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Samantha Hughes, a teenaged Kentucky girl, never knew her father, who died in Vietnam before her birth. Samantha lives with her uncle Emmett, who also served in Vietnam. Emmett hangs around with Tom, Earl, and Pete, three other Vietnam vets who, like Emmett, all have problems of one kind or another that relate to their war experiences. Sam, as Samantha is known, becomes obsessed with finding out about her father and his experiences, but Emmett and the other vets don't want to talk about the war. Sam pushes everyone