FTA, The Long Suppressed Antiwar Film

The FTA Show, which toured Hawaii, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan, was an extremely popular 1971 anti-Vietnam War road show for GIs. Its biting satire was a direct response to comedian Bob Hope’s hand-to-helmet pro-war USO vaudeville routines. Among the performers were Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Peter Boyle.

The film includes highlights from the show, behind the scenes footage, local performers from the countries visited, and interviews with GIs as they discuss what they saw in battle, their anger with the military bureaucracy, their opposition to America’s presence in Indochina. Jane Fonda called it “a spit and a prayer production,” far from a Hollywood movie or well-funded documentary. While FTA is unpolished, it underscores how infectious the movement of the 60s and 70s was, and chronicles the Tour as well as the GIs who came to see it.

Released within days of Fonda’s infamous visit to Hanoi, FTA was pulled from theaters soon after it premiered. According to the director, “the film disappeared after Sam Arkoff, head of American International Pictures [the distributor], received a call from the White House.”

FTA was conceived by Howard Levy, a Special Forces medical doctor imprisoned two years in Fort Leavenworth for refusing to train Green Beret medics headed to Vietnam. He convinced Fonda to participate; she in turn recruited Donald Sutherland, Peter Boyle, Dick Gregory and others.

Although most copies of the film were destroyed, in 2009 FTA was resurrected by Dave Zeiger, the director of Sir! No Sir!, a film about the GI resistance to the American war in Vietnam.



FTA was downloaded from The Internet Archive


“F.T.A.”: When Jane Fond Rocked the U.S. Army
J. Hoberman, NY Times, 4 March 2021

FTA: Unearthing Jane Fonda’s and Donald Sutherland’s Anti-war Film
Charles Bramesco, The Guardian, 4 March 2021

Sir! No Sir!
Trailer / New York Times review