IMDb > Casualties of War (1989)
Casualties of War
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Casualties of War (1989) More at IMDbPro »

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Casualties of War -- From visionary director Brian De Palma, war is war, but murder is murder. Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn star in this action-packed Vietnam war saga in which one soldier thought he had a license to kill and another dared to stand in his way.
Casualties of War -- During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.


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Writers (WGA):
Daniel Lang (book)
David Rabe (screenplay)
View company contact information for Casualties of War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 August 1989 (USA) See more »
Some Soldiers take things too far See more »
During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(54 articles)
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User Reviews:
<< Thuy Thu Le is central to its success >> See more (125 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael J. Fox ... Eriksson

Sean Penn ... Sgt. Tony Meserve

Don Harvey ... Cpl. Thomas E. Clark

John C. Reilly ... PFC Herbert Hatcher

John Leguizamo ... PFC Antonio Diaz
Thuy Thu Le ... Oanh

Erik King ... Brown

Jack Gwaltney ... Rowan

Ving Rhames ... Lt. Reilly

Dan Martin ... Sgt. Hawthorne

Dale Dye ... Capt. Hill

Steve Larson ... Agent #1
John Linton ... Agent #2

Vyto Ruginis ... Prosecutor
Al Shannon ... Wilkins

Wendell Pierce ... MacIntire

Sam Robards ... Chaplain Kirk
Maris Valainis ... Streibig
Darren E. Burrows ... Cherry

Sherman Howard ... Court Martial President

John Marshall Jones ... M.P. (as J.J.)

Holt McCallany ... Lt. Kramer
Kady Tran ... Yen - Oahn's Sister
Scott Gregory ... Soldier Charlie 1
Ennalls Berl ... Soldier Charlie 2
Vinh Tran ... V.C. Interpreter
Somsak ... ARVN Interpreter
Hataya Sarmount ... Girl Villager
Ba Thuan T. Le ... Oahn's Mother (as Ba Thuan T Le)
Nootch ... Child Villager
Kwan ... Child Villager
J. Chalerm ... Villager Old Man Farmer
Sigma ... Villager Woman
Po Powpi ... Villager Old Man
Shaun Shea ... Soldier
Kristopher Dunn ... Soldier

Donal Gibson ... Soldier
Shane Kerwin ... Soldier
Niran ... V.C. in Tunnel
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Stephen Baldwin ... Soldier (uncredited)
Stefan Ehlers ... Sgt. Fuller (uncredited)

Amy Irving ... Voice of girl on the train (uncredited)

Michael D. Jones ... Passenger on Train (uncredited)
Jonathan MacLeod ... Soldier (uncredited)
Vic Noto ... Voice (uncredited)

Directed by
Brian De Palma  (as Brian DePalma)
Writing credits
Daniel Lang (book "Casualties of War")

David Rabe (screenplay)

