Dale Dye is an actual real life badass. He’s had small roles in enough good films that you’ll recognise him, but you’re probably not fully aware of whom he really is. As a US Marine Corps Captain he served in Vietnam and Beirut before retiring to lend his specialist knowledge and skill as a technical advisor to Hollywood.
His first major credit: the quintessential ‘Nam masterpiece Platoon.
In the following ancient video, he goes into detail as to how he came to be involved in the making of Oliver Stones’ Oscar winner.
Not only did Dye mould the limp-wristed acting elite into jungle warriors, he also stars as Captain Harris, the platoon’s commander. Despite not being a trained actor, his military experience shows through in his performance. It’s in his voice, his manner – the way he carries himself. It’s the haircut, and the authority he commands. It’s something that cannot be faked.
Yes, Stallone’s Rambo may have an impressive onscreen body count, but Dye has most likely killed real people. You can’t get more authentic than that.
Since then he’s gone on to appear in a host of other war movies, both great and small. Highlights include Casualties of War, Saving Private Ryan, Starship Troopers, and personal favourite of mine – Under Siege.
Other significant strings to his bow are the multi-award winning serials Band of Brothers and Pacific. After first lending his hand as senior advisor on Saving Private Ryan, he returned for the Hanks/Spielberg produced war epics. He appears infrequently in Band of Brothers (also featuring a badass accent) but lent his technical expertise to both series. The accuracy and visceral power of the battle sequences can be attributed to Dye’s involvement.
Behind the scenes he’s advised on countless other films and productions in similar ways. Ranging from Forest Gump to Tropic Thunder, Small Soldiers to Sniper. He’s even worked on mega budget historical epics, such as the Last of the Mohicans and Alexander. Finally his voice has also been immortalised in the first video game to effectively capture the World Wars; the original three Medal of Honours.
Dale Dye has changed the way war and action cinema is made. While no civilian will ever be able to appreciate the true horror of armed conflict, Dye has at least made the on-screen depiction as accurate as possible. His impact cannot be understated.
It’s all the guts, all the scorched body parts, the spent shell casings, the muddy trenches, the scared eyes and the set jaws. The brotherhood, the festering wounds, the recon missions, the ambushes and the last stands.
So we salute, Dale Dye. You’re a badass amongst men.
“It’s been a lovely fucking war. Bravo Six out.”