Platoon Leader

Platoon Leader was released on October 1, 1988. Starring Michael Dudikoff and was directed by Aaron Norris.


The film is loosely based on the memoirs of James R. McDonough. Norris is the younger brother of action legend Chuck Norris.

Filming took place on location in South Africa. The movie earned a meager $1.3 million at the box office.

The Movie

Michael Dudikoff plays the role of Lt. Jeffrey Knight. An officer fresh from the United States Military Academy.


He is commissioned to take the lead of a platoon protecting a village.


The platoon he joins is made up of tough veterans and he struggles at first to win their trust and respect. After getting injured on his first patrol he returns to improve the defenses of the village.

The Cast

  • Michael Dudikoff as Lieutenant Jeffrey Knight
  • Robert F. Lyons as Sergeant Michael McNamara
  • Michael DeLorenzo as Private Raymond Bacera
  • Jesse Dabson as Private Joshua Parker
  • Rick Fitts as Sergeant Robert Hayes
  • Tony Pierce as Private Jan Schultz
  • Daniel Demorest as Private Duffy
  • Brian Libby as Sergeant “Roach”
  • Michael Rider as Private Don Pike
  • William Smith as Major Flynn
  • Al Karaki as Private Kemp
  • Evan J. Klisser as Private Larsen
  • Evan Barker as Captain Klinski
  • A.J. Smith as Lieutenant Riley
  • Dean Raphael Ferrandini as Medic
  • Willie Olmstead as Medic (as Bill Olmstead)
  • Themi Venturis as New Lieutenant
  • Raymond Phoenix as Lieutenant
  • Joyce Long as Mother With Child


Critics were quick to condemn the film as an imitation of liver Stone’s “Platoon” from 1986.

Film reviewer Ed Travis wrote:

There’s absolutely no surprises. Nor is there really much of a hook. I guess the “point” is that leaders are made on the battlefield and not in the classroom. Or that being “in the shit” is what truly makes the man. The problem is that the viewer never for one second believes that Lt. Knight won’t become the man his men need him to be. It’s all very pre-determined and becomes a fairly dry watch with little to cause one to invest in the drama, while also eschewing lots of the Cannon Films trademark excess”

Platoon Leader (film) – Wikipedia

However, the film saw one of the best acting roles by Dudikoff.

Movie Trailer


Platoon Leader (film) – Wikipedia