7.3/10
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4 user

To Heal a Nation (1988)

M | | Drama | TV Movie 29 May 1988
The true story of Jan Scruggs, an embittered Vietnam veteran who returns from the war a broken man. However, with the help of his loving wife Becky, he begins to find a new life for himself... See full summary »

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Writers:

(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Becky Scruggs
Marshall Colt ...
Jack Wheeler
...
Bob Doubek
...
Sandie
...
Paul Turner
Gloria Carlin ...
Monica
...
Spreiregen
...
Maya Ying Lin
...
Senator Bob Mathias
...
Senator John Warner
James F. Kelly ...
Webb
...
Thompson
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Storyline

The true story of Jan Scruggs, an embittered Vietnam veteran who returns from the war a broken man. However, with the help of his loving wife Becky, he begins to find a new life for himself, and a personal goal when he agrees to begin a determined campaign to raise funds for a veteran's memorial. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cicatriz de guerra  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sue, Stone Worker: [in tears] That name... that's my brother... my baby brother...
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Connections

References The Deer Hunter (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

ONCE I WAS
Vocals by Randy Crenshaw
Arranged by Bruce Miller
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User Reviews

 
Moving, patriotic story of the Vietnam Memorial
4 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

Eric Roberts has a certain hypnotic quality when he's good, and in this film he's exceptionally good as Jan Scruggs, a Vietnam vet who runs into a another vet one night and neither can remember the name of a fallen comrade. In Scruggs' mind, this offhand conversation grows into the conception of a memorial that lists all the names of the dead soldiers from the Vietnam War. The story is told in a sincere, straighforward manner that gathers momentum towards the dramatic opening ceremony of the finished memorial, and is held together by Roberts' energetic performance but amplified by the supporting characters. Despite obstacles along the way, including the tantrums of Ross Perot who doesn't like the chosen design and threatens to scuttle the whole plan, people show up at a fundraiser to donate money and their support to get the memorial built. The film is not a tearjerker, but by virtue of its subject matter I found myself crying at intervals; just keep a handkerchief handy.

This is a film that should be viewed at intervals, just to keep in mind that despite the unpopularity of the war and all the protests, men and women did die in that war and they deserve to be remembered. It's not on any medium at the moment, but it would be nice to see a VHS or DVD presentation of it so that everyone can see it.


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