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Oliver’s Twists

Once again Oliver Stone, the self-appointed Vietnam historian, is trying to rewrite history through his latest film, “Heaven and Earth” (“The Vietnam War’s Other Side,” by Jack Mathews, Jan. 17).

His attempt to offer a look back at Vietnam through the eyes of a Vietnamese is only a front. Underneath the title, Stone will only give the typical view of a Vietnamese woman--one of being a peasant, a prostitute or a wife of an American.

Controversy has played a big role in all of Stone’s movies. And “Heaven and Earth” will be no different. His audience will sigh, gasp and leave the theater with shock. But they must realize that Stone’s Vietnam movies come from his own fascination, conscience and guilt. They do not substitute for other, fine sources of history on the subject of Vietnam.

Perhaps some of the irony in “Heaven and Earth” will be seen through the work of Dale Dye, Stone’s technical consultant. Dye, a former Marine officer, trained the Vietnamese extras to play the Viet Cong. He could have used such knowledge about his former enemy 25 years ago.

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Sorry, Dale, but you’re no John Wayne, and Oliver is no Ho Chi Minh!

QUANG X. PHAM

Captain, U.S. Marine Corps

Tustin

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