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Today’s match pairs two rising stars against each other at the moments when their careers took shape. Robin Williams and Mel Gibson were among Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men. And they can both trace their A-list status back to the movies they headlined in 1987. Gibson costarred opposite Danny Glover in the buddy-cop movie that defined the genre. And Williams received his first-ever Oscar nomination for playing a zany army DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service during the Vietnam Conflict.
America spent the eighties processing the collective experience of the Vietnam conflict. As a result, Hollywood spent much of the decade making movies about ‘Nam. Oliver Stone’s Platoon presented combat from the perspective of the young soldiers while Rambo gave America a cathartic fantasy in which one man could single-handedly win the war. 1987 gave us two significant comedic dramas set in Vietnam; Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and Barry Levinson’s Good Morning Vietnam.