Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Victory and Betrayal
$15 (*Film Block)
Ride The Thunder is the true heroic story of a friendship between American military legend and recipient of the Navy Cross, John Ripley and one of South Vietnam’s most decorated Heroes, Le Ba Binh. The film is based on a book by the same name by Richard Botkin, former Marine Infantry Officer (1980-1995) The storyline follows Ripley’s and Binh’s fight together against the communists at the Battle for Dong Ha during the Vietnam War and the aftermath of the fall of Saigon, as Ripley goes home to a divided America while Binh is imprisoned in a communist re-education camp. After the war, their wives struggle to adjust to their changed lives. Immersed in this true story are interviews and rare historical footage that educates the moviegoers on the truth of the war along with the heroes who fought in it, while exposing the opportunists who betrayed them. The main Vietnamese actors in the film are Vietnamese refugees.
Fred Koster – Director
Fred Koster, a SAG member since 1985, returns from a long hiatus from the film industry to go behind the camera in producing, writing and directing projects on the Superbowl, US Open (USTA), MLBPA, NFL, College Football and MLB. These projects enabled Fred the incredible enjoyment of interviewing over 50 professional athletes.Fred’s first theatrical release directorial debut was with the film “Ride the Thunder”. In
Fred’s first theatrical release directorial debut was with the film “Ride the Thunder”. In its premiere weekend in California, it was #1 at the box office in the nation (on per theater basis) with high audience scores from IMDB (8.0), Fandango (4.5 out of 5) and Rotten Tomatoes (88%). Fred, being an ex-actor, especially likes working with actors to achieve their best performances. He believes that acting does not have to be a difficult process if you can find the key to unlocking that great performance within the actor. Fred also believes that to deliver a good directorial performance, a director needs to intricately know every process of film-making from pre-production all the way through post-production.
The director then needs to hire the best crew and work with them in giving them the freedom to deliver their best performances. The film industry has a long illustrious history and Fred believes that we can get back to the golden age of film making by concentrating on the great art of storytelling rather than relying solely on sensational special effects and graphic violence.