Nam's Angels

Watch Nam's Angels

"The Army Handed Them Guns...And A License To Kill!"
  • R
  • 1970
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 5.3  (611)

Nam's Angels, also known as The Losers, is a 1970 action film directed by Jack Starrett that integrates the high-octane energy of biker movies with the tumultuous backdrop of the Vietnam War. The movie stars William Smith, Bernie Hamilton, and Adam Roarke as three of the main characters operating in an unconventional and gritty war environment.

The central plot of Nam's Angels revolves around a group of outlaw bikers hired by the United States government for an unorthodox suicide mission during the Vietnam War. The characters portrayed by William Smith, Bernie Hamilton, and Adam Roarke are at the forefront of this offbeat narrative, bringing their unique personalities and skill sets into a dangerous and battle-scarred landscape.

William Smith plays Link Thomas, the tough-as-nails leader of the biker group called The Devil's Advocates. Smith's character is rugged, battle-hardened, and carries a poignant backstory that adds depth to his tough exterior. Link is cynical yet loyal, with a profound sense of duty to both his men and the mission at hand.

Bernie Hamilton steps into the role of Captain Jackson, the military authority who recruits the bikers for the secret operation. Captain Jackson is a by-the-book officer who grudgingly recognizes the unique qualities of the biker squad and their potential effectiveness behind enemy lines. Hamilton's portrayal of Jackson is one of a reluctant but pragmatic leader, determined to utilize any means necessary for the success of his overarching objectives.

Adam Roarke is cast as the vibrant and fiercely independent biker, Duke. Roarke's performance embodies the spirit of freedom and rebellion often associated with the biker culture of the time. Duke's character is a mix of volatility and unyielding loyalty, offering both levity and depth to the challenges faced by the group in the harsh terrain of war.

Nam's Angels sets itself apart by juxtaposing the rebellious biker counterculture against the structured and disciplined military establishment. The bikers, initially outcasts in their own country, find themselves tasked with a mission that could shift the balance of power in the ongoing conflict.

The narrative takes the audience through the recruitment of the bikers, the clash of ideologies between the military and outlaw mentalities, and the unyielding resolve of the squad to carry out their orders. As the bikers are sent deep into enemy territory, they encounter not just the physical dangers posed by the Vietnam War but also psychological trials as they face their own personal demons and the complexities of camaraderie and survival.

The action sequences in Nam's Angels are gritty and raw, fitting with the exploitation film vibe of the era. The movie utilizes an assortment of motorbikes, which the bikers modify for combat, equipping them with heavy weaponry and makeshift armor. These modifications underscore the resourcefulness of the characters and provide visually distinctive set pieces amid the grim war setting.

The filmmakers do not shy away from the harsh realities of war, and Nam's Angels features intense battle scenes that reflect the chaotic and unpredictable nature of the conflict in Vietnam. However, it is not just the physical battles that challenge the group; the war's moral ambiguities and the high stakes of their mission invariably lead to critical decisions that test the unity and ideals of the bikers.

The soundtrack and cinematography of Nam's Angels enhance the overall mood of the film, capturing both the era’s zeitgeist and the timelessness of the story's themes. The music reflects the attitude of the biker community juxtaposed with the somberness of their task, while the camera work captures the vast landscapes of Vietnam, the close-quarter skirmishes, and the personal confrontations that drive the narrative forward.

While Nam's Angels falls under the action genre, it is not without its exploration of deeper themes. The film delves into questions of loyalty, the nature of duty, and the impact of war on the human spirit. The external war mirrors the internal conflicts each character confronts, and the journey is as much about coming to terms with their own identities as it is about fighting the enemy.

The movie was produced during a time when the United States was grappling with the Vietnam War's heaviness both on the battlefield and at home. Nam's Angels captured the cultural essence of this tumultuous period, providing a counter-culture perspective on the mainstream narrative of the war and offering a unique window into the attitudes of the time.

In all, Nam's Angels stands as a distinctive entry in the category of Vietnam War films, presenting an alternative set of heroes who ride not on the wings of standard military jets but on the rumbling engines of their custom-modified choppers—defying norms and challenging the status quo both on the battlefield and in the eye of the moviegoing public.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.3  (611)