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Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Poster

Trivia

The real Ron Kovic gave Tom Cruise his Bronze Star for his performance in this movie.
The entire film was shot in shades of red, white, or blue, depending on the emotional level (battle scenes are all in reddish hues, dream sequences in white, sadness in blue, etc).
Oliver Stone was presented his Best Director Oscar for this film by his former film school teacher Martin Scorsese.
The actor who played young Ron Kovic, Bryan Larkin, was originally from Massapequa, New York, the town the character he was playing was from, and where the bulk of the movie takes place. Of course, most of the movie was filmed in Texas, including the young Ron Kovic scenes. So, Bryan Larkin left his hometown of Massapequa for Texas to film scenes that are meant to be in Massapequa.
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.
Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise both expressed interest in using a nerve agent to cause genuine paralysis in Cruise's legs, but they were unable to find a substance that was safe enough to guarantee no permanent damage.
The last scene of the film to be shot - in a race against time as the sun was going down - was the wheelchair fight between Tom Cruise and Willem Dafoe.
Oliver Stone became the sixteenth man to win a second directing Oscar, joining an elite pantheon that includes Milos Forman, Billy Wilder, David Lean, Elia Kazan, and John Ford. Since his win, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, and Alejandro González Iñárritu have been added to the list.
Tom Cruise was born on the third of July.
The word "fuck" is used 289 times throughout the film.
Oliver Stone wanted to make the movie in Vietnam, but relations with that country and the U.S. were still frosty after the war, so it was made in the Philippines instead.
When Ron is sitting at a desk in Mexico, the book "All Quiet on the Western Front" is shown on the desk. It is considered one of the greatest anti-war books ever written.
Oliver Stone's then wife Elizabeth is mentioned in the closing credit roll as Naijo No Ko. This Japanese term means "with the help of my wife" or, more colloquially, "I owe my success to my better half".
The studio was initially very dubious about the casting of Tom Cruise in the lead, as he hadn't really tackled such a heavily dramatic role before.
Ron Kovic and Oliver Stone wrote much of the script together at a café in Venice, California.
This film represents one of the rare instances where Oliver Stone was able to cast his very first choice for a starring role in one of his motion pictures. Tom Cruise was Stone's definite preference for the role of Ron Kovic, a casting decision that Kovic ultimately stood by.
During the demonstration, one of the speakers says that the Bronze Star and Purple Heart honors he earned in Vietnam mean nothing. These are the same two honors that Oliver Stone and the real Ron Kovic received after serving in Vietnam.
Including cameos by Oliver Stone, there are at least eleven other actors credited in this film, that also appeared in Oliver Stone's earlier Vietnam War film Platoon (1986).
A copy of "Johnny Got His Gun," a popular anti-war novel about World War I, is visible on Ron's hospital bed when he learns he will never walk again. In the novel, the main character is a soldier who is mutilated beyond recognition in a war; he has lost both of his arms and legs as well as his sight and hearing.
Second part of Oliver Stone Vietnam trilogy. The other two are Platoon (1986) and Heaven & Earth (1993).
The film's anti-war message meant that Universal was very nervous about its box-office chances, so they kept the budget low. To keep costs down, most of the cast didn't receive an upfront salary.
Charlie Sheen was considered for the part of Ron Kovic.
Tom Cruise had initially talked to 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).
Nicolas Cage and Sean Penn were considered for the role of Ron Kovic.
Three Baldwin brothers are in the film, William Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin, and Stephen Baldwin. They do not share any screentime.
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Kyra Sedgwick was pregnant with her first child (Travis Bacon) during this shoot.
Oliver Stone had real animal feces brought on set for the enema scenes in the VA hospital.
Macaulay Culkin had a small role as a kid, but was cut out of the film.
While shooting the initial bar scenes (purported to be in Mexico, but actually in a historic town of Philippines called Vigan), Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise stayed in an old colonial B&B called "Villa Angela". The B&B has preserved the day-shoot roster of the film and this can be found displayed in its walls on the first floor. The room where Tom Cruise stayed during the shoots, is called Cuarto del Señor (Room of the Master), and has a framed photo of Tom Cruise during the shoot.
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Ron Kovic is the uncle of Funhaus host, Adam Kovic.
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Al Pacino turned down the role of Kovic's father. Several years earlier, another version was proposed with Pacino as Kovic, and William Friedkin directing.
According to Ed Lauter, he thought about the deaths of his mother, and his friends Lee Marvin and Robert Ryan, to help him get into character for his scene. He did ten takes.
The 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.
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When this project was initially being assembled in 1979, original director William Friedkin dropped out. Daniel Petrie was then tapped to direct. According to Oliver Stone, Al Pacino, who was originally to play Kovic, had his reservations, but Stone considered him to be a competent director. Locations had been scouted and Pacino rehearsed, but money dried up that was promised by producer Martin Bregman. Although Stone felt crushed. He decided if he gained some clout in the industry, he would return to the project, which he did ten years later, as writer and director.
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Frank Whaley was considered for the role of Tommy Kovic before being cast to play the part of Timmy.
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Raymond J. Barry and Caroline Kava, who play Mr. and Mrs. Kovic, parents to Ron Kovic, previously appeared together in Year of the Dragon (1985), a movie which was also co-written by Oliver Stone. In that movie, it's Raymond J. Barry who's plays a Vietnam veteran.
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Tom Cruise and Willem Dafoe were also both born during the month of July. Tom Cruise was born on July 3rd and Dafoe was born on July 22nd.
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Set in Massapequa, New York. It is also the hometown of William, Daniel, and Stephen Baldwin, who all appeared in the film.
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Despite second billing, Willem Dafoe doesn't appear until one hour and thirty-six minutes into the movie.
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Ron Kovic makes a brief cameo appearance as the disabled veteran in the parade at the beginning of the film, who is seen flinching at the sound of the fire crackers.
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This is the first Oliver Stone movie filmed in 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
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