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Sally Bender is the wife of a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He is sent over to Vietnam, and Sally is alone. With nothing else to do, she decides to volunteer at a local veteran's hospital, where she meets Luke, who went to high school with Sally. Luke was wounded and is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. When Sally begins to fall in love with Luke, she has to make a crucial decision about her life. Written by
A thought-provoking sensitive movie with poignant moments
Hal Ashby's film shares many of the characteristics of the other big Vietnam film of 1978, "The Deer Hunter." Both are passionate and essentially incoherent in their view of the war As Ashby and screenplay writers see it, most American soldiers who experienced the war came back mentally and/or physically ravaged
An introductory pool table conversation among several disabled vets establishes the ground rules Anyone who defends the war for any reason is wrong Cut to enthusiastic Marine Capt. Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern) and his naive wife Sally (Jane Fonda) in the Officer's Club
It is 1968
A military campaign conducted by forces of the Viet Cong has just started and Capt. Hyde is looking forward to his tour of duty in Vietnam... As a dedicated military officer, he sees it primarily as an opportunity for progress As soon as he leaves, Sally is forced to find housing off the base and moves into a new apartment by the beach with another Marine wifethe bohemian Vi Munson (Penelope Milford), whose traumatized brother Bill (Robert Carradine) is a patient at the local Veteran's Hospital
Physically, Bill is fine, but "they sent him back without an ignition," Vi says Lonely and looking for something to do, Sally volunteers at the hospital and runs across embittered cripple Luke Martin (Jon Voight). They soon discover that they went to the same high school, where he was the star quarterback and she was a cheerleader
Now, paralyzed from the waist down Luke is subject to furious, self-pitying rages, understandable but still unpleasant and offensive Sally externalizes his troubles, his scars, and his frustrations And through Luke's eyes, Sally's absolute outlook on life starts to change They soon become fairly close turning their friendship into a torrid affair At the same time, Sally's husband was away discovering the horrors of the war
There was a particular chemistry between Fonda and Voight which gave the film a certain magic
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