7.4/10
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15 user

Friendly Fire (1979)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | TV Movie 22 April 1979
When they try to learn how how their son died in Vietnam, the Mullens meet lies and evasion on all sides.

Director:

Writers:

(book),
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Peg Mullen
...
Gene Mullen
...
C.D. Bryan
Dennis Erdman ...
Michael E. Mullen
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John Mullen
Fanny Spiess ...
Mary Mullen
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Patricia Mullen
Michael Flanagan ...
Father Shimon
Hilly Hicks ...
Willis Huddleston
William Jordan ...
Col. Byron Schindler
Vernon Weddle ...
Col. Georgi
Jack Rader ...
Sgt. Fitzgerald
Robert Wahler ...
Alan Hulting
...
Leroy Hamilton
...
Dietrich
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Storyline

In March 1970, a U.S. Army officer arrived at the Iowa farm of Peg and Gene Mullen and informed them that their son Michael had been killed in Vietnam by "friendly fire." Their determined attempts to learn more about the circumstances of their son's death are the subject of this true account film. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of the anguish and courage of one American family.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bala Traiçoeira  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

C.D.B. Bryan, 73, whose 1976 book 'Friendly Fire' that this television movie was based on, died at his Connecticut home on Dec. 15, 2009. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vietnam true story with a touch of manufactured grit and spirit...
5 July 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

TV-made drama about a farm family in 1970 Iowa propelled into action against the U.S. military by feelings of anger and injustice when their boy is killed in Vietnam by something the government calls "friendly fire" (a shot fired toward one's own forces while attempting to engage the enemy). Factual account adapted by Fay Kanin from C.D.B. Bryan's book has prestige to spare, and the upswing of turning the victim's passive parents into vocal protesters and rabble-rousers against the Army (or, Goliath). In a trendy bit of casting against type, Carol Burnett as the boy's mother digs deep within for this role; but, unlike Mary Tyler Moore (who set the bar for this sort of transition a year later with "Ordinary People"), Burnett is working with material designed in advance to wallop the audience with emotion. Every character follows a standard pattern, and every event is preconceived into an episodic format. When the mother rages in despair, it's treated like another chapter: she grows frustrated, she plows on. From the family's loss of innocence to their small steps forward in the face of bureaucratic adversity, "Friendly Fire" doesn't bowl us over with emotions because there aren't any surprises. It's been ironed out as one family's battle to get us in the gut. It's good television, no doubt, but it doesn't leave behind that rush of genuine exaltation that great sentimental weepers should deliver.


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