MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,416 this week

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

 -  Biography | Drama | War  -  5 January 1990 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 64,162 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 164 user | 66 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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 29 Sep 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 21 Nov 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 23 Apr 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Born on the Fourth of July.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The final movie in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy follows the true story of a Vietnamese village girl who survives a life of suffering and hardship during and after the Vietnam war. As a ... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Hiep Thi Le, Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor
Far and Away (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big give-away in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new... See full summary »

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 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
Cocktail (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

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

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
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
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
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A high school footballer desperate for a scholarship and his headstrong coach clash in a dying Pennsylvania steel town.

Director: Michael Chapman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson
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
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 with the only athlete who stays with him.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young recruit 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
Top Gun (1986)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

As students at the Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young flyer 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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver Stone had real animal feces brought on set for the enema scenes in the VA hospital. See more »

Goofs

Reflections of camera and operator visible in the shiny black brim of Ron's hat during the second parade. See more »

Quotes

Doctor: We want to make one thing very clear to you, Ron. The possibility of your ever walking again is minimal... almost impossible. You're a T6 - paralyzed from the mid-chest down. Probably... you'll be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. (pause) Do you understand what I'm saying?
Ron Kovic: Well, doctor...
Doctor: Hmm?
Ron Kovic: Doctor, will I ever be able to - to have children?
Doctor: No.
[pause]
Doctor: No, but we have a good psychologist. He's helped a lot of people.
Ron Kovic: I'll walk again.
Doctor: No you won't...
Ron Kovic: No, I know I'll walk again!
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Burly Man Chronicles (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Born on the Bayou
Written by John Fogerty (as John C. Fogerty)
Performed by The Broken Homes
Courtesy of Jondora Music & MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
'There was another war waiting for the soldiers when they returned home.'
24 October 2004 | by (New York State) – See all my reviews

When asked why he wanted to make another film about Vietnam after the success of 'Platoon,' Oliver Stone is quoted as saying, 'There was another war waiting for the soldiers when they returned home.' Indeed, he was right. 'Born On the Fourth Of July,' based on the book by Ron Kovic, follows Kovic's account of his experiences in Vietnam and the indifferent nation that he returned to. Although released in 1989, it holds up to the current situation that exists in Iraq now-many refer to it as the new Vietnam. Regardless of anyone's opinion on the current Iraq war, 'Born On the Fourth of July' is one of the most affecting, and important war related films of all time.

As the film opens, we find a young Kovic pretending to be a soldier with friends-a time when the idea of being a soldier was heroic since their father's had been heroes in WWII. The film then follows Kovic as a popular athlete in high school up to his recruitment as a Marine. Kovic rationalizes his reasons for joining up as Communists have missiles pointed at us now and we have to save our country from its threats.

During his time in Vietnam, Kovic sees the true nature of war. His platoon mistakenly fires upon a town where the enemy is supposedly hiding; however, they end up killing women and children. During the confusion that follows, Kovic accidentally shoots a fellow soldier-his guilt would encompass him for years to come. But when Kovic himself is wounded in a field, he is sent home paralyzed from the waist down. He spends the first few months in a veteran hospital, which in this case, was a slum. The doctors inform him that he will never be able to use his legs again, and that he no longer has the ability to have children.

When he returns to his home, he realizes that the world has changed. People protest the war, sometimes protesting against the soldiers themselves. His own family is indifferent to the war, as are his old friends. In one scene, he is told by an old friend who has become successful as a fast food manager, 'people here-they don't give a s**t about the war! To them it's just a million miles away.'

Eventually becoming disillusioned by everything in his hometown, Kovic spends a great deal of time with other veterans like himself at a resort in Mexico. Later he becomes an activist-his first public activism took place at the 1972 Republican National Convention where he was televised for exposing the reality of what soldiers endured in Vietnam, but also on the reasons why we did not belong there in the first place.

'Born On the Fourth of July' spends a good deal of time focusing on the misplaced patriotism that the politicians spewed at the public to drum up support not only for Vietnam, but the Cold War, in general. The film shows this by Kovic's own mother constantly reminding her son that he was doing the right thing by going over there and fighting and that he was in God's hands. When Kovic returns home and his disillusionment grows, he gets drunk one night and yells at his mother, 'There is no God. There is only me in this chair for the rest of my life!'

The film does stand up today just as strong as ever. With soldiers returning home from Iraq, and the constant media attention of terrorist attacks over there and seeing our own soldiers ambushed all the time, those who fight now must feel the same anger and frustration that Kovic felt year ago. It does make one wonder, when will the politicians ever truly get it! ****


95 of 118 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
song playing in the background during pool room scene bobbynear
Tom Cruise was born today bossdog677
Discuss Born on the Fourth of July (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?