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1969 (1988)

 -  Drama | War  -  18 November 1988 (USA)
5.8
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Reviews: 24 user | 12 critic

Two friends, Ralph and Scott live in a small minded town at the onset of wide public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. While Scott's brother enlists, he and Ralph are outspoken in their... See full summary »

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Title: 1969 (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ev
Christopher Wynne ...
Alden
Keller Kuhn ...
Marsha
Steve Foster ...
Marshall
Mert Hatfield ...
Coach Heart
Welton Tootle ...
Junior Roberts
Don Devendorf ...
Reverend Hardy
Robert Louis Stevenson ...
Dean Bonner (as Dr. Robert Louis Stevenson)
Jason Summers ...
Protestor
Scott N. Stevens ...
Hitchhiker
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Storyline

Two friends, Ralph and Scott live in a small minded town at the onset of wide public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. While Scott's brother enlists, he and Ralph are outspoken in their opposition to the war. Scott's attitude alienates him from his father and he and Ralph leave town to enjoy their 'freedom'. Various events lead them back to town where they learn of the death of the brother. This event proves to be the catalyst needed to bridge the gap between father and son and enlightens them both to the true cost of war. Written by Mark Harding <mah@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The year the country split apart and a generation came together.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1969 - O Ano que Mudou Nossas Vidas  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,979,011 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The narrator at the beginning states that John F. Kennedy had been killed the year before the film takes place. President Kennedy was actually assassinated on the 22nd of November, 1963. However, it was his brother, Robert Kennedy, who had been killed in 1968. See more »

Quotes

Coach Heart: You boys aren't working at the pool this summer?
Scott: No, we're going on the road. That's what hippies do ya' know.
See more »

Connections

References True Grit (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In
Performed by The The 5th Dimension
Courtesy of Arista Records Inc.
Written by Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado
Published by SBK U Catalog Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Well-meant but lighthearted look back on the 60's
3 November 2000 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

For a directorial debut, "1969" is better than average, but for an overall coming-of-age movie, it misses its mark somewhat. Ernest Thompson tells the story of two college freshmen, Scott and Ralph, who are coming to terms with the grips of the world at present (Vietnam, family, patriotism, drugs) while their smalltown home, and their own parents, remain buried in the ideals of the flag-waving 50's. Scott is naive, idealistic and hopeful; Ralph is cynical, careless and wild. Although opposites, they complement each other. Scott wishes to become another human catalyst to help change a world he sees as having limitless possibilities. Ralph just wants to get high, ignore his studies and stay out of Vietnam. In between them is Beth, Ralph's younger sister whose also coming into age and also in conflict with the world at hand. Both guys have trouble with recognizing Beth as a new woman and not just a kid anymore.

Although the story centers on Ralph and Scott, all three of them are at odds

  • in different degrees - with their parents. Scott is in most turmoil. His


brother has just been shipped off to Vietnam and their father begins projecting hostility towards Scott for objecting the war. Truthfully, Scott's father has deep fear about the fate of his son in Asia, but clumsily hides it under a blanket of patriotism. One misused character was Beth; whose personality was equal parts of her brother and his best friend; she had Ralph's sense of reality and Scott's optimism. I thought she would serve as the bridge between Scott and Ralph but she is used rather as the cause of a rift when Scott and Beth become romantically involved.

I liked this film just for the energetic performances by Robert Downey Jr., Winona Ryder, Bruce Dern, and most of all Kiefer Sutherland as the wide-eyed wishful. The film score is totally corny (especially in the finale), but Thompson puts good 60's tunes to fill in the scenery. The film does have a realistic vision of smalltown life and effectively creates those various hippie hangouts like angry college campuses, head shops, and nude beaches. Its not "The Doors", but it works.


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