Go Tell the Spartans
Go Tell the Spartans is a 1978 American war film directed by Ted Post, starring Burt Lancaster, and based on Daniel Ford's 1967 novel Incident at Muc Wa, about U.S. Army military advisors during the early part of the Vietnam War in 1964, a time when Ford was a correspondent in Vietnam for The Nation.
The story was inspired by a futile special forces operation in 1964 at Tan Hoa in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, an objective that turned out to be an abandoned settlement containing only a field, an abandoned airstrip and three or four French gravestones. The graves inspired the film's title, taken from Simonides's epitaph to the three hundred soldiers who died fighting Persian invaders at Thermopylae, Greece: "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie."
The choice of film's name thus constitutes a deliberate "spoiler" by the film makers, telling anyone familiar with the source of the quote that the film's soldier characters - like the Spartans at Thermopylae - had been sent to their deaths.