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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.
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.


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Up 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Ron Kovic (book)
Oliver Stone (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Born on the Fourth of July on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 January 1990 (USA) See more »
A story of innocence lost and courage found.
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 »
Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
An ambitious film but it doesn't pull it off despite being worth a look for Cruise alone See more (169 total) »


  (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)
Jedidiah Esparza ... Parade Attendee (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)
Steven Novak ... Secret Service Agent (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)

Kevin Watkins ... Protestor (uncredited)
Claude Whitscell ... Prom Date (uncredited)
Norman D. Wilson ... Veteran (uncredited)

Directed by
Oliver Stone 
Writing credits
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 (as Stephen J. Lima)
Stephen Lim .... 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)
Dan Sharp .... sound re-recordist (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
Gil Arceo .... stunt coordinator: Philippines
Lloyd Lively .... stunts (uncredited)
Leon Slaughter .... 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 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)
Tom Boyd .... 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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
145 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:R | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | 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 (VHS/DVD rating) | South Korea:15 (theatrical rating) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 | USA:R (certificate #29975) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Second part of Oliver Stone Vietnam-trilogy. The other two are Platoon (1986) and Heaven & Earth (1993).See more »
Anachronisms: The voice of Mel Allen is heard on the radio calling Mantle's 491st home run which would have taken place in 1966. Allen was fired after the 1964 seasonSee more »
Ron Kovic:We went to Vietnam to stop communism!... We shell women and children!
Mrs. Kovic:You didn't shoot women and children! What are you saying?
Ron Kovic:That was the war, communism, the incidious evil! They told us to go.
Mrs. Kovic:Yes, yes that's what they told us.
Ron Kovic:Thou shalt not kill, Mom. Thou shalt not kill women and children! Thou shalt not kill! Remember? Isn't that what you taught us? Isn't that what they taught us?
Mrs. Kovic:Stop it! Stop it!
See more »
Movie Connections:
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)See more »


Was this film based on a book?
Why is Ron's superior officer so callous about Ron's shooting of Wilson?
Why was Kovic so adamant about keeping his leg after it was broken if it was useless to him?
See more »
49 out of 84 people found the following review useful.
An ambitious film but it doesn't pull it off despite being worth a look for Cruise alone, 23 August 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Having had an all-American upbringing in Long Island, Ron Kovic leaves school and decides to sign up for the marines to represent his country in Vietnam and make a difference. Having seen all manner of horrors, Ron is shot and wounded in the field and finds himself in a veterans hospital where he hopes to regain the use of his legs despite the advice of doctors. When he realises he will never walk again, it starts his mental collapse and he becomes increasing disillusioned with the country and he lost his legs for.

There is nothing I dislike more than hearing uninformed people from other countries spouting about Northern Ireland so I'll be very careful about launching into any sort of preaching – I'll leave that to Stone himself. It isn't that I don't want to know more it's just that I have so much to learn about my own culture and history that who has the time for wandering off to learn about America's! Anyway, there is no need for me to get on a soapbox because this film has a darn good go at doing it by itself. The basic plot is fine and very involving, mostly because it is a real person, not just a character but it weakens its impact by playing to the simplistic side of things. For example there is no question about Ron being a clean cut, shy boy, nor is there any complexity about how badly he is treated afterwards. In some regards this is fair enough but at times I wished that Stone had not been so strong in his sense of moral outrage because it doesn't give the subject the balance and subjectivity that it deserves to be presented with.

This alone does not make it a bad film however, and it isn't ever bad – just a touch heavy handed at points but it is very difficult to watch impassively and uninvolved. The film shows Kovic's collapse and gradual disillusionment really well in a way that stands for the mental and/or physical suffering of many vets who must have come back to find that the sacrifice they had made was not even supported by the vocal section of the populace. In a way, focusing on this one man makes for a story that is intimate but also has wider significance but in another way it means the film has to go into very specific areas that don't work so well. In particular I didn't think that Ron's Mexican trip worked that well and some aspects of his life were simply forgotten about (Donna?) and I wondered why they had even bothered to include them at all. Anyway, despite these comments the film still worked for me and it is an impacting story even if Oliver Stone is not the person I would have chosen to tell the story – a very good director but 'non-partisan' is not a term that could ever be laid at his feet and at points this film gets a little sermonising as a result.

A big factor in this film working is a superb performance by Cruise who was still, at this point, a clean cut poster boy and not the one I would have imagined taking this role! In the first of two performances that I believe he should have won an Oscar for (the other being SA for Magnolia), Cruise is very brave and very strong in the lead, convincingly taking us from a patriotic young boy to a injured soldier to a broken man to a man trying to put all the pieces together. Credit to both Cruise and the editor that this is done convincingly and without too many big jumps in character. Outside of Cruise though, nobody is really given a great deal of material to work with and all their characters are pretty two-dimensional and fleeting. If anything the support cast's main impact is to keep bringing well known faces to the screen; these include Barry, Sedgwick, Whaley, Baldwin (times two!), Dale Dye, Berenger, LeGros, Bob Gunton, Vivica Fox, Mike Starr (and brother), Dafoe, Sizemore, Eagle Eye Cherry, Wayne Knight and John C McGinley. Few of these have much to do but it is impressive how many faces there are that have since gone on to become well-known actors in their own right (I personally was surprised to see McGinley's only contribution being pushing a wheelchair or Fox being on screen (topless) for about 3 seconds with only one line) but this actually takes away from the film more than it gives now.

Overall this is an impacting film but not a great one. The story has a few bits that don't really work and aren't delivered very well, while Stone's direction occasionally gets all preachy on us but, although the now all-star cast are not great, Cruise is superb and deals with the difficult role well.

A very ambitious film and not one that manages to get it all right but still a film that is hard to ignore even if the same subject has been done better in other films.

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Indictment of "socialized" medicine suenickmarch-1
Kyra Sedgwick gstephenopolous
Tom Cruise was born today bossdog677
Democrats esclated the Vietnam War and Republicans ended the war. mymai5500
Any idea what happened to the Dafoe character? housecountrywife
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