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Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  5 January 1990 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 69,912 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 169 user | 68 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Josh Evans ...
Tommy Kovic
Jamie Talisman ...
Jimmy Kovic
Anne Bobby ...
Suzanne Kovic
Samantha Larkin ...
Patty Kovic
...
...
Timmy
...
Steve Boyer
Richard Panebianco ...
Joey Walsh
Rob Camilletti ...
Tommy Finnelli
...
Billy Vorsovich
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:

 »
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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)

Gross:

$70,001,698 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the duration of filming the scenes after Ron is paralyzed, Tom Cruise stayed in and used a wheelchair off the set as much as possible. See more »

Goofs

During a scene identified as July 4, 1969, the Kovic family is watching Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Laugh-In aired on Monday evenings, and July 4, 1969 was a Friday. See more »

Quotes

Jamie Wilson - Georgia: What's done is done, sir. I can't ever forgive you... but maybe the Lord can.
Mrs. Wilson: We understand, Ron. We understand the pain you've been going through.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Drawn Together: A Tale of Two Cows (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Hace un Ano
Written by Felipe Valdés Leal (as F. Valdes Leal)
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

 
Yankee Doodle? More like Yankee Doofus!
29 December 2007 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

As a lifelong fan of Oliver Stone films, I felt betrayed after seeing this on video for the first time. More than just about any other filmmaker/screenwriter, Stone has inspired me to attempt to write my own screenplays. His movies always display a plethora of technical wizardry, rendering the artistry of cinema in its boldest colors. Indeed, so impressive is Oliver Stone as a showman that it is all too easy to overlook that many of the stories he tells range from the mediocre to (in this case) the horrid.

Tom Cruise plays the famous Vietnam War-era Marine Ron Kovic; the man himself appears in a small role in the film. But I am surprised that Kovic would have wanted anything to do with the filmic adaptation of his book, considering how unflatteringly Cruise portrays him. As Kovic, Cruise proves to be deeply unlikable and often unintentionally funny. He (very poorly) takes a stab at Kovic's Long Island accent. He brays "Love it or leave it!" as if that were some magical mantra. By the time we see him and Willem Dafoe spitting on each other, I was laughing uncontrollably. I felt bad about laughing at what was ultimately a tragic story, but I didn't really consider it my fault. I put the blame on the director and (especially) on the actors, who look like sit-com stars being directed in an embarrassingly inept TV movie.

All of this might have been forgivable if Stone had at least put some effort into the story, but his efforts are hit-or-miss at best. The script is riddled with historical errors, from Kovic's assertion that the North Vietnamese were fighting for independence (blatantly false) to the appearance of a rock singer belting out "Rock Around the Clock" in a Fourth of July parade taking place in 1956. (Was rock 'n' roll really socially acceptable enough then to be a theme in a small-town community parade? I think not.) Then, just to prove that he managed to stay awake in history class, Stone hammers home every 1960s trope he can remember: from burning the flag to the Black Power movement to the supposed sexual repressiveness of suburban Americans, he misses no opportunity to play up the clichés. The fact that this movie won some Academy Awards tells me only that Hollywood will lavish honors on any half-baked historical epic as long as it's done with enough chutzpah.

Is there anything at all good about BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY? Well, Stone does prove once again that he knows how to paint action-packed panoramas on the screen; his scenes of riots and firefights and parades are extravagant masterpieces, at least when taken on their own terms. But they have been put at the service of a story that plays out like a twisted satiric comedy. Mark my words: you will feel ashamed to be an American after watching this, for it depicts us as profoundly delusional and dysfunctional and ultimately pathetic. It is a mystery to me why Stone, who professes to harbor so much fondness for American history, would go out of his way to squirt huge yellow gobs of macaroni at the Yankee Doodle Boy.


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Democrats esclated the Vietnam War and Republicans ended the war. mymai5500
Any idea what happened to the Dafoe character? housecountrywife
Anyone know if Ron Kovic has ever walked again? cadeis-1
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