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Born on the Fourth of July
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Born on the Fourth of July (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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Born on the Fourth of July -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   61,413 votes »
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Up 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Ron Kovic (book)
Oliver Stone (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Born on the Fourth of July on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 January 1990 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A story of innocence lost and courage found.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 17 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Don't overlook the story See more (160 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tom Cruise ... Ron Kovic

Raymond J. Barry ... Mr. Kovic

Caroline Kava ... Mrs. Kovic
Josh Evans ... Tommy Kovic
Jamie Talisman ... Jimmy Kovic
Anne Bobby ... Suzanne Kovic
Samantha Larkin ... Patty Kovic

Tom Berenger ... Recruiting Gunnery Sgt. Hayes

Frank Whaley ... Timmy

Jerry Levine ... Steve Boyer
Richard Panebianco ... Joey Walsh
Rob Camilletti ... Tommy Finnelli

Stephen Baldwin ... Billy Vorsovich
Michael McTighe ... Danny Fantozzi
Richard Haus ... Recruiting Sgt. Bowers
Kevin Harvey Morse ... Jackie Kovic

Kyra Sedgwick ... Donna, Ron's Girlfriend
Karen Newman ... Hooker - Villa Dulce

Tom Sizemore ... Vet - Villa Dulce

Michael Wincott ... Vet - Villa Dulce

Mike Starr ... Man #1 - Arthur's Bar

Ed Lauter ... Legion Commander

Daniel Baldwin ... Vet #1 - Democratic Convention

Brian Tarantina ... Vet #2 - Miami Convention
Liz Moore ... Fat Lady at Parade

Dale Dye ... Infantry Colonel
Norma Moore ... Massapequa Mom

Stacey Moseley ... Young Donna's Friend
Mel Allen ... Himself (voice)
Richard Grusin ... Coach
Harold Woloschin ... Umpire
Ryan Beadle ... Ballplayer
Sean McGraw ... Young Donna's Father
Bryan Larkin ... Young Ron Kovic

Oliver Stone ... News Reporter
Seth Allen ... Young Tommy Kovic

Sean Stone ... Young Jimmy Kovic

Jenna von Oÿ ... Young Suzanne Kovic
Mike Miller ... Neighbor
Ellen Pasternack ... Neighbor
Joy Zapata ... Neighbor
Bob Tillotson ... Truck Driver

John Getz ... Marine Major - Vietnam

David Warshofsky ... Lieutenant - Vietnam

Jason Gedrick ... Martinez - Vietnam
Michael Compotaro ... PFC Wilson, Marine Shot by Kovic
Paul Abbott ... Platoon - Vietnam

Bill Allen ... Platoon - Vietnam

William Baldwin ... Platoon - Vietnam
Claude Brooks ... Platoon - Vietnam
Michael Smith Guess ... Platoon - Vietnam

James Le Gros ... Platoon - Vietnam (as James LeGros)

William Mapother ... Platoon - Vietnam (as William R. Mapother)
Christopher W. Mills ... Platoon - Vietnam

Byron Minns ... Platoon - Vietnam
Ben Wright ... Platoon - Vietnam
Markus Flanagan ... Doctor - Vietnam

R.D. Call ... Chaplain - Vietnam
John Falch ... Corpsman - Vietnam
Dan Furnad ... Corpsman - Vietnam
Fred Geise ... Corpsman - Vietnam
Greg Hackbarth ... Corpsman - Vietnam
Don Wilson ... Corpsman - Vietnam
Corkey Ford ... Marvin - VA Hospital

Rocky Carroll ... Willie - VA Hospital
Sami Chester ... Aide #2 - VA Hospital
Chris Pedersen ... Aide #3 - VA Hospital
Chris Walker ... Aide #4 - VA Hospital
Willie Minor ... Eddie - VA Hospital

