7.2/10
83,495
182 user 72 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,006 ( 116)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Firm (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Cocktail (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A talented New York City bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Director: Paul Brickman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano
JFK (1991)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon
Far and Away (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young Irish couple flee to the States, but subsequently struggle to obtain land and prosper freely.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson
Top Gun (1986)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis
Rain Man (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacido el cuatro de julio  »

Edit

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:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Set in Massapequa, New York. It is also the hometown of William, Daniel, and Stephen Baldwin, who all appeared in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Ron and his friends walk out of Boyer's Ice Cream shop, you can see crew and equipment in the reflection on the cars. See more »

Quotes

[Ron is attempting to walk in the hospital; Willie is beside him]
Ron Kovic: Am I good? Hey
[drags himself forward]
Ron Kovic: , am I good?
Willie: Man, you're one crazy Marine, Kovic - so gung-ho and everything, but you don't know shit about what's really happenin' in this country.
Ron Kovic: Fuck you, Willie.
Willie: I'm serious man. It ain't about burnin' the flag and Vietnam, man. While we fight for rights over there, we ain't got no rights at home. It's about Detroit and Newark, man. It's about racism, man.
Ron Kovic: Is that right?
Willie: Because you can't...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Christopher Walken/Bonnie Raitt (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Maleguena
Written by Elpidio Ramírez (as Ramirez) / Pedro Galindo (as Galindo)
Performed by Luis Alberto del Paraná (as Luis Alberto del Parana) and His Trio Los Paraguayos
Courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a Division of Polygram Records, Inc.
Published by Peer International Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Reality hurts
4 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

When you see a war veteran campaigning against the very war in which he was willing to die once, you begin to have second thoughts about the intent behind the war. Many Americans went deep into this deliberation when veterans like Ron Kovic went on record questioning the wisdom behind US's offensive against Vietnam. Regardless of historical outcome of the war, the question will haunt USA forever -was the Vietnam War a noble and just cause. Your answer could be anything depending upon your political and ideological preferences, but the reality of thousands who lost their lives and limbs continues to hurt.

Oliver Stone's Born on Fourth of July - based on the true story of Ron Kovic - takes the audience through the triumph and trauma of a crusader who went from one side of the war debate to the other. Ron wanted to fight for his country and stop the evil force of communism dead in its tracks. He went to Vietnam to defend his nation but came back soon, injured and doomed to suffer further. In the inadequately equipped hospital, his dreamer instincts crashed against the harsh realities of political ambivalence, not for the first time though.

Over next eight years that are depicted in this masterpiece, the character of Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise with unprecedented brilliance) goes through the trauma of knowing that no one will "love him now", that even his own sibling is not on the same side of ideology, that the government had more pressing issues than taking good care of war veterans, that his countrymen did not necessarily endorse of his view point. The reality that he killed a soldier from his own army, the reality that he was the unfortunate one to butcher children and women in Vietnam, the reality that he would not be able to father a child, the reality of his realization that his government had made a wrong case for the war - it all kept gnawing at his conscience. It kept gnawing him until he opened up to speak about what was wrong about this war. Thus 'ended' the patriotic fervor of a driven person, but he continued his passion as an antiwar activist.

Born on Fourth of July may have been the story of one Ron Kovic, but there are many others whose sentiments would echo with this veteran's. At the end, there is no easy way out of this debate. War always comes with its baggage of pain, trauma and hurt. Whether Vietnam was a mistake or not - the arguments would go on forever. So would the history of people who aspired to be motivated by JFK's historical urge - Ask not what your country can do for you, See what you can do for your country - only to realize that in every war there is only one casualty - the human spirit. And this reality hurts.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 182 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Steven Spielberg's Most Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs

"The IMDb Show" takes a look at the new trailer for Ready Player One and breaks down director Steven Spielberg's five greatest Easter eggs of all time. Plus, we connect the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch now