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Coming Home

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Hal Ashby's 1978 melodrama examines the impact of the Vietnam War on the "war at home" among the men who fought it and the women in their lives. Left alone in Los Angeles when her gung-ho Marine husband Bob Bruce Dern heads to Vietnam in 1968, proper wife Sally Hyde Jane Fonda decides to volunteer at the V.A. hospital where her new friend Vi Penelope Milford works. There she meets Luke Martin Jon Voight, a former high-school classmate and Marine who has returned from 'Nam a bitter paraplegic. As their ...
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Hal Ashby's 1978 melodrama examines the impact of the Vietnam War on the "war at home" among the men who fought it and the women in their lives. Left alone in Los Angeles when her gung-ho Marine husband Bob Bruce Dern heads to Vietnam in 1968, proper wife Sally Hyde Jane Fonda decides to volunteer at the V.A. hospital where her new friend Vi Penelope Milford works. There she meets Luke Martin Jon Voight, a former high-school classmate and Marine who has returned from 'Nam a bitter paraplegic. As their relationship grows, Sally sees the effect of the war on the soldiers after they come back, inspiring her to rethink her priorities; Luke's spirits begin to lift, and a hospital tragedy helps focus his anger toward meaningful protest. After a Hong Kong visit with her increasingly withdrawn husband, Sally finds a love and companionship with Luke that she had never known with her husband. Once Bob comes home with his own injury, however, the three must find a way to deal with a changing world and with a system that betrayed the men fighting for it.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Originating as a project for Jane Fonda's production company, Coming Home took five years to get made, but it was still part of the first wave of Hollywood movies to address the controversial Vietnam War. With the presence of outspoken antiwar activist "Hanoi Jane" as the star, and fellow activist Haskell Wexler behind the camera, Coming Home espoused a clear antiwar stance, personalized through the characters' coming to consciousness over the war's toll. The cinéma vérité shooting style, particularly in the opening scene of vets discussing whether they'd fight again if they were able, enhances the story's intimacy. No one experiences the war the same way, but no one comes away unscathed. Coming Home was praised for its sensitive performances, Jon Voight won the New York Film Critics Circle prize for Best Actor, and it was nominated for eight Oscars, but it was quickly overshadowed by Michael Cimino's more inflammatory Vietnam epic The Deer Hunter. Still, although The Deer Hunter won Best Picture, Fonda and Voight won Best Actress and Best Actor, and Nancy Dowd, Waldo Salt, and Robert C. Jones won an Oscar for their screenplay. By leaving the fighting offscreen and the ending ambiguous, Coming Home potently captured the elusive yet irreversible psychological disruption in the wake of Vietnam.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/8/1997
  • UPC: 027616637833
  • Original Release: 1978
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jane Fonda Sally Hyde
Jon Voight Luke Martin
Bruce Dern Captain Bob Hyde
Robert Ginty Sgt. Dink Mobley
Penelope Milford Viola Munson
Robert Carradine Bill Munson
Ron Amador Beany
Ken Augustine Ken
Cornelius H. Austin Jr. Corny
Willie Tyler Virgil
Jonathan Banks Marine at Party
Beeson Carroll Captain Carl Delise
David Clennon Tim
Olivia Cole Corrine
Pat Corley Harris
Charles Cyphers Pee Wee
Gary Lee Davis Marine Recruiter
Sally Frei Connie
Bruce French Dr. Lincoln
Mary Gregory Martha Vickery
Teresa Hughes Nurse De Groot
Mary Jackson Fleta Wilson
Richard Lawson Pat
Marc McClure Highschool Class President
Kathleen Miller Kathy Delise
Stacey Pickren Sophie
James G. Richardson Marine at Party
Arthur Rosenberg Bruce
Dennis Rucker Marine at Party
Tony Santoro Porsche Policeman
Rita Taggart Johnson
Danny Tucker Monty
Gwen van Dam Mrs. Harris
Technical Credits
Hal Ashby Director
Nancy Dowd Screenwriter
George P. Gaines Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Michael Haller Production Designer
Jerome Hellman Producer
Michael W. Hoffman Costumes/Costume Designer
Buzz Knudson Sound/Sound Designer
Chuck Myers Asst. Director
Jennifer Parsons Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Jones Screenwriter
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
Waldo Salt Screenwriter
Silvio Scarano Costumes/Costume Designer
James L. Schoppe Production Designer
Donald Thorin Camera Operator
Frank Warner Sound Editor
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
Don Zimmerman Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A touching, sincere, compassionate and surprisingly humorous film.

    With John Wayne's chauvinistic "The Green Berets" (1968) as a reference point, Hollywood avoided Vietnam for nearly a decade. Though certainly a topic worth examining, the Vietnam War remained virtually unexplored by major filmmakers until 1978, when three superb motion pictures dealing with the subject were released almost back to back--Hal Ashby's "Coming Home", Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" and Ted Post's "Go Tell the Spartans!" Both "Coming Home" and "The Deer Hunter" were enormously profitable and, somewhat ironically, were the two biggest winners in the 1978 Oscar race. "Coming Home" was a rather personal, intimate drama, while "The Deer Hunter" was a sprawling, three-hour epic, featuring a huge cast, extensive location shooting, and some of the strongest depictions of the "horrors of war" ever presented. Despite their differences, however, both shared the same central theme--how the lives of ordinary Americans were affected by Vietnam--and this, more than anything else, is what made them so popular with audiences. Jane Fonda devoted five years--from inception to release--to her feature film about the Vietnam war, and the result, "Coming Home" was a heavily encoded tale which attempted to describe the war's impact on three people: Sally Hyde (Fonda), her hawkish husband, Captain Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern), and a paraplegic war hero, Luke Martin (Jon Voight). The film was primarily about the painful readjustment of paraplegic veteran, Luke Martin, to civilian life, and the story follows him through his gradual transition from an embittered shell to an energetic spokesman for the anti-war movement. The film won Oscars for Voight and Fonda, and the remarkable chemistry the stars generate in their roles make the relationship between Luke and Sally one of the most compelling in a Seventies film. In addition to the fine acting of Fonda and Voight, Bruce Dern's haunting portrait of a gung-ho marine shattered by actual combat experience is also splendid. "Coming Home" states a theme recurrent in the Vietnam films, that involvement in war disfranchises men from the rituals of family, marriage and sex--the war being, apparently, so tainting an experience that it robs the individual of sensuality and tenderness. "Coming Home" (in effect, coming to one's senses) permits embittered veteran Luke Martin to learn to love life again, and military wife Sally Hyde to overcome her inhibitions and experience a raised consciousness. A major contributing factor to its success is the musical score, based primarily on rock music of the Sixties, featuring songs by the Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, and other popular groups. When government cooperation was sought to film "Coming Home" at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital it was flatly refused. Not only the VA, but the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and National Guard all turned down Fonda and company. Shooting took place instead at a hospital for spinal-cord injuries in Downey, California. Only after "Coming Home" opened did the VA cautiously and unofficially approve the film. The movie was screened for a representative of the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. This representative informed producer Jerome Hellman that it was "a very important film," the first time she had "seen a disabled person on the screen dealt with as a complete human being." [filmfactsman]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    COMING HOME is a moving, sentimental piece that never drowns in a sea of mush. It is the best portrait of soldiers and their lives post combat since THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. Hal Ashby got incredible mileage from a group of stars, including Oscar winning performances by Jane Fonda and Jon Voight. The Rolling Stones ''Out Of Time'' is haunting.

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