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Brian De Palma
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Brian De Palma
Robert De Niro,
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 <email@example.com>
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You're taking your turn in there.
No! I ain't raping nobody!
You think you're sayin' no to ME?
[Ericson turns and walks away]
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Blistering assault on the degrading effects of warfare
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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