Good Morning, Vietnam: look back at the true story of the DJ who inspired the film with Robin Williams

Clement cuyer

Clement Cuyer


Clément Cuyer appreciates all genres, from good hard-hitting horror films to schoolboy comedy. He is an “old man” of AlloCiné, journalist in the editorial staff for more than two passionate decades. “Too old for this bullshit”? Oh never!

Focus on the astonishing story of American disc jockey Adrian Cronauer, who inspired the character played by Robin Williams in the film “Good Morning, Vietnam”, broadcast last night on Arte.

In Good Morning, Vietnam, broadcast last night on Arte, actor Robin Williams slips into the shoes of a disc jockey sent to Vietnam to host the armed forces radio and entertain the soldiers. With his fresh, irreverent and unconventional tone, the one who launches a thunderous “Goooooood morniiiing, Vietnaaaaam!” to begin each of its morning editions, will quickly become very popular in the eyes of the military.

This role, which allowed the late Robin Williams to win a Golden Globe, is loosely based on the real life story of American DJ Adrian Cronauer. The latter was indeed sent in 1965 to the military base of the American forces in Saigon to host a daily radio show and quickly noticed.

Good Morning, Vietnam, released in theaters in 1988, took some liberties on the real experience of Adrian Cronauer, who did for example jbut lost in the jungle and was not kicked out of the army. But the American, who worked as a consultant on Barry Levinson’s feature film, did administer English lessons in Saigon.

In words granted in 1989 to La Presse, Adrian Cronauer recounted what the film had taken from his astonishing experience behind the Saigon microphone: “Yes, I wanted the military to believe they were listening to a radio station located in the United States. Yes, I had problems with American military censorship. And yes, I started every show shouting. “Good Morning, Vietnam!” “

After his experience in Saigon, Adrian Cronauer will continue his rich radio experience in American stations before becoming involved in associations of Vietnam veterans. The American died in 2018, at the age of 79.

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