Casualties of War

Casualties of War

Brian De Palma (1989)

18 Certificate


Our Score
It's not as well known as The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now or Platoon, but this Vietnam War tale is just as disturbing and probably more provocative since its content is far riskier. Directed by Brian De Palma, it has at its centre the fact-based story of a Vietnamese woman who is kidnapped and brutally raped by four GIs. While battle-scarred Sean Penn leads the assault, new recruit Michael J Fox stands back but doesn't help her. The film's compassion for the woman hits us directly, as does the way De Palma sets up the episode by showing the brutalisation of Penn and his colleagues in the preceding scenes. Filmed with all of De Palma's technical bravura, it heads towards an epilogue that reaches an emotional precipice and then leaps confidently over it.


American soldiers on patrol during the Vietnam war abduct a local girl, but one young GI refuses to take part when they go on to rape and murder her. On their return to base, he is determined to see his comrades brought to justice. Drama, starring Michael J Fox, Sean Penn, John Leguizamo and John C Reilly.

Cast & Crew

Eriksson Michael J Fox
Sergeant Tony Meserve Sean Penn
Corporal Thomas E Clark Don Harvey
Herbert Hatcher John C Reilly
Diaz John Leguizamo
Oahn Thuy Thu Le
Sergeant Frank Brown Erik King
Rowan Jack Gwaltney
Lieutenant Reilly Ving Rhames
Hawthorne Dan Martin
Captain Hill Dale Dye
Agent Steve Larson
Agent John Linton
Prosecutor Vyto Ruginis
Wilkins Al Shannon
Director Brian De Palma
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia PicturesGuidance: Violence, swearing and nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray