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Born on the Fourth of July

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Overview

The second of three films by co-writer/director Oliver Stone to explore the effects of the Vietnam War Platoon and Heaven and Earth are the others, Born On The Fourth Of July tells the true story of Ron Kovic Tom Cruise, a patriotic, All-American small town athlete who shocks his family by enlisting with the Marines to fight in the Vietnam War. Once he is overseas, however, Kovic's gung-ho enthusiasm turns to horror and confusion when he accidentally kills one of his own men in a firefight. His downfall is ...
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Overview

The second of three films by co-writer/director Oliver Stone to explore the effects of the Vietnam War Platoon and Heaven and Earth are the others, Born On The Fourth Of July tells the true story of Ron Kovic Tom Cruise, a patriotic, All-American small town athlete who shocks his family by enlisting with the Marines to fight in the Vietnam War. Once he is overseas, however, Kovic's gung-ho enthusiasm turns to horror and confusion when he accidentally kills one of his own men in a firefight. His downfall is furthered by a bullet wound that leaves him paralyzed from the chest down. He returns home, spends an appalling, nightmarish stint in a veterans' hospital, and follows an increasingly disillusioned and fragmented path that ultimately leaves him drunk and dissolute in Mexico. However, Kovic somehow turns himself around and pulls his life together, becoming an outspoken anti-war activist in the process. The film is long but emotionally powerful; many consider it Stone's best work and Cruise's best performance. Both were nominated for Oscars, as was the film itself, but only Stone, who co-wrote the film with Kovic from the latter's book, won for Best Director.
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Special Features

From the NBC News Archives - Backstory: Born On the Fourth of July; Feature commentary with director Oliver Stone; 100 Years of Universal: Academy Award winners; 100 Years of Universal: the '80s
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Much of modern America's understanding of the Vietnam War has been shaped by films, not the least of which being Oliver Stone's Platoon. In Born on the Fourth of July, Stone revisits the topic to show us the damage the war did back home. Aiding him is Tom Cruise, whose powerful performance as real-life veteran Ron Kovic earned him the right to never again be thought of as "just a pretty face." Both were nominated for Oscars for work which many claimed was the best of their careers; Stone took home the Best Director trophy. Based on the autobiography of Kovic, the film is a brutally honest account of how the devastation of war extends far beyond the battlefield. In our somber hindsight, we may have less ideological, patriotic innocence than the all-American Kovic at the start of the movie -- but also like Kovic, we certainly don't have much left by the film's end. Stone brilliantly portrays the nowhere-to-turn rage of the Vietnam Vet: angry at the war, angry at the military, yet often hated by those who feel the same way but have never worn a uniform. Like Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July is a historical drama that truly merits the word "important," the kind of film that future generations should watch so as to never forget their past. Despite its pain, however, the film is inspirational, a story of one man's triumph over hate, self-pity and his own personal demons. By rising above his own hardships to make certain the nation recognized and remembered its mistakes, Kovic proves he's still an all-American boy after all.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/2014
  • UPC: 025192117282
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Time: 2:25:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 48,853

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Cruise Ron Kovic
Raymond J. Barry Mr. Kovic
Caroline Kava Mrs. Kovic
Kyra Sedgwick Donna
Willem Dafoe Charlie
Brian Larkin Young Ron
Jerry Levine Steve Boyer
Josh Evans Tommy Kovic
Jamie Talisman Jimmy Kovic
Anne Bobby Susanne Kovic
Frank Whaley Timmy
John Getz Marine Major
David Warshofsky Lieutenant
Rocky Carroll Willie
Cordelia Gonzalez Maria Elena
Tony Frank Mr. Wilson
Jayne Haynes Mrs. Wilson
Claudio Brook [Vietnam]
Robert Camilletti Tommy Finnelli
Reg E. Cathey Speaker
Dale Dye Infantry Colonel
Corky Ford Marvin
Bob Gunton Doctor
Ed Jupp Jr. Villa Vet
James LeGros Platoon
Eduardo Ricardo Cab Driver
Jenna von Oÿ Young Susanne
Christopher Walker Aide
Seth Allen Young Tommy
Sean Stone Young Tommy
Samantha Larkin Patty Kovic
Erika Geminder Young Patty
Amanda Davis Baby Patty
Kevin Harvey Morse Jackie Kovic
Jessica Prunell Young Donna
Jason Klein Young Timmy
Lane R. Davis Young Steve
Richard Panebianco Joey Walsh
John Pinto Young Joey
J.R. Nutt Young Tommy
Stephen Baldwin Billy Vorsovich
Philip Amelio Young Billy
Michael McTighe Danny Fantozzi
Cody Beard Young Danny
Ryan Beadle Ballplayer
Harold Woloschin Umpire
Richard Grusin Coach
Tom Berenger Recruiting Sergeant
Richard Haus Recruiting Sergeant
Melvin Allen Himself
Ed Lauter Legion Commander
Liz Moore Fat Lady at Parade
Sean McGraw Young Donna's Father
Oliver Stone News Reporter
Norma Moore Massapequa Mom
Stacey Moseley Young Donna's Friend
Michael Miller Neighbor
Ellen Pasternack Neighbor
Joy Zapata Neighbor
Bob Tillotson Truck Driver
Jason Gedrick Martinez
Michael Compotaro Wilson
Paul Abbott Platoon
Bill Allen Platoon
William Baldwin Platoon
Claude Brooks Platoon
Michael Smith Guess Platoon
William Mapother Platoon
Christopher W. Mills Platoon
Byron Minns Platoon
Ben Wright Platoon
Markus Flanagan Doctor
R.D. Call Chaplain
John Falch Corpsman
Dan Furnad Corpsman
Fred Geise Corpsman
Greg Hackbarth Corpsman
SaMi Chester Aide
Willie Minor Eddie
David Herman Patient
Bruce MacVittie Patient
Damien Leake Patient
David Neidorf Patient
Paul Sanchez Patient
Richard Lubin Patient
Norm Wilson Patient
Peter Benson Patient
Sergio Scognamiglio Patient
Billie Neal Nurse Washington
Richard Poe Frankie
Vivica A. Fox Hooker
Mark Moses Doctor
Abbie Hoffman Strike Organizer
Jake Weber Donna's Boyfriend
Edie Brickell Folksinger
Geoff Garza Young Radical
Joseph P. Reidy Student Organizer
Holly Marie Combs Jenny
Real Andrews Vet
Daniel Baldwin Vet
Lisa Barnes Friend
David Carriere Miami Hippie
Frank Cavestani Vet
Eagle-Eye Cherry Vet
Peter Crombie Undercover Vet
Edith Diaz Madam
John Galt Fat Republican
Frank Girardeau Agent
Elizabeth Hoffman Passerby
Michelle Hurst Reporter
Lucinda Jenney Passerby
Ivan Kane Villa Vet
Wayne Knight Official
William Hubbard Knight Chief Cop
Ron Kovic Veteran at Parade (uncredited)
Andrew Lauer Vet
Elbert Lewis Cab Driver
Jodi Long Jane the Reporter
Rick Masters Man
Gale Mayron Friend
Annie McEnroe Passerby
Jack McGee Democratic Delegate
John C. McGinley Official
Kevin McGuire Paraplegic
Chip Moody TV Anchor
Lorraine Morin-Torre Passerby
Pamela S. Neill Woman
Karen Newman Whore
Ken Osborne Paraplegic
Kristel Otney Woman
Jimmy L. Parker Vet
Chris Pederson Aide
Anthony Pena Bartender
Begonia Plaza Charlie's Whore [Villa Dulce]
Chuck Preiffer Secret Service Agent
John del Regno Friend
Melinda Ramos Renna Bar Maid
Keri Roebuck Woman
Tom Sizemore Vet
Beau Starr Man
Mike Starr Man
Michael Sulsona Villa Vet
Brian Tarantina Vet
Lili Taylor Jamie Wilson [Georgia]
Alan Toy Paraplegic
William Wallace Agent
Don "The Dragon" Wilson Corpsman
Michael Wincott Vet
Technical Credits
Oliver Stone Director, Co-producer, Producer, Screenwriter
David Brenner Editor
Dave Freeman Screenwriter
Derek R. Hill Set Decoration/Design
A. Kitman Ho Co-producer, Producer
Joe Hutshing Editor
Sharon Ilson Makeup
Richard L. Johnson Art Director
Victor Kempster Art Director
Ron Kovic Screenwriter
William A. Purcell Special Effects
Joseph P. Reidy Producer
Robert Richardson Cinematographer
Bruno Rubeo Production Designer
Judy Ruskin Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon J. Smith Makeup
Clayton Townsend Producer
Gregory H. Watkins Sound/Sound Designer
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    "People say that if you don't love America, then get the hell out. Well, I love America."

    The second of three films by co-writer/director Oliver Stone to explore the effects of the Vietnam War ("Platoon" and "Heaven and Earth" are the others), "Born on the Fourth of July" tells the true story of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), a patriotic, All-American small town athlete who shocks his family by enlisting with the Marines to fight in the Vietnam War. Once he is overseas, however, Kovic's gung-ho enthusiasm turns to horror and confusion. During his time in Vietnam, Kovic sees the true nature of war. His platoon mistakenly fires upon a town where the enemy is supposedly hiding however, they end up killing women and children. During the confusion that follows, Kovic accidentally shoots a fellow soldier and his guilt would encompass him for years to come. But when Kovic himself is wounded in a field, he returns home paralyzed from the waist down, spends an appalling, nightmarish stint in a veterans' hospital, and follows an increasingly disillusioned and fragmented path that ultimately leaves him drunk and dissolute in Mexico. However, Kovic somehow turns himself around and pulls his life together, becoming an outspoken anti-war activist in the process. The film is emotionally powerful many consider it Stone's best work and Cruise's best performance. Both were nominated for Oscars, as was the film itself, but only Stone, who co-wrote the film with Kovic from the latter's book, won for Best Director. When asked why he wanted to make another film about Vietnam after the success of "Platoon", Oliver Stone is quoted as saying, "There was another war waiting for the soldiers when they returned home." Indeed, he was right. "Born on the Fourth of July" follows Kovic's account of his experiences in Vietnam and the indifferent nation that he returned to. When Kovic returns to his home from the hospital, he realizes that the world has changed. People protest the war, sometimes protesting against the soldiers themselves. Before the war, Ron was a much simpler character. He knew what everything was about, he knew his role in the world, and he knew his duty to his country. Late in the film, Ron will say to his friend Charlie (Willem Dafoe) "Do you remember when things made sense?" When we see Kovic in the final sequences of the film, he has become an eloquent and persuasive critic of the war, producing facts to support his case that the audience is not familiar with. The film shows, if you will, the "spiritual" change in Ron Kovic, how the war changed him, almost killed him, almost drove him mad, but in the end taught him about true patriotism. [filmfactsman]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    born on the fourth of july

    true story of ron kovic who went to fight in the vietnam war.when ron got hit by a bullet he wasnt able to walk again.ron then became an anti war spokesman.moving story,great acting especially by tom cruise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding

    I believe that this movie shows the courage and the pain it takes to fight a war

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews