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Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

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(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Josh Evans ...
Jamie Talisman ...
...
Samantha Larkin ...
Patty Kovic
...
Recruiting Gunnery Sgt. Hayes
...
...
Richard Panebianco ...
Rob Camilletti ...
...
Michael McTighe ...
Danny Fantozzi
Richard Haus ...
Recruiting Sgt. Bowers
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Storyline

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of innocence lost and courage found.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacido el cuatro de julio  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$172,021, 25 December 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$70,001,698

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,001,698
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire film was shot in shades of red, white, or blue, depending on the emotional level (battle scenes are all in reddish hues, dream sequences in white, sadness in blue, etc). See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Ron is, by 1972, a full-fledged anti-war activist. Ron materializes on the floor of the Republican National Convention with a few other Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They make a scene, attract a few cameras, block the aisle, and rile the delegates, a mass of bloated Republican faces in straw boaters. One of them spits on Ron. Security guards move in, roughly pushing and pulling the veterans from the hall, physically preventing reporters from following. Outside, Ron is thrown from his wheelchair by an undercover cop and beaten. Actually, Robert Dornan persuaded security guards to let Kovic into the convention. Mr. Dornan says he made Mr. Kovic promise not to make a scene. That, however, did not stop the Vietnam veteran, who joined forces with two other disabled anti- war veterans. "It was not as big a disturbance as the movie showed, but it was a disturbance," says Mr. Dornan. "They were screaming. The guards came down and politely pulled their chairs backward. [They] put them out peaceably." A United Press International report of the incident describes the scene this way: "After about five minutes, security agents wheeled them in protesting out a side door. I went out and watched him and the other two congratulating one another, bragging about what they'd accomplished." See more »

Quotes

Chaplain - Vietnam: How are you?
Ron Kovic: [weakly] Tell them - they have to operate on me. There's something wrong with me.
Chaplain - Vietnam: The doctors are real busy right now. There's a lot of wounded here today. No time for anything except trying to stay alive, so you got to try and stay alive, okay? You hear me? Try and stay alive.
[pause]
Chaplain - Vietnam: I've come to give you your last rites. Are you ready?
Ron Kovic: [weakly] Yeah.
Chaplain - Vietnam: I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »


Soundtracks

Que Voy a Hacer
Written by Gustavo Pimentel
Performed by Gustavo Pimentel
Courtesy of Orfeon Video Vox, S.A.
Published by Super Pegasus Music Publishing Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise Show
26 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

"Born on the Fourth of July" is a film based on the real-life experiences of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise in an Oscar-nominated role). As a young man he feels that Vietnam is just another battleground for the United States. Even after he returns home paralyzed from the waist down, he still feels that Vietnam is important and that if you do not support the fighting then you should leave America. However, he has a change of heart and becomes an anti-war activist who realizes that one gets nothing out of combat but heartache and sorrow. Oliver Stone's screenplay is pretty strong, but it is his unrelenting direction that makes the material work throughout. Tom Cruise established himself as a high-class actor and the film stays above water because of that fact. The lack of character support does impede the progress of the film though. Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and Kyra Sedgwick make somewhat token appearances and the impact of their screen-time is all minimal. Cruise's character dominates the film. This is both the film's strong point and weak point. All in all a strong film, but could have been so much more. 4 out of 5 stars.


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