American Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 9

The Fifth of July (9 Mar. 1982)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 121 users  
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Ken Talley is 32, strong, goodlooking and a Vietnam vet with both legs shot off seven years earlier. He is somewhat cynical. His lover Jed is bigger and stronger, a gardner, a good listener... See full summary »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Jonathan Hogan ...
Joyce Reehling ...
June Talley (as Joyce Reehling Christopher)
Helen Stenborg ...
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Ken Talley is 32, strong, goodlooking and a Vietnam vet with both legs shot off seven years earlier. He is somewhat cynical. His lover Jed is bigger and stronger, a gardner, a good listener. On Independence Day 1977 Ken's home in Lebanon Missouri is visted by the others. Much of their past relationships, pre- and post-Vietnam, must be pulled up and examined before any of them can decide their future. Written by Ed Stephan <>

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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

9 March 1982 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "The Fifth of July" by Lanford Wilson opened at the New Apollo Theater on November 5, 1980, ran for 511 performances and was nominated for the 1981 Tony Award for the Best Play. Swoosie Kurtz (winner of the 1981 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play), Jeff Daniels, Jonathan Hogan, Danton Stone and Joyce Reehling reprise their roles in the filmed production. See more »

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User Reviews

Superior Talent- Superior Performance
14 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The rise to fame of Jeff Daniels (Arachnaphobia, Butcher's Wife, Good Night & Good Luck, Pleasantville), Cynthia Nixon (Amadeus, Sex in the City), Swoosie Kurtz (Sisters, Bubble Boy, Liar Liar, Reality Bites), Joyce Reehling (Nypd Blue, Law & Order, Ed, Long Time Companion), and Helen Stenborg (Longest Journey Video Game, Law & Order, Bonfire of the Vanities) is a testament to the combined acting perfection demonstrated in Fifth of July. I first saw this movie on PBS in 1989 and was instantly addicted to it.

I was thrilled when it finally came out on d v d, and I don't think I have a friend to whom I haven't shared this movie with. It's funny, it's sad, it's an attention grabber and thought provoker. Plus, of course, there's the chance to see sexy Jeff Daniels without a shirt through half the movie. It was also the first movie I had seen with a gay couple whose sexuality is neither the focus or the melodrama of the story. It was just there, it wasn't "in the way", and it presented a gay couple as they truly are - just part of the family like everyone else. The effect of this movie is that you're invited to join a family, and you feel as though you've become a part of their lives; but then the movie ends and you feel like you've suddenly been orphaned. You really fall for the characters. And the closing song is very beautiful

  • and I had memorized it on the first hearing! It kept me going until I

bought the movie many years later on d v d.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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