Born on the Fourth of July (1989) Poster


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).
The real Ron Kovic gave Tom Cruise his Bronze Star for his performance in this movie.
Star Tom Cruise was actually born on the third of July.
The word "fuck" is used 289 times throughout the film.
The actor who played young Ron Kovic, Bryan Larkin, was originally from Massapequa, NY, the town the very 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.
A copy of "Johnny Got His Gun," a popular anti-war novel about WW1, 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 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.
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 was presented his Best Director Oscar for this film by his former film school teacher Martin Scorsese.
Kyra Sedgwick was pregnant with her first child (Travis Bacon) during this shoot.
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.
Including cameos by Oliver Stone there are at least 11 other actors credited in this film that also appeared in Oliver Stone's earlier Vietnam War film "Platoon".
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 director Oliver Stone and the real Ron Kovic received after serving in Vietnam.
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".
Ron Kovic and Oliver Stone wrote much of the script together at a cafe 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.
Oliver Stone wanted to make the movie in Vietnam but relations with that country and the US were still frosty after the war so it was made in the Philippines instead.
Oliver Stone became the 16th 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 have been added to the list.
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.
The film's anti-war message meant that Universal were 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.
Oliver Stone had real animal feces brought on set for the enema scenes in the VA hospital.
Charlie Sheen was considered for the part of Ron Kovic.
Al Pacino turned down the role of Kovic's father. Some years earlier another version was proposed with Pacino as Kovic with William Friedkin. directing.
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).
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 10 takes.
Macaulay Culkin had a small role as a kid, but was cut out of the film.
Tom Cruise explored the possibility of having injections to cause genuine loss of feeling in his legs during his performance, but found no options that would be safe.
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