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Casualties of War (1989)

R | | Crime, Drama, War | 18 August 1989 (USA)
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)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Rowan
...
...
...
...
Agent #1
John Linton ...
Agent #2
...
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:

Inspired by a true event, that the army never saw it coming 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:

Pecados de guerra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,201,261, 20 August 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,671,317
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more 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

Stephen Baldwin was cast as Hatcher, and shot several scenes before he was replaced with John C. Reilly, who was hired as a background extra. See more »

Goofs

During the firefight on the bridge, after intense firing, one soldiers reaches over to pull another soldier to get started down the bridge by grabbing the muzzle of his gun. That act would create severe burns on his palm. See more »

Quotes

Meserve: Oh, you wanna take an attack posture wit' me? Yeah, you got a weapon. Clark got a weapon, Clark got a knife! We all got weapons! Anybody can blow anybody away, any second. Which is the way it ought to be. Always.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Magic Carpet Ride
Written by Rushton Moreve & John Kay
Performed by Steppenwolf
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Brutal Depiction Of A Brutal Event In A Brutal War
6 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

It seems to me that the ultimate moral of this story might be that in war everyone is a casualty in some way, shape or form - even those who are never wounded and stay personally above the brutality. "Casualties Of War" is a depiction of an actual (and sickening) event that was first reported in the New Yorker magazine in 1969 in which a squad of American soldiers kidnap, rape and murder an innocent, young Vietnamese girl.

The two main protagonists in the movie are played by Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn. Penn is Meserve - the sargeant in command of the squad who develops the plan for the kidnap, rape and murder. He represents one type of casualty - a kid, promoted way beyond his years, in a situation he should never have been in, watching friends and comrades dying on a daily basis, becoming jaded and unfeeling as a result. You feel no sympathy for his character, but you recognize the tragedy of his character - and of the other members of the squad who let themselves be pulled into the plan. Fox, on the other hand, is Eriksson - the squad's conscience. He knows this is wrong, and he refuses to participate, even trying to help the girl escape, only to be derided and ridiculed by the others as either a coward or a homosexual. After the girl is killed, for no real reason, he reports the incident to his superiors, only to hear repeated variations on the theme "let it go. War is war." This is probably Michael J. Fox's most powerful movie role ever - a definite change of pace from the teen-oriented comedies that had made him famous. He's also a casualty, of course - haunted forever by the sickening scene he had witnessed. And of course, there's the real casualty - the young girl dragged out of her home and away from her mother who endures a nightmare before being killed.

This is most definitely a powerful, disturbing and brutal movie that definitely makes it point.


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