David Herman ... Patient - VA Hospital

Bruce MacVittie ... Patient - VA Hospital

Damien Leake ... Patient - VA Hospital
David Neidorf ... Patient - VA Hospital

Paul Sanchez ... Patient - VA Hospital
Richard Lubin ... Patient - VA Hospital
Norm Wilson ... Patient - VA Hospital
Peter Benson ... Patient - VA Hospital
Sergio Scognamiglio ... Patient - VA Hospital
Billie Neal ... Nurse Washington - VA Hospital

Richard Poe ... Frankie - VA Hospital

Bob Gunton ... Doctor #1 - VA Hospital

Vivica A. Fox ... Hooker - VA Hospital (as Vivica Fox)

Mark Moses ... Optimistic Doctor - VA Hospital
Abbie Hoffman ... Strike Organizer - Syracuse, NY

Jake Weber ... Donna's Boyfriend - Syracuse, NY

Reg E. Cathey ... Speaker - Syracuse, NY
Edie Brickell ... Folk Singer - Syracuse, NY
Keri Roebuck ... Woman - Syracuse, NY
Geoff Garza ... Young Radical - Syracuse, NY
Joseph P. Reidy ... Student Organizer - Syracuse, NY (as Joseph Reidy)
Erika Geminder ... Young Patty

Amanda Davis ... Baby Patty
Beau Starr ... Man #2 - Arthur's Bar
Rick Masters ... Man #3 - Arthur's Bar
John Del Regno ... Friend #1 - Arthur's Bar
Gale Mayron ... Friend #2 - Arthur's Bar
Lisa Barnes ... Friend #3 - Arthur's Bar

Melinda Renna ... Barmaid - Arthur's Bar (as Melinda Ramos Renna)
Jason Klein ... Young Timmy

Willem Dafoe ... Charlie - Villa Dulce
Jessica Prunell ... Young Donna
Lane R. Davis ... Young Steve

Andrew Lauer ... Vet - Villa Dulce
Johnny Pinto ... Young Joey (as John Pinto)
Ivan Kane ... Vet - Villa Dulce
Ed Jupp Jr. ... Vet - Villa Dulce
Michael Sulsona ... Vet - Villa Dulce
Cordelia González ... María Elena, Hooker - Villa Dulce (as Cordelia Gonzalez)

J.R. Nutt ... Young Tommy

Begonya Plaza ... Charlie's Hooker - Villa Dulce (as Begonia Plaza)
Edith Diaz ... Madame - Villa Dulce

Anthony Pena ... Bartender - Villa Dulce
Eduardo Ricaro ... Cab Driver - Villa Dulce
Tony Frank ... Mr. Wilson - Georgia
Jayne Haynes ... Mrs. Wilson - Georgia

Lili Taylor ... Jamie Wilson - Georgia
Elbert Lewis ... Cab Driver - Georgia
Peter Crombie ... Undercover Vet - Miami Convention
Kevin G. McGuire ... Paraplegic #1 - Miami Convention (as Kevin McGuire)
Ken Osborne ... Paraplegic #2 - Miami Convention

Alan Toy ... Paraplegic #3 - Miami Convention
Chuck Pfeiffer ... Secret Service Agent - Miami Convention
Frank Girardeau ... Agent #1 - Miami Convention
William Wallace ... Agent #2 - Miami Convention
Chip Moody ... TV Anchor - Miami Convention

Eagle Eye Cherry ... Vet #1 - Miami Convention
Philip Amelio ... Young Billy
Frank Cavestani ... Vet #3 - Miami Convention
Jimmy L. Parker ... Vet #4 - Miami Convention
William G. Knight ... Chief Cop - Miami Convention (as William Knight)
David Carriere ... Hippie - Miami Convention
John William Galt ... Fat Republican - Miami Convention (as John Galt)

Jack McGee ... Democratic Delegate - Democratic Convention
Kristel Otney ... Woman #1 - Democratic Convention
Pamela S. Neill ... Woman #2 - Democratic Convention

Jodi Long ... Reporter #1 - Democratic Conventon
Michelle Hurst ... Reporter #2 - Democratic Convention
Cody Beard ... Young Danny

John C. McGinley ... Official #1 - Democratic Convention, Pushing Wheelchair (as John McGinley)

Wayne Knight ... Official #2 - Democratic Convention

Elizabeth Hoffman ... Passerby #1 - Democratic Convention

Lucinda Jenney ... Passerby #2 - Democratic Convention
Lorraine Morin-Torre ... Passerby #3 - Democratic Convention

Annie McEnroe ... Passerby #4 - Democratic Convention

Réal Andrews ... Vet #2 - Democratic Convention
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Holly Marie Combs ... Jenny
John Achorn ... (uncredited)
Chris Adamec ... Orderly (uncredited)
Ran Barker ... Bobby (uncredited)

Theresa Bell ... Democratic Conventioner (uncredited)

Dean Denton ... Marine Recruiter (uncredited)
Luv Adele Gaerlan ... Girl Selling Barbecued Pork (uncredited)

Allan Hale ... Miami Convention Member (uncredited)

Ron Kovic ... Parade Veteran (uncredited)

Dean Mauro ... Conventioneer (uncredited) (unconfirmed)

Maureen Mendoza ... Little girl (uncredited)
Mark Miller ... Soldier (uncredited)
Íce Mrozek ... Syracuse Friend (uncredited)
Nick Nicholson ... Soldier (uncredited)

Bud Sabatino ... Father at Parade (uncredited)

Delia Sheppard ... Protesting War Widow (uncredited)
E. Lee Smith ... Vietnam Veteran (uncredited)
Marvin Frank Stone III ... Parade Attendee (uncredited)
Henry Strzalkowski ... (uncredited)
Steve Thomas ... Gazebo Speech Attendee (uncredited)
Mark Edward Walters ... Parade Attendee (uncredited)
Norman D. Wilson ... Veteran (uncredited)
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Directed by
Oliver Stone 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Ron Kovic (book)

Oliver Stone (screenplay) &
Ron Kovic (screenplay)

Produced by
A. Kitman Ho .... producer
Lope V. Juban Jr. .... producer: Phillipines
Joseph P. Reidy .... associate producer (as Joseph Reidy)
Oliver Stone .... producer
Clayton Townsend .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
John Williams 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Richardson (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
David Brenner 
Joe Hutshing (co-editor)
 
Casting by
Risa Bramon Garcia  (as Risa Bramon)
Billy Hopkins 
 
Production Design by
Bruno Rubeo 
 
Art Direction by
Richard L. Johnson 
Victor Kempster 
 
Set Decoration by
Derek R. Hill 
 
Costume Design by
Judy L. Ruskin  (as Judy Ruskin)
 
Makeup Department
Martha Marek Beresford .... hair stylist
Bonnie Clevering .... hair stylist
Sharon Ilson .... key makeup artist
Rick Sharp .... makeup artist: Tom Cruise
Gordon J. Smith .... special makeup effects artist (as Gordon Smith)
Suzanne M. Willett .... assistant makeup artist
Joy Zapata .... key hair stylist (as Joy A. Zapata)
Jean Ann Black .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Fred Lackey III .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Jane Bartelme .... production supervisor
Brad Blake .... post-production supervisor
Chris Brigham .... production supervisor: Philippines
Joey Romero .... production manager: Philippines
Clayton Townsend .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Randy Fife .... second unit director
Ulysses Formanez .... second second assistant director: Philippines
Donald J. Lee Jr. .... second second assistant director
Stephen Lim .... first assistant director
Stephen J. Lima .... first assistant director
Joseph P. Reidy .... first assistant director (as Joseph Reidy)
David Sardi .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Francisco Balangue .... construction manager: Philippines
Richard L. Barlow .... assistant props
Tana Bishop .... art production assistant
E.W. Bradford .... construction coordinator (as E.W. 'Bill' Bradford)
Don 'Tex' Clark .... set dresser (as Don Clark)
Rodell Cruz .... art director: Philippines
David Delina .... property master: Philippines
Mark Fabert .... gang boss
Camilo Felipe .... head painter: Philippines
Floyd Gentry .... stand-by painter
Joanna Gilliam .... art production assistant
Doug Gruden .... art production assistant
John Harrington .... key painter
Jerry G. Henery .... construction foreman
Joe Kee .... art production assistant (as Joseph A. Kee)
Bruce Kerner .... sign graphics coordinator
Jack Kerner .... signwriter
Jeff Klein .... art production assistant
Charles P. Lancaster .... signwriter
David McGrath .... art production assistant
Jeff McGrath .... art production assistant
William H. Neff .... signwriter foreman (as William H. Neff Jr.)
Mike Parsons .... property master
Craig Pittman .... set dresser (as Craig H. Patterson)
Marco Rubeo .... draughtsman
Joe Sharber .... stand-by props
Phil Shirey .... leadman
J. Grey Smith .... set dresser
George Toomer Jr. .... set dresser
Nicole Vaughn .... art production assistant
Amy Vuckovich .... art production assistant (as Amy Botefuhr)
John Timothy Williams .... set dresser
Calvin Wimmer .... art department
Ron Downing .... property buyer: Mexico (uncredited)
Stephanie Emery .... prop assistant (uncredited)
Doyle Smith .... assistant to art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Bill Abbott .... digital sound recordist
Lon Bender .... additional sound (as Lon E. Bender)
Gary Gegan .... adr mixer
Scott Martin Gershin .... sound effects editor
Avram D. Gold .... adr editor
Hilda Hodges .... foley artist (as Hilda Ann Hodges)
Chris Hogan .... additional sound
Michael Hoskinson .... assistant sound editor (as Michael R. Hoskinson)
Mark R. La Pointe .... foley editor (as Mark La Pointe)
Mark Lanza .... additional sound
Tod A. Maitland .... sound mixer
Joseph A. Mayer .... adr supervisor (as Joe Mayer)
Michael Minkler .... sound designer
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Derrick Mitchell .... assistant sound editor
T.J. O'Mara .... boom operator (as Terence J. O'Mara)
Dan M. Rich .... dialogue editor (as Dan Rich)
David M. Roberts .... sound recordist
Wylie Stateman .... sound designer
Wylie Stateman .... sound re-recording mixer
Edward M. Steidele .... foley artist (as Edward Steidele)
Gregory H. Watkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Hugo Weng .... dialogue editor
Michael D. Wilhoit .... dialogue editor
Michael D. Wilhoit .... sound editor
Michael P. Henning .... second unit: boom operator (uncredited)
Bill Rojas .... sound facility supervisor (uncredited)
Jeff Timbs .... daily sound transferer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
William Curtin .... special effects coordinator: Philippines
Manny Macapagal .... special effects second assistant: Philippines
Randy E. Moore .... special effects crew
Theresa Purcell .... special effects assistant
William Purcell .... special effects coordinator
Roland Salem .... special effects first assistant: Philippines
Jim Henry .... smoke machines: Dallas (uncredited)
Bradley W. Taylor .... special effects crew (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Robert Dawson .... optical supervisor
Dion Hatch .... optical cameraman: CRC
Clayton R. Marsh .... optical lineup
Dan Valuere .... optical color timer
 
Stunts
Gil Arceo .... stunt coordinator: Philippines
Lloyd Lively .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Banong Balicas .... key grip: Philippines
Enrico Balicas .... best boy grip: Philippines
Rene Balicas .... dolly grip: Philippines
Bradly E. Breitbarth .... grip (as Bradly Breitbarth)
Donald Carlson .... first assistant camera
Robert C. Carlson .... second assistant camera
Dean Coke .... grip
Bernardo Gabilo .... focus puller: Philippines
Jonathan D. Guerra .... electrician (as Jon Guerra)
Paris L. Gutierrez .... electrician
Thomas Jirgal .... grip (as Thomas 'Casey' Jirgal)
Ian Jones .... additional Steadicam operator
Lynn Lockwood .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Lynn C. Lockwood)
Carol Ann Maguire .... grip
Anastas N. Michos .... Steadicam operator
Anastas N. Michos .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jim Miller .... grip
Mike Miller .... key grip (as Michael Miller)
Robert W. Moreno .... electrician
Roland Neveu .... still photographer
Reinhart 'Rayteam' Peschke .... gaffer
Philip C. Pfeiffer .... director of photography: second unit
Toby Phillips .... Steadicam operator
Celebrando Raymundo .... head electrician: Philippines
George Rosales .... assistant camera: Philippines
David Rudd .... first assistant camera
Caloy Salcedo .... focus puller: Philippines (as Caldy Salcedo)
Frank Scheidbach .... best boy
John Shoemaker .... electrician
Timmy D. Short .... gang boss
John Patrick Smith .... film loader
Peter J. Verrando .... video playback operator (as Pete Verrando)
William G. Webb .... camera intern (as Bill Webb)
Sharon Alley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bil Arscott .... electrician (uncredited)
Sean Cohen .... electrician (uncredited)
Michael Off .... assistant camera: additional scenes (uncredited)
Henry Tirl .... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Paul Adler .... casting: Philippines
Julie Herrin .... casting assistant
Ed Johnston .... casting: Texas
Heidi Levitt .... casting associate
Amy Levy-Lancaster .... casting assistant
Ken Metcalfe .... extras casting: Philippines
Kris Nicolau .... extras casting
Carl Scaglione .... casting assistant: Texas
Donna Schubert .... casting assistant
Burton Sharp .... voice casting
Suzanne Smith .... casting assistant
Katherine Venti .... casting associate
Matthew W. Davis .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Eric Northcutt .... extras casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Fran Allgood .... costumer: women (as Fran V. Allgood)
Wynn Arenas .... head wardrobe: Philippines
Barbara B. Baker .... costume shop supervisor
Sawnie Baldridge .... wardrobe supervisor (as Sawnie Baldridge Smith)
Kateri Cale .... costume shop assistant
Mitzie Corbin .... extras costume supervisor
Alice Green .... extras wardrobe assistant
Jeannie Johnson .... costume shop assistant (as Jeannie Ione Johnson)
Stephen M. Krajica .... costumer: men
Stacy Lewis .... extras costume supervisor
Susan Mayes .... extras wardrobe assistant
Mayes C. Rubeo .... extras costume supervisor (as Mayes Castillero de Rubeo)
Terry Smart .... costume shop assistant
Andrea Wallace .... assistant costume designer
Jerri Whiteman .... extras wardrobe assistant
Mary Zophres .... extras costume supervisor (as Areti Mary Zophres)
Andra Hayes .... extras wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Laurie Rudd .... costume draper/seamstress (1987) (uncredited)
Nicole Tussy .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
F. Paul Benz .... apprentice editor
Dale Caldwell .... color timer: DeLuxe
Jana Carroll .... assistant film editor
Adrienne 'Dee' Chappell .... apprentice film editor
Carrie Antoinette Daccardi .... post-production assistant
Julie Monroe .... first assistant film editor
Mark Nakamine .... colorist (digital color correction)
Melody Platt .... assistant film editor
Pietro Scalia .... associate editor
 
Music Department
Budd Carr .... music supervisor
Armin Steiner .... score mixer
Kenneth Wannberg .... music editor
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Ed Barrera .... picture car coordinator (as Edward Barrera)
Ben Cañalita .... assistant transportation captain: Philippines
Primo Guina .... transportation captain: Philippines
Alvin Milliken .... transportation coordinator (as Alvin Milliken Jr.)
Crispin Rebolledo .... picture car coordinator: Philippines
Tim Buchanan .... picture car assistant (uncredited)
James Clarke .... driver: Ron Kovic (uncredited)
Troy Flynn .... driver: production van (uncredited)
Roy A. Grace .... driver (uncredited)
Gregory F. Poulos .... picture car coordinator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Joe Alonsabe .... accountant: Philippines
Parry Bacmante .... security: Philippines
Marion Billings .... publicity consultant (as Marion S. Billings)
David A. Brink .... production assistant
Frank Cavestani .... demonstration advisor
Jane Comendador .... office production assistant: Philippines
Robert Dawson .... title designer
Cesar Dominguez .... head armorer: Philippines
Don Donigi .... dailies color advisor
Andrea Doven .... assistant: Tom Cruise (as Andrea Morse)
Dale Dye .... technical advisor: military (as Capt. Dale Dye)
Mark Ebenhoch .... technical advisor: military
Jeff Flach .... location manager (as Jeffrey Flach)
Ricky Francisco .... office production assistant: Philippines
Paul Gadd .... production assistant
John Gallagher .... key production assistant (as John E. Gallagher)
Robert 'Rock' Galotti .... technical advisor: military
Eusebio Garcia .... military liaison: Philippines
Fred Geise .... technical advisor: military (as Fred 'Doc' Geise USN [Ret.])
Frederick H. Geise .... medical advisor
S.H. Grant .... production assistant
Kathryn M. Griege .... assistant production coordinator
Robert Grindrod .... assistant auditor (as Robert J. Grindrod)
Sandy Hollis .... craft service
Kelly Householder .... production assistant
Andrea Jaffe .... publicity consultant
David H. Johnson .... location assistant
James Knox .... production assistant
Ron Kovic .... technical advisor
Jean M. Longwell .... production assistant
Lito Mabalot .... location manager: Philippines
Susan Malerstein .... script supervisor
Travis Mann .... production assistant (as Travis M. Mann)
Arthur Manson .... producer's representative
William Mapother .... assistant: Tom Cruise
John McCabe .... parade advisor
Mark Miranda .... craft service: Philippines
Maggie Murphy .... key production assistant
Bill Neal .... advisor: wrestling
Jeff Nightbyrd .... demonstration advisor
Sandra Palacios-Plugge .... assistant location manager
Ellen Pasternack .... unit publicist
Chris Renna .... medic
Leroy Roper .... airbrush artist
John Sclimenti .... production assistant: Los Angeles
Andrew Sears .... second assistant auditor
Elisabeth Seldes .... assistant: Oliver Stone
Sherry Sims .... extras coordinator
Christina Stauffer .... production assistant
Barbara-Ann Stein .... auditor
Mike Stokey .... technical advisor: military
Leeann Stonebreaker .... production coordinator
Layne Teaff .... assistant production coordinator
Russ Thurman .... military technical advisor (as Capt. Russ Thurman Ret.)
Art Tizon .... assistant: A. Kitman Ho
Pat Y. Tolentino .... production office coordinator: Philippines
Antonio V. Torralba .... production physician (as Dr. Antonio V. Torralba)
John L. Walker .... location assistant
Jane Aguirre .... government liasion (uncredited)
Billy Crawford .... production assistant (uncredited)
Dean Denton .... production assistant (uncredited)
Dean Denton .... stand-in (uncredited)
Mark A. Hatley .... production assistant (uncredited)
Oli Laperal Jr. .... equipment coordinator (uncredited)
Deborah Lupard .... production assistant (uncredited)
Brian Mack .... assistant craft service (uncredited)
Romy Stevenson .... production intern: Dallas (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
145 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:R | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-14 | France:U | Iceland:16 | New Zealand:R13 (DVD rating) | Norway:15 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG (heavily cut) | Singapore:M18 (re-rating) (cut) | South Korea:18 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R (certificate #29975) | West Germany:16
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Tom Cruise had initially talked to director 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:
Continuity: Ron's family watches JFK's inauguration in Washington, DC in January 1961. It is sub-freezing there. Outside the Kovic home in Long Island, NY at the same time, it appears to be early fall.See more »
Quotes:
Steve Boyer:You probably think it's just a hamburger. A patty's just a piece of meat, but it can have character. See that doughnut hole? Gets 18 patties to the pound instead of 16. Saves me about $40,000 a year. That's serious money, Ron. I plug the hole with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, spices. I cover it with a pickle. They'll never miss a thing.See more »
Soundtrack:
My GirlSee more »

FAQ

Were conditions in the veteran's hospitals really that bad for returning Vietnam War soldiers?
Was this film based on a book?
Why is Ron's superior officer so callous about Ron's shooting of Wilson?
See more »
45 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
Don't overlook the story, 14 February 2002
Author: Drew (andrew7@erols.com) from Stratford, NJ USA

You've heard the express "can't see the forest for the trees", right? It refers to someone who gets so caught up in details, they miss the big picture. Reading other comments on IMDb regarding "Born on the Fourth of July", I think people have the opposite problem with this film. So many people seem to get caught up in talking about Vietnam, war, Nixon, America, Communism, and hippies, that they totally overlook Ron Kovic.

Ron Kovic is the center of this film. In "Platoon", war was the center, and the central character (Charlie Sheen's Chris Taylor) was merely a POV character through whose eyes we could see war. Not so in "Born on the Fourth of July". Vietnam is the setting, the context, and the backdrop. But Ron Kovic is the story.

Oliver Stone really understands a character arc. Look at Kovic's life, where it starts, where it ends. The film is the journey, how he got from A to B. It is a dramatization of a life, as opposed to an actual life, but it still rings true. It feels true. It reaches an artistic level of truth, even if some literal truths are overlooked, distorted, or rearranged. That's what Stone is trying to do. People who quibble about the facts miss the point. (This is a theme I will take up again when I review some of Stone's other films, as Stone is constantly being bashed for historical inaccuracies.) The connections from one point to the next work admirably, and the progression is completely believable, which is quite a feat for such a dramatic change of attitude (compare to "American History X", where the main character goes through a similar about face with scant motivation).

Anyway, what impresses me about this film is the honesty and respect with which Stone presents the opposing views of the film. Say what you want about Stone's political beliefs, but the argument in this film is presented in a very neutral light. It's a story about Kovic's choices, Kovic's politics, Kovic's judgments. And the anti-Vietnam beliefs he finally supports in the final act are a very natural and believable outcome of the story. This film isn't anywhere near as didactic as some people like to imagine.

The tragedy of Oliver Stone is that, because he has been so edgy, so controversial, so deliberately provocative, no one can really just sit down and, with a neutral eye, watch his films. They have become so burdened by this giant, irrelevant, political squabble. The films have been subsumed by the very issues they sought to raise. And it's a shame, with this film especially, because it is excellent.

Tom Cruise gives possibly the greatest performance of his career (I can't think of anything that tops it, though his performance in "Eyes Wide Shut", for very different reasons, is just as remarkable). The script is fantastic, taking time where it needs to take time, but not overly deliberate in its approach. It's very economical with time. It knows what each scene needs to say, and says it without any excess baggage, wasted space, or dead time. The direction is excellent, as is the editing and cinematography. The supporting cast is excellent.

But this movie would be nothing without the remarkable, heart-rending, true story of Ron Kovic. So, while we admire the technical achievement of the film, while we debate the points raised, while we enshrine or excoriate the director (as the case may be), let's not forget the story. Let's not get so fired up about Vietnam that we forget Ron Kovic. He is the heart and soul of this film.

One final note: I bristle when people call this an anti-war film. That really diminishes it, I think. It's so much more than that. It's not just saying that war is brutal, nasty, and horrific. It's saying something far more specific about a specific war, and about the effect of that war on a specific man.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Democrats esclated the Vietnam War and Republicans ended the war. mymai5500
song playing in the background during pool room scene bobbynear
Anyone know if Ron Kovic has ever walked again? cadeis-1
Any idea what happened to the Dafoe character? housecountrywife
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