Produced by
Fred C. Caruso .... co-producer (as Fred Caruso)
Art Linson .... producer
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
Cinematography by
Stephen H. Burum (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bill Pankow 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
Wolf Kroeger 
Art Direction by
Bernard Hides  (as Bernard Hydes)
Set Decoration by
Peter Hancock 
Hugh Scaife 
Costume Design by
Richard Bruno 
Makeup Department
Paul Engelen .... makeup supervisor
Carl Fullerton .... prosthetic makeup artist: Thuy Thu Le, San Francisco
Adam Hill .... makeup effects moldmaker: Burman Studios
Mike Lockey .... hair stylist (as Michael Lockey)
Bron Roylance .... makeup supervisor: Michael J. Fox
Suzanne Stokes-Munton .... wig supervisor
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... unit production manager (as Fred Caruso)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter Bennett .... additional second assistant director
Brian W. Cook .... first assistant director
Carl Goldstein .... second second assistant director
Aldric La'auli Porter .... first assistant director: San Francisco (as Aldric Porter)
Eric Schwab .... second unit director
Annie Spiegelman .... second assistant director: San Francisco
Michael Stevenson .... second assistant director
Sompol Sungkawess .... assistant director: Thailand
Art Department
Peter Hancock .... property master
Tim Hatch .... greens supervisor
Dave Midson .... supervising dressing props
Michael O'Kane .... painter
John Patterson .... construction supervisor
Ray Pedler .... scenic artist
Sound Department
Richard P. Cirincione .... sound editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
Lee Dichter .... sound re-recording mixer
Susan Sklar Friedman .... apprentice sound editor
Kerry Fulton .... apprentice sound editor (as Kerry Fulton-Peluffo)
Jay Kessel .... assistant sound editor
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... sound editor
George A. Lara .... foley mixer
Kevin Lee .... sound editor
Jimmy McDonough .... sound editor
Peter Odabashian .... sound editor
Mark Rathaus .... sound editor
Maurice Schell .... supervising sound editor
Leo Trombetta .... assistant sound editor
Mark J. Wasiutak .... boom operator
Gary Wilkins .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
John Baker .... special effects
Terence J. Cox .... special effects (as Terry Cox)
Yves De Bono .... special effects (as Yves DeBono)
Trevor Neighbour .... special effects
Sasisupa Sungvaribud .... special effects coordinator: Thailand
Kit West .... special effects supervisor
Trevor Wood .... special effects
Kenny Bates .... stunts (as Ken Bates)
Ralph Garrett .... stunts
Billy Hank Hooker .... stunts (as Billy H. Hooker)
Jeff Jensen .... stunt coordinator
Bob Minor .... stunts
Bernie Pock .... stunts
Chad Randall .... stunts
Danny Wong .... stunts
Charles Croughwell .... stunt double: Michael J. Fox (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Alan S. Blauvelt .... first assistant camera (as Alan Blauvelt)
Bob Bridges .... second assistant camera (as Robert Bridges)
John Clark .... best boy
Gavin Horne .... set grip
W.C. 'Chunky' Huse .... key grip (as 'Chunky' Huse)
Larry McConkey .... steadicam operator
Roland Neveu .... still photographer
Douglas Ryan .... camera operator (as Doug Ryan)
Laurie Shane .... chief lighting technician
Danny Shelmerdine .... first assistant camera
Tony Turner .... dolly grip
Casting Department
Nancy Hayes .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Julia Mansford .... costume supervisor
Laurie Riley .... costume supervisor
Mutita Na Songkla .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Phil Hetos .... color timer
Anne McCabe .... apprentice film editor
Debra C. Victoroff .... assistant editor
Music Department
Sergio Marcotulli .... music mixer
Ennio Morricone .... conductor
Ennio Morricone .... orchestrator
John Beal .... composer: trailer (uncredited)
Sergio Marcotulli .... music engineer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Tommy Tancharoen .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Sallie Beechinor .... production coordinator
Alison Dickey .... assistant: Sean Penn
Terry Dunn .... assistant accountant
Dale Dye .... technical advisor
Ray Freeborn .... location manager
Nigel Goldsack .... co-unit location manager
Monica Goldstein .... assistant: Mr. DePalma
Ray Kybartas .... trainer: Sean Penn
Erica Laine-Walian .... assistant: Michael J. Fox
John Linson .... production assistant
Elyse A. Mayberry .... production office coordinator: Burbank (as Elyse Mayberry)
Golda Offenheim .... production office coordinator: London
Ross Reynolds .... helicopter pilot
Sioux Richards .... script supervisor
Deborah Ricketts .... research coordinator
Patti Roberts-Nelson .... assistant: Mr. Linson (as Patti Roberts Nelson)
Brigette Roux-Lough .... assistant: Michael J. Fox
Adele Sanders .... production accountant
Maurice Schell .... adr loop group
Linda Shapiro .... assistant accountant
Ed Sienkaniec .... catering supervisor (as Ed 'Bubba' Steinkaniec)
Art Smith Jr. .... technical advisor: military
Mike Stokey .... technical advisor: military (as Michael Stokey)
Doug Taylor .... unit publicist
Vivian Treves .... interpreter: Ennio Morricone

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min | 119 min (Extended Cut)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)

Did You Know?

The voice of "The Girl on the Train" voice was dubbed by Amy Irving, onetime wife of De Palma's friend Steven Spielberg.See more »
Anachronisms: The division patch worn on the shoulder is that of the Americal Division (23rd Inf Div), which wasn't reactivated until mid 1967.See more »
Prosecutor:So you don't feel responsible for the rape and murder?
Clark:No, sir. I don't.
Prosecutor:Is it your feeling, Corporal Clark that you are wrongly brought to trial by the U.S. Government?
Clark:I don't have anything against the government. But I just think soldiers like Tony Meserve and me... belong out in combat... not here. Throw us in the stockade and you're helping nobody but the Viet Cong.
[Cct to Private Hatcher]
Prosecutor:When Sergeant Meserve called you, did you go willingly into the hootch and rape the girl Tran Thi Oahn? Please answer the question.
PFC. Herbert Hatcher:Y-yes sir.
Prosecutor:Have you any idea why Eriksson stayed out of the hootch?
PFC. Herbert Hatcher:Well, he was brand-new, sir. I was there a lot longer than him. At least three weeks longer than him.
[cut to Private Diaz]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Everybody Loves SomebodySee more »


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48 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
<< Thuy Thu Le is central to its success >>, 31 October 2001
Author: Keith F. Hatcher from La Rioja, Spain

`Casualties of War' belongs to the same year as that other anti-war film `Born on the Fourth of July'. From about the mid-eighties American feeling rose bitterly against the aftermath of the Viet Nam war: the price had been too high. Too many young men killed or wounded and, worse perhaps, too many young men psychologically scarred for the rest of their lives. `Casualties of War' does not point any accusing fingers at anyone: the film is an anguishing account of a horrendous series of actions based on real facts. Even so, our interpretation must go a little beyond what the film tells us, what we are seeing. We must ask how many more service-men lost their nerve in the middle of that jungle inferno which was Viet Nam?

Brian de Palma obliges us to enter into that indescribable hell, so that we might, with a bit of luck, if our feelings can bear the torture of witnessing such inhumane irrationality, understand a little more the agonising palpable naked terror which so many men had to go through.

However, whether Michael J. Fox or whether Sean Penn played their part better seems to overlook an obviety: without that performance by the Vietnamese girl, Thuy Thu Le, this film would have been forgotten years ago. My first seeing of that fragile creature – some years ago – left me nauseated, my stomache churned and I had bad dreams for several nights. That pathetic little face and her screams of anguish haunted me for days afterwards. Her performance was so compelling, rivetting, anguishing, it had me hating being a man. I only just stopped short of throwing up. Perhaps nobody expresses this better than `Tony's Corner: a Fan's Notes' (

<< the performance of a young actress, a woman named Thuy Thu Le. It is to my mind, one of the bravest, most courageous, and one of the most heartbreakingly real pieces of acting that I've ever seen………… the intolerable suffering that Thuy's character Oahn endures, her emotional intensity………... searing power, of blistering emotion, and raging despair, the outstanding performance of Thuy Thu Le is central to it's success >> (end partial quote)


It is one of those performances that no Oscar can ever pay for: indeed such a triviality would have been an insult. The film is cruel, sickening, loathsome, heartbreaking; but something humane, something I can't explain, something deep inside me, compelled me to see this poor `wretch' again, compelled me to witness once again her tremendous scream of despair against the bestial inhumanity of war – any, every and all war. I have no love of morbidity: I shun such ridiculous programmes. But this poor creature called Thuy Thu Le forced me to see the film for a second time.

Enough: I will never see this film again. I have seen naked desperation and fear so realistic that my soul seethes to boiling point and is about to burst thus twice. That will do. In the end we are all casualties of war.....

No vote: I cannot reduce this to a simple vote. It just would not have any real meaning, would it?

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