GBH Openvault

Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; Sihanouk Film

Part of The Vietnam Collection.


Propaganda film from Prince Norodom Sihanouk about his return from exile. All voice over in non-native English with generic patriotic soundtrack. Sihanouk inspecting liberated zone and troops. Madame Sihanouk taking notes as he speaks to troops. Shots of Sihanouk and wife bathing in a river - show US bomb discarded on river bank. Sihanouk visits government officials (including Khieu Samphan, leader of the Khmer Rouge), hugging them as he greets them. Sihanouk camouflaged motorcade through the countryside. Stop at milestone reading 525 kilometers to Phnom Penh. Sihanouk having a "Cambodian bath" (an outdoor wash). Sihanouk meets members of interior resistance, including Samphan, sitting around a long table and discussing route to be taken by Sihanouk through the country. Shots of boxes of gifts given by Sihanouk to the fighters. Next shows Sihanouk arriving at next destination in the liberated zone, greeted by crowd. Sihanouk goes down long outdoor wooden staircase to visit huge footprint of Buddha carved into the mountain. Sihanouk and leaders of Khmer resistance photo shoot in front of a pagoda. Sihanouk and entourage wading though river on way to Angkor Wat. Sihanouk visits recently created "presidential palace," a Cambodian style small house built by resistance leaders (to signify they are no longer exiles). Sihanouk and wife play with gibbons and a bear cub. Interior shots of the house. Sihanouk visits military base, greets troops, inspects food. Trip continues along river bank, Sihanouk entering village to applause and crowds, including soldiers rally. Sihanouk inspects captured weapons, walks through crowd, meets Buddhist monks, listens to official speeches. Some shots and audio of him speaking at the rally. People in crowd acknowledge him as their leader. More footage of him talking to monks, walking past crowd, soldiers cheering. Sihanouk visits historic temple, poses by statues. Orchestra of Peoples Armed Forces give a traditional concert, chorus sing patriotic song, traditional mountain region dancers on stage, staging of anti- Lon Nol skit with villagers rising in self-defense against the aggressors.

License Clip
Vietnam: A Television History
Cambodia and Laos
Program Number



Sihanouk Film

Series Description

This 13 part series covers the history of Vietnam from France's colonial control, through the 1945 revolution, to the 1975 U.S. evacuation from Saigon and the years beyond. The series' objective approach permits viewers to form their own conclusions about the war. 101--Roots of a War--Despite cordial relations between American intelligence officers and Communist leader Ho Chi Minh in the turbulent closing months of World War II, French and British hostility to the Vietnamese revolution laid the groundwork for a new war. 102--The First Vietnam War (1946-1954)--The French generals expected to defeat Ho's rag-tag Vietminh guerrillas easily, but after eight years of fighting and $2.5 billion in U.S. aid, the French lost a crucial battle at Dienbienphu--and with it, their Asian empire. 103--America's Mandarin (1954-1963)--To stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia, America replaced France in South Vietnam--supporting autocratic President Ngo Dinyh Diem until his own generals turned against him in a coup that brought political chaos to Saigon. 104--LBJ Goes to War (1964-1965)--With Ho Chi Minh determined to reunite Vietnam, Lyndon Baines Johnson determined to prevent it, and South Vietnam on the verge of collapse, the stage was set for massive escalation of the undeclared Vietnam War. 105--America Takes Charge (1965-1967)--In two years, the Johnson Administration's troop build-up dispatched 1.5 million Americans to Vietnam to fight a war they found baffling, tedious, exciting, deadly and unforgettable. 106--America's Enemy (1954-1967)--The Vietnam War as seen from different perspectives: by Vietcong guerrillas and sympathizers; by North Vietnamese leaders; by rank and file; and by American held prisoner in Hanoi. 107--Tet (1968)--The massive enemy offensive at the Lunar New Year decimated the Vietcong and failed to topple the Saigon government, but led to the beginning of America's military withdrawal. 108--Vietnamizing the War (1968-1973)--President Nixon's program of troop pull-outs, stepped-up bombing and huge arms shipments to Saigon changed the war, and left GI's wondering which of them would be the last to die in Vietnam. 109--Cambodia and Laos--Despite technical neutrality, both of Vietnam's smaller neighbors were drawn into the war, suffered massive bombing, and in the case of Cambodia, endured a post-war holocaust of nightmare proportions. 110--Peace is at Hand (1968-1973)--While American and Vietnamese continued to clash in battle, diplomats in Paris argued about making peace, after more than four years reaching an accord that proved to be a preface to further bloodshed. 111--Homefront USA--Americans at home divide over a distant war, clashing in the streets as demonstrations lead to bloodshed, bitterness and increasing doubts about the outcome. 112--The End of the Tunnel (1973-1975)--Through troubled years of controversy and violence, U.S. casualties mounted, victory remained elusive and American opinion moved from general approval to general dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. 113--Legacies--Vietnam is in the Soviet orbit, poorer than ever, at war on two fronts; America's legacy includes more than one half million Asian refugees, one half million Vietnam veterans and some questions that won't go away. Series release date: 9/1983

Program Description

Despite technical neutrality, both of Vietnam's smaller neighbors were drawn into the war, suffered massive bombing, and in the case of Cambodia, endured a post-war holocaust of nightmare proportions.



Asset Type

Stock footage

Media Type


Buddhism and politics
Camouflage (Military science)
War Religious aspects Buddhism
Lon Nol
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Cambodia
Cambodia History Civil War, 1970-1975
Angkor (Extinct city)
Norodom Sihanouk, Prince, 1922-
Buddhist monks
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Campaigns Cambodia
Khieu Samphan
Village communities
Cultural traditions
War and Conflict
Ellison, Richard (Series Producer)
Publication Information
Norodom Sihanouk
Chicago: “Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; Sihanouk Film,” 03/01/1973, GBH Archives, accessed February 4, 2023,
MLA: “Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; Sihanouk Film.” 03/01/1973. GBH Archives. Web. February 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Vietnam: A Television History; Cambodia and Laos; Sihanouk Film. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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