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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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Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Josh Evans ...
Jamie Talisman ...
Anne Bobby ...
Samantha Larkin ...
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Richard Panebianco ...
Rob Camilletti ...
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Michael McTighe ...
Richard Haus ...
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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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$172,021 (USA) (25 December 1989)

Gross:

$70,001,698 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Cruise had initially talked to Oliver Stone about taking the lead role in Wall Street (1987), but Stone had already given the role to Charlie Sheen. Stone then suggested he be cast in Born on the Fourth of July (1989). See more »

Goofs

When the recruiter visits Ronnie's school, he incorrectly refers to Marine boot camp as "13 weeks of hell," when Marine boot camp was only 8 weeks during the timeframe of the movie. See more »

Quotes

Ron Kovic: [to Charlie] I had a mother; I had a father, things - things that made sense. Do you remember things that made sense? Things you could count on? Before we all got so lost? What are we gonna do, Charlie? What am I gonna do?
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Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »


Soundtracks

You're a Grand Old Flag
Written by George M. Cohan
Performed by the Pride of the 48
Courtesy of Alshire International, Inc.
Published by George M. Cohan Music Publishing Co.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Absorbing Piece of Work
13 August 2006 | by (Central Canada) – See all my reviews

Let's start with the good news. "Born on the Fourth of July" is an absorbing piece of work, based on a true story, about Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), a gung-ho Marine-turned-war-protester. We first meet Kovic as an all-American boy as strong in his faith as he is in his will to succeed. After high school he proudly joins the Marines, hoping he'll be shipped to Vietnam to stop the spread of communism. But the barbarities of war, including civilian casualties, friendly fire and a paralyzing bullet through the chest, gradually turn him against the conflict. Director Oliver Stone's method of telling Kovic's story over a period of several years is highly effective and convincing. Cruise is at his best as Kovic, portraying a wide range of emotions and developing apathy with the viewer. The audience feels what he feels, from confusion on the battlefield to the terror of being paralyzed from the waist down.

Now for the bad news. The picture is overly political, with Stone once again (and unnecessarily) casting Republicans as the bad guys and Democrats as the good guys (seemingly ignoring that the Dems initially sent the troops to 'Nam). The film also takes a while to build up steam, and the all-American life of the pre-Marine Kovic seems a little too perfect to be believable. Obviously a story such as this requires adequate screen time, but the 145 minutes is slightly drawn out, particularly toward the end. And although one of its central themes is the opposition to the war that greeted returning vets, the genesis and rationale of that opposition are not adequately explored.

As a whole, however, "Born of the Fourth of July" is recommended. Kovic's biography and Stone's masterful storytelling are a perfect match. It's not your typical war movie. In fact, it's not your typical movie, period.


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