Born on the Fourth of July

Born on the Fourth of July

Oliver Stone (1989)

138min
18 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director Oliver Stone continued his Vietnam trilogy with this biographical drama, a masterpiece of film-making that occupies a much broader canvas than its predecessor, Platoon. It stars Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic, the all-American boy who enlists in the marines because he loves his country. The Stars and Stripes flies proudly in his home town. Then he is hideously wounded, endures the rat-infested hell of a veterans' hospital and comes home to find the Stars and Stripes being burned in the streets. He drops out and goes to Mexico, then returns to America to conduct an anti-war campaign from his wheelchair. The story is based on the autobiography of Kovic and Stone himself did two tours of duty in Vietnam, and the movie fairly reeks of their experience and regret. Stone had won the best director Oscar for Platoon and he received the statuette again for his powerful work here. Sadly, Cruise had to settle for a nomination, but his transformation from golden boy to ravaged and embittered paraplegic is utterly convincing.

Summary

Oliver Stone's fact-based drama chronicles the life of Ron Kovic, an eager-to-impress, patriotic Marine Corps recruit, who endures terrifying experiences during the Vietnam conflict that leave him paralysed from the chest down. On his return home, he undergoes a harrowing journey of physical and mental recovery that leads him to question the whole purpose of the war. Starring Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Kyra Sedgwick and Josh Evans.

Cast & Crew

Ron Kovic Tom Cruise
Donna Kyra Sedgwick
Mr Kovic Raymond J Barry
Mrs Kovic Caroline Kava
Charlie Willem Dafoe
Tommy Kovic Josh Evans
Jimmy Kovic Jamie Talisman
Recruiting sergeant Tom Berenger
Marine major John Getz
Billy Vorsovich Stephen Baldwin
News reporter Oliver Stone
Folk singer Edie Brickell
Director Oliver Stone
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: Contains violence, swearing, drug abuse, sex scenes and nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Drama