learned this the hard way in Vietnam.


It’s one of the few times that a film discusses the discrepancy of getting soldiers from different social classes. What poverty-related issue did the soldiers mention to Chris Taylor, in their analysis of soldiers getting drafted?

Chris observed that some of his peers came from many smaller towns all over the US, and most of them were drafted more than the richer kids. That’s why they mocked him when they learned that he volunteered for the war, unlike them.


When Junior, a fellow soldier, complained that he couldn’t walk due to his supposedly injured foot, his commander ordered another soldier to throw this small insect at the complaining soldier. Which multi-footed insect was this?

To scare the soldier into following him, Sgt. Barnes told another soldier to throw a centipede at Junior’s aching foot. Psychological tactics like these are very rampant during wartime, but older war movies tend to gloss over it.


Sgt. Barnes did the unthinkable when interrogating the rural villagers about harboring the enemy. What did he do that disturbed the peace?

Sgt. Barnes killed a hysterical old lady in the village. The lady’s husband was being suspected as an enemy sympathizer, but the shooting was unprovoked.


One of the platoon leaders, Sgt. Barnes, is a scarred man. In which part of his body would you find his worst scars?

Tom Berenger played Sgt. Barnes, the more experienced leader, but also the scariest. It doesn’t help that he has a scar on his face that makes him look fierce all the time.


Johnny Depp played a soldier with special language skills. What other role does he have in the platoon, aside from being a soldier?

Lerner is a soldier who’s also a Vietnamese-English interpreter. During war time, it’s essential for someone to know the enemy's language.


If Sgt. Barnes is the hardened commander, Sgt. Elias is the more relaxed but also experienced commander in the story. Which veteran Hollywood character actor portrayed him?

Willem Dafoe played the more charismatic but equally experienced Sgt. Elias. The platoon guys love his character more than the other sergeant.


Big Harold was one of the young African-American soldiers in the platoon, a kind soul to newbie Chris Taylor. Which veteran Hollywood actor-director portrayed him?

A young Forest Whitaker played Big Harold in "Platoon." He has gone on to play many relevant roles in cinema, even directing films.


As the newbie Chris Taylor indeed saw in his tour of duty, the first casualty of war is ___, as the film’s tagline says.

The first casualty of war is innocence. Christ Taylor tries to negotiate with his.


Chris Taylor’s platoon found them digging these things, many times, under intense tropical heat. What were they digging?

The platoon always digs foxholes where they could hide and take cover when doing operations.


Aside from experiencing the war for the first time, Chris also took a hit of this recreational drug for the first time, in the company of his fellow soldiers.

The clean-cut, rich, college dropout tried marijuana for the first time with his platoon peers.


Because they’re soldiers, Chris was invited to smoke marijuana using this cylindrical object as a bong of sorts. What was this?

Sgt. Elias pulled out a rifle and used the barrel to exhale marijuana smoke from one end. On the other side of the barrel, Chris inhaled the smoke.


Some of the platoon soldiers kept their ​vices close to them at all times, even during duty. What did some soldiers insert in their helmet lining, for easy access anytime?

Vietnam era US Army helmets had bands on them. The bands were useful to insert and keep small objects in place, like a cigarette pack, which is what most soldiers kept there.


When nearing the Cambodian border, Chris Taylor noted in his letter to his grandmother that they reached their destination during this special yearly holiday — but it was an ordinary “work day” for them. Which holiday was this?

It was New Year’s Day as Chris and his platoon walked near the Cambodian border. But for them is was just another day.


Chris Taylor’s platoon chanced upon a rural village suspected of helping out the enemy. What evidence did they see to support this claim?

Some soldiers ransacked the small rice granary containers and other hiding places in the village to find out they had high-powered weapons hidden there. This raised their suspicions.


In the rural village, Chris saw how his fellow soldiers could easily violate the human rights of others, like the soldier who smashed a villager’s body part with his rifle. Which body part was smashed?

The first kind of soldier abuse Chris saw was his fellow soldier smashing the head of a villager with his rifle butt. The villager wasn’t doing anything violent, though.


Chris stopped some of his fellow soldiers from committing another crime involving the villagers’ young girls. What crime was this?

Some of the soldiers were ready to rape little girls in the village. Chris helped to stop this..


Due to the illegal killings in the rural village, Sgt. Barnes could be investigated and it could lead to this type of military trial. What is this trial called?

If Sgt. Barnes is suspected of illegal killing, he will undergo a court martial. Platoon relations became tense because of this.


Chris Taylor’s platoon later encountered this when they all walked into an enemy-rigged area.

The enemy had a ready ambush for the soldiers when they walked in an area.


Due to the possibility of being subjected to a court-martial​, Sgt. Barnes took advantage of the ambush when he saw Sgt. Elias. What did Barnes do to him?

Sgt. Barnes coldheartedly shot Sgt. Elias when he saw the latter running towards them to warn of enemy coming. Barnes shot Elias to eliminate any witness in the village incident.


To the soldiers’ surprise, they saw Sgt. Elias still alive while they were being hauled out of the enemy area ambush. From which military vehicle did they witness Elias emerging from the woods?

The remaining platoon soldiers were being hauled out by helicopter from the ambush area. But they saw a bloodied Sgt. Elias running after them, being chased by the enemy, even after Sgt. Barnes told everyone that the enemy already killed Elias.


Chris later realized that their tour of duty is about struggling to keep one’s strength and ___.

The real struggle of soldiers is keeping one’s strength and sanity.


Caught in another crossfire, Chris Taylor encountered Sgt. Barnes, whom he suspected of killing Sgt. Elias. What did Barnes do to Chris during the mayhem?

Sgt. Barnes looked frenzied and nearly bludgeoned Chris to death. An aerial bomb blasting nearby separated the two of them.


When Chris Taylor finally got fed up, what did he do to Sgt. Barnes, after the officer attempted to bludgeon him?

Chris Taylor shot out in the open while shouting war cries. He also shot Sgt. Barnes when he saw his commander asking for help.


In the end, the lesson that the war taught Chris Taylor was this: Sometimes, the real enemy is ____.

Perhaps in the time of war, the real enemy is ourselves, mused Chris. Indeed, it’s a traumatic realization for anyone who goes to war.


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