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Casualties of War (1989)

R | | Crime, Drama, War | 18 August 1989 (USA)
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During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director:

(as Brian DePalma)

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Thuy Thu Le ...
...
Brown
...
Rowan
...
Lt. Reilly
...
...
Capt. Hill
...
Agent #1
John Linton ...
Agent #2
...
Prosecutor
Al Shannon ...
Wilkins
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Storyline

During the Vietnam war, a girl is taken from her village by five American soldiers. Four of the soldiers rape her, but the fifth refuses. The young girl is killed. The fifth soldier is determined that justice will be done. The film is more about the realities of war, rather than this single event. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some Soldiers take things too far See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 August 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Verdammten des Krieges  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$18,671,317 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film originally went into development at Paramount but was ultimately done for Columbia. See more »

Goofs

When the soldiers are shooting the girl on the bridge, she is positioned in a crossfire between three soldiers on one side of her and one soldier on the other side of her. With the number of shots fired, they would all have been shot, if not killed. See more »

Quotes

Eriksson: You a chaplain, sir?
Chaplain Kirk: Are you religious, son? I'm a Methodist.
Eriksson: I'm a Lutheran.
Chaplain Kirk: Well, we can still talk, can't we?
Eriksson: We went on a long patrol, sir, and we kidnapped a girl from the village. The other four men raped her, and they murdered her, and I failed, sir...
[chokes up]
Eriksson: ... to stop them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Return to Philadelphia: George Litto on 'Blow Out' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold On I'm Coming
Written by David Porter & Isaac Hayes
Performed by Sam & Dave
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Blistering assault on the degrading effects of warfare
5 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

CASUALTIES OF WAR

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: 6-track Dolby Stereo

(35mm and 70mm release prints)

During a routine field trip at the height of the Vietnam War, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) rebels against his commanding officer (Sean Penn) and other members of his patrol when they kidnap a defenceless Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Le) and subject her to a terrifying physical ordeal.

Unfairly overshadowed by the simultaneous theatrical release of Oliver Stone's pompous - but still impressive - BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989), Brian DePalma's CASUALTIES OF WAR recreates a harrowing incident from the Vietnam conflict - first reported in 'New Yorker' magazine in 1969 - in which a group of otherwise decent men succumbed to their own worst impulses and committed a terrible crime. Filmed with typical cinematic bravado by master craftsman DePalma, the movie uses every inch of the scope frame to convey both the duality of the landscape (vast swathes of breathtaking countryside, where sudden death lurks around every corner) and the moral vacuum which stretches the two central characters (Fox and Penn) to breaking point. Crafted with blistering simplicity by screenwriter David Rabe (himself a Vietnam veteran and author of the acclaimed stageplay 'Streamers'), the soldiers are depicted as brave individuals whose principles are shattered by their traumatic combat experiences, leaving Fox to essay the role of peacemaker in a world where all the rules have been turned upside down. Thuy - a model with no prior acting experience - is truly heartbreaking as the soldiers' terrified prisoner, and her ultimate fate is so horrific (arguably the most disturbing set-piece of this director's entire career), many viewers will be too appalled to see the film through to its inevitable conclusion. All in all, this uncompromising drama emerges as one of DePalma's strongest films to date.


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