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Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  5 January 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 73,062 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 172 user | 70 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.



(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Evans ...
Tommy Kovic
Jamie Talisman ...
Jimmy Kovic
Anne Bobby ...
Suzanne Kovic
Samantha Larkin ...
Patty Kovic
Steve Boyer
Richard Panebianco ...
Joey Walsh
Rob Camilletti ...
Tommy Finnelli
Billy Vorsovich
Michael McTighe ...
Danny Fantozzi
Richard Haus ...
Recruiting Sgt. Bowers


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


A story of innocence lost and courage found.


Biography | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Geboren am 4. Juli  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$70,001,698 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The opening scenes of Tom Cruise in a bar in Mexico were actually shot in a town in Northern Philippines called "Vigan".

Vigan is a UNESCO heritage site for its colonial historic houses and cobbled streets . See more »


The movie major is a decidedly unsympathetic character who ends his discussion with young Kovic by threatening to "take his head" if any more is said about the matter. The real-life major, traced by U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Fred Peck, would not consent to an interview. Through Lt. Col. Peck, the major confirmed Ron Kovic voiced such concerns to him. The major investigated and concluded it was unlikely Mr. Kovic had killed the Marine. Subsequently, the major promoted Mr. Kovic, making him the leader of a new scout group. See more »


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 »


Featured in The Universal Story (1995) See more »


Soldier Boy
Written by Luther Dixon and Florence Green
Performed by The Shirelles
Courtesy of Original Sound Record Co., Inc.
Published by ABKCO Music, Inc. Ludix Publishing Co., Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"You can take your Vietnam and shove it up your ass" Stone's 2nd best film to date
20 November 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July to me is better than Platoon, or at least more psychologically moving and cinematically compelling. While Platoon, Stone's totally personal account of the Vietnam war is quite accurate and superb in many ways, this film is better if only because it's not Stone's story. He takes the tale of Ron Kovic (who wrote the book with the same name as the film and scripted by him and Stone) and turns it into a blisteringly awesome and ultimately harrowing picture that has performances, scenes and direction that top Platoon (maybe it's a sign that practice makes perfect)

Anyway, the tale centers on Ron Kovic (played to a utter T by Tom Cruise) good old-boy-type of American kid who decides he wants to fight for his country in the Vietnam war even if he has to die for his country. He fights, witnesses horror and makes a tragic mistake and comes back home a crippled from the waist down veteran, who has to endure the emotional and physical pain of just being a veteran of Vietnam in a country where they are put down more than revered. All this, and more (including one of the most volcanic scenes I have ever seen between Cruise and Dafoe on a Mexico road) lead him to become a anti-war activist.

In making the big theme of the picture Kovic and his feeling on the war, Stone depicts his journey excellently by showing his desire to be in it, his confusion afterwards, his eventual hatred and then placement in being against the war all the while still being a patriot. Not only does it work as a saga/war movie, but also as a 180 degree change tale. Must, must see for all Stone fans and for anybody who wants to see what Cruise can actually do with proper direction and script.

114 of 155 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Did you well up in these scenes? dazfiddy
Democrats esclated the Vietnam War and Republicans ended the war. mymai5500
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Equipment used in Vietnam scenes -- accuracy question JackSparrow92
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