IMDb > Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987) (TV)
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   1,302 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1988 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Feature-length documentary film featuring real-life letters written by American soldiers, sailors, airmen... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Now more than ever. See more (25 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Tom Berenger ... (voice)

Ellen Burstyn ... Mrs. Stocks (voice)

J. Kenneth Campbell ... (voice)

Richard Chaves ... (voice)

Josh Cruze ... (voice)

Willem Dafoe ... Elephant Grass (voice)

Robert De Niro ... Great Sewer (voice)

Brian Dennehy ... (voice)

Kevin Dillon ... Jack (voice)

Matt Dillon ... Mike (voice) (unconfirmed)

Robert Downey Jr. ... (voice)

Michael J. Fox ... Pfc. Raymond Griffiths (voice)

Mark Harmon ... (voice)

John Heard ... Johnny Boy (voice) (unconfirmed)
Fred Hirz ... (voice)

Harvey Keitel ... 2nd Lt. Donald Jacques (voice)

Elizabeth McGovern ... Me (voice)

Judd Nelson ... (voice)

Sean Penn ... (voice)

Randy Quaid ... Cpl. Kevin Macaulay (voice)
Timothy Patrick Quill ... (voice) (as Tim Quill)

Eric Roberts ... (voice)
Ray Robertson ... (voice)

Howard E. Rollins Jr. ... (voice) (as Howard Rollins Jr.)

John Savage ... (voice)

Raphael Sbarge ... (voice)

Martin Sheen ... Alan (voice)

Tucker Smallwood ... (voice)
Roger Steffens ... (voice)
Jim Tracy ... (voice)

Kathleen Turner ... 1st Lt. Lynda Van Devanter (voice)

Tico Wells ... (voice)

Robin Williams ... Baby-san (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Denis Boileau ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
David Brinkley ... Himself - NBC Newsman (archive footage)
Fred DeBrine ... Himself - NBC Newsman (voice) (archive footage)

Alain Delon ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)

Brigitte Fossey ... Récitante / Narrator (voice: French version)
Greg Germain ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)

Annie Girardot ... Récitante / Narrator (voice: French version)
Edgar Givry ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)

Hervé Icovic ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)

Valérie Kaprisky ... Récitante / Narrator (voice: French version)
Gilles Laurent ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Jean-Pierre Leroux ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Christophe Malavoy ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Laurent Malet ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Frank McGee ... Himself - NBC Newsman (voice) (archive footage)
Michel Mella ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Edwin Newman ... Himself - NBC Newsman (archive footage)
Florent Pagny ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Jack Perkins ... Himself - NBC Newsman (voice) (archive footage)
Patrick Poivey ... Récitant / Narrator (voice: French version)
Howard Tuckner ... Himself - NBC Newsman (voice) (archive footage)
Sander Vanocur ... Himself - NBC Newsman (archive footage)

Bob Hope ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Yoko Ono ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Bill Couturié  (as Bill Couturie)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bill Couturié  (as Bill Couturie)
Richard Dewhurst 

Produced by
Thomas Bird .... producer
Bill Couturié .... producer (as Bill Couturie)
Bernard Edelman .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Todd Boekelheide 
 
Cinematography by
Michael Chin 
 
Film Editing by
Stephen Stept 
Gary Weimberg 
 
Casting by
Pat Golden 
Barbara Ligell 
John McCabe 
 
Makeup Department
Jim Gillespie .... makeup department head
 
Production Management
B.Z. Petroff .... production manager
Kathryn Witte .... post-production supervisor
 
Sound Department
Haskell V. Anderson III .... additional dialogue recordist
Mark Berger .... supervising re-recording mixer
Todd Boekelheide .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Chaves .... additional dialogue recordist
Josh Cruze .... additional dialogue recordist
Anna Davis .... assistant sound editor
Will Harvey .... sound re-recording mixer
Howard Mungo .... additional dialogue recordist
Douglas Murray .... synclavier sound effects
Larry Oatfield .... assistant sound editor (as E. Larry Oatfield)
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist
Greg Shaw .... synclavier sound effects
Robert Shoup .... supervising sound editor
Jeffery Stephens .... assistant sound editor (as Jeffrey Stephens)
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
Jeff Watts .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
John Armstrong .... still photographer: title photographs, Camera 3
Peter Crosman .... still photographer: title photographs, Camera 3
 
Editorial Department
Anne Davis .... assistant editor
Doug Jones .... negative conformer
Devon Miller .... assistant editor
Catherine Ryan .... assistant editor
Julie Stept .... assistant editor (as Jules Stept)
 
Music Department
Gary Clayton .... original music recording
Ben Edmonds .... music consultant
Geoffrey Menin .... legal counsel: music
Merril Wasserman .... music clearance
 
Other crew
Phillip Arterbury .... original letter source
Joseph Bersh Jr. .... original letter source
George T. Boks .... archive source: Super 8 footage
Alan Bourne .... original letter source
David Bowman .... original letter source
Alan Brudno .... original letter source
Jack Calamia .... original letter source
Richard Cantale .... original letter source
Rodney Chastant .... original letter source
Richard Chaves .... archive source: Super 8 footage
Cathleen Cordova .... original letter source
Robert Devlin .... original letter source
John Di Fusco .... technical advisor
Bernard Edelman .... book editor: for The New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission
Peter Elliott .... original letter source
Alexander Douglas Grant .... additional stock footage researcher: Great American Stock
Ray Griffiths .... original letter source (as Ray Griffiths)
James Hebron .... original letter source
Doug Jones .... archive source: Super 8 footage
Marion 'Sandy' Kempner .... original letter source
Richard Kepro .... archive source: Super 8 footage
Roy Kissin .... editorial systems analyst
John J. Koshel .... film librarian
Dennis Lane .... original letter source
Richard Loffler .... original letter source
Gregory Lusco .... original letter source
Kevin Macaulay .... original letter source
William Maguire Jr. .... original letter source
Kati Meister .... film research supervisor
Joseph Morrissey .... original letter source
Edward Murphy .... original letter source
George Olsen .... original letter source
Allen Paul .... original letter source
Thomas Jean Pierre Pellaton .... original letter source
Robert Ransom Jr. .... original letter source
Michael Rush .... original letter source
Robert Salerni .... original letter source
James Schubert .... original letter source
James Simmen .... original letter source
William Stocks .... original letter source
Richard Strandberg .... original letter source
Jack Swender .... original letter source
Lynda Van Devanter .... original letter source
Ray Wahl .... original letter source
Victor David Westphall III .... original letter source
George Williams .... original letter source
Eleanor Wimbish .... original letter source
Phillip Woodall .... original letter source
Steve York .... archive source: additional stock footage
 
Thanks
Richard Downing .... acknowledgment: reprints of still photographs
Robert Ellison .... acknowledgment: archive still photographs provided by, Blackstar Photo Agency
Ron Hosberle .... acknowledgment: archive still photographs provided by
Dana A. Penland .... acknowledgment: archive still photographs provided by
Mark Stanoch .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
Germany:83 min | USA:87 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Quotes:
Mrs. Stocks:[In a letter to her KIA son, left at the Vietnam Memorial] Dear Bill, I came to this black wall again, to see and touch your name. William R. Stocks. And as I do, I wonder if anyone ever stops to realize that next to your name, on this black wall, is your mother's heart. A heart broken fifteen years ago today...See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
BLUE CHRISTMASSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Now more than ever., 8 November 2005
Author: FilmSnobby from San Diego

For close to a decade we simply pretended that it never happened. We lost. It was a mistake. But by the Eighties, the United States, strengthened by distance from the event, spent a lot of cultural capital expatiating the Vietnam War: tell-all books; magisterial policy summaries; sordid and violent fiction; meticulous PBS documentaries; TV dramas (remember *China Beach*?); the magnificent work of art that is the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial; and, of course, movies. Aside from that great and powerful Wall, I believe that this humble HBO documentary, *Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam* is perhaps the most artful and cogent assessment of the War. 86 minutes in length, it boasts entirely historical footage from both NBC News archives and soldiers' own video, the urgent and timeless rock music of the period, and, of course, the soldiers' letters to their loved ones back in The World.

The letters, ironically, reveal the only blemish to this wonderful film: the somewhat misguided decision to allow celebrity actors to read them. Funnily, most of these actors were "veterans" of Vietnam War movies: Tom Berenger (*Platoon*); Robert De Niro (*The Deer Hunter*); Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn (*Casualties of War*), Robin Williams (*Good Morning, Vietnam*), Martin Sheen (*Apocaylpse Now*), and so on. One can't shake the feeling that the stars must have felt a kinship -- unearned, obviously -- with the average joes who wrote the letters. When you suddenly hear the instantly recognizable voice of, say, Robert De Niro, you are necessarily taken out of the visceral experience that the movie creates. Although I honor the big shots' intentions (they took no pay for this), their services weren't really required, here.

Thankfully, the selections are brief enough so as to minimize any thespian showboating. And this brevity highlights, rather than diminishes, the eloquence, humor, desperation, and meaning of the soldiers' words. They write about the day-to-day routines of camp, the abject terror of hacking their way through elephant grass wherein the unseen enemy lurks, the beauty of an improvised fireworks show (miraculously caught on film, providing a visual accompaniment to the letter), the seedy delights that await the next R&R excursion in Saigon, the despair of losing your best friends in battle, and so much more. Visually, the film may be even more impressive: there's some amazing footage of bombardments, mortar attacks, firefights right in the midst of the action, and the day-to-day horseplay in camp. Perhaps the most stunning footage was shot in Khe Sanh: a group of besieged Marines, anxious to fight, depressed at being shut in, hair slowly growing to mop-top proportions, wax philosophically about their situation even as that situation grows worse day by day. (Ultimately, there were 77 of those days.) Occasionally, their forced calm gets rattled by a devastating mortar attack on their ramparts from the Viet Cong. Just amazing footage. Of real historical value, too. Speaking of amazing and historical, the North Vietnamese footage of American POWs gingerly celebrating Christmas while in custody will haunt you.

On the periphery of all this found footage, director Bill Couturie keeps a chronological record of the Big Picture, with the assistance of the archives of NBC News. (He somehow located the video of the first 3,500 troops who landed in country in 1964!) On each December 31, title cards inform us of the growing death and casualty tolls suffered by American troops -- by the end of 1968, these numbers have grown to horrifying proportions. Couturie doesn't delve into the background of the conflict, and rightly so: this is the soldiers' story, not a thesis paper by a policy wonk. What does emerge, however, is the utter helplessness of those in command, from LBJ to General Westmoreland to Richard Nixon. One gets the sense that our leaders were trapped in a policy of their own devising. No way out. No victory forthcoming, no matter how many bombs we dropped. A war feeding itself; a self-perpetuating machine. These small-minded men clearly had no solutions -- none, at least, that would salvage enough of the nation's honor to mitigate the whole misbegotten enterprise.

Boy, this all sounds familiar, doesn't it? -- read the news lately? Oh well. Santayana's advice about history is always cited and never followed. In any event, this Veteran's Day (three days from now as of this writing), I'll watch *Dear America* -- now on DVD -- with my father, a Vietnam veteran awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and even a yellowing certificate of Merit from the long-gone South Vietnamese government. For many years, he, like the rest of country, couldn't talk about the war. Now, he looks back on it with wonder, sadness, and pride. For those GenX children of surviving Vietnam Veterans, consider how lucky you are if your Dad was one of the lucky ones to get back to The World alive, and listen, listen, listen. These men and women have much to teach us, now more than ever. *Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam* can help get that conversation started. Thank you, Mr. Couturie, for this important film.

9 stars out of 10.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (25 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
LAST LETTER READ me_administrator
DEAR AMERICA LETTERS HOME FROM VIETNAM SOUNDTRACK ricoman1968
Song? brooklin
DVD? beatnick68-1
DEAR AMERICA LETTERS HOME FROM VIETNAM SOUND TRACK, INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC A ricoman1968
Dear America on History Channel August 2006 in Australia Tasha28
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Jarhead The U.S. vs. John Lennon Paragraph 175 Land of Plenty My Brother's War
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.