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Coming Home (1978)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  15 February 1978 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 7,893 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 31 critic

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Coming Home (1978)

Coming Home (1978) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Bill Munson
...
Sgt. Dink Mobley
Mary Gregory ...
Martha Vickery
Kathleen Miller ...
Kathy Delise
Beeson Carroll ...
Capt. Earl Delise
Willie Tyler ...
Virgil
Louis Carello ...
Bozo (as Lou Carello)
...
Pee Wee
...
Corrine
...
Nurse Degroot
...
Dr. Lincoln
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A man who believed in war! A man who believed in nothing! And a woman who believed in both of them!

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 February 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le retour  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first films even partially dealing openly with the idea of sex between an able-bodied person and a disabled one. Other films dealing with disability and romance had indirectly implied it or avoided it altogether (such as in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)). See more »

Quotes

Capt. Bob Hyde: [Yelling at Sally after discovering her infidelity] What I'm saying is! I don't belong in this house, and they say I don't belong over there!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Four members of the film crew are designated as "Friends who did everything". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Art Garfunkel/Stephen Bishop (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

White Rabbit
(1967)
Written by Grace Slick (uncredited)
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
RCA Records
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User Reviews

 
Drop the "Hanoi Jane" ban, and see this film
9 November 1999 | by (Roseville, Ca) – See all my reviews

Obviously any film about Viet Nam that stars Jane Fonda and Jon Voight is going to cause more than a few knees to jerk. Fondas embracing the enemy and Voights devout pacifism have both been well-documented, so there's no need to elaborate. Don't let this cause you to avoid this film. Many veterans were on hand for the filming, and they saw that they were taking part in something special. If they can draw a truce with Fonda, than you can as well. The opening scene sets a tone for the film that it never veers from. A group of disabled vets play pool, and directly confront each other over why they were there, and what it all means. Director Hal Ashby (RIP) pulls no punches here. These vets aren't scholars debating on MacNeil-Lehrer. They struggle with these questions. They don't have the fancy initials after their names that impress people so much. There just the real people that fought the war.

The rest of the film follows on this point. Special care goes into each character.

Voights Luke Martin went to war to impress girls and feed his titanic ego. Because Ashby and his writers (Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones and Nancy Dowd) didn't back off on showing Luke's bad side, it makes his transformation. He becomes a better person, because he develops the strength to look inside himself.

Bruce Dern gives an excellent performance, as well, in what is probably the trickiest part. Derns Bob Hyde is GI all the way, but returns from his first combat detail in a state of turmoil. He sees the insanity first hand and, quite frankly, can't handle it. The nice thing here is that he's not simply disillusioned by the politics of the war, but more by war, itself. It's to this films credit, that they didn't have Dern return home and do an about face and start protesting. That story has been told. Instead, once again, we see a human being struggling to understand things that may be unknowable. What makes a man cut another man's ears off, and throw them in his knapsack? How are you supposed to feel, when your fellow soldiers are boiling the flesh off a human skull, so they can mount it on a stake?

Oddly enough, Fondas character, Sally Hyde, may be the least "political" character in the film. Sure, she sees injustices at the VA hospital and gets involved volunteering, but this is merely as a novice. She asks very rudimentary questions about why the vets are being ignored, but she asks as a sympathetic human being, not an activist. As she eventually expands her horizons, she changes from an officer's wife into a more mature woman. As this happens, she falls in love with Voight. Neither person really wants it to happen. Voight doesn't want to betray a fellow soldier. Fonda doesn't want to betray her loyal husband. No easy answer.

It's a shame that "Coming Home" occupies such a small niche in film history. It's a quiet, thoughtful film that patiently tells its story. It doesn't have a single battle scene, but it remains incredibly powerful. Robert Carradines breakdown while he plays his guitar and sings, is a scene that should be taught in film school. Just one moment in an incredible film.

Don't let this gem fade away.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good movie, dumb ending Singingorilla
jane fonda being in this movie makes me sick. e-lacey
Jane Fonda's performance Trixie_Pendrell
Which one is better? suggi713
Did Luke + Sally end up together? spencerkay
In retrospect dgave
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