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The much loved much loathed and arguably the most controversial filmmaker of our era was born in mid September 1946 His timing was impeccable as his father was at the height of his career as a stockbroker and had set his family in an apartment overlooking the East River in New York City In 1964 Stone enrolled in Yale University then dropped out only one year later to move to Vietnam where he taught English to children Another year later he wrote a novel and lived in Mexico for a short while Then in 1967 at the age of 21 Stone joined the army and the war in Vietnam when most men his age were doing anything they could to avoid such a fate Serving fifteen months in the infantry division Stone was awarded a Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster for being shot in the neck and a Bronze Star for single handedly taking out a machine gun nest with a grenade This period just over a year would prove to change Stones life and catapult his career as a filmmaker Upon returning from the war in 1968 Stone went back to his birthplace and entered New York Universitys Film School where he studied under the renowned Martin Scorcese After graduating Stone moved to Hollywood in 1976 Here he would begin his career adapting scripts for the screen and writing original versions as well Some of Stones earlier screenwriting include such credits as Midnight Express in 1978 Conan the Barbarian 1981 and Scarface 1983 Washington Post Filmography However Oliver Stone was yet to show his true calling until he became a film director Through his films Oliver Stone has attempted to give a factual and refreshing account of controversial times and their meaning that transcends the obvious Drawing attention to Platoon 1986 and The Doors 1991 one sees two seemingly different but comparable films Oliver Stones Platoon tells the story of the Vietnam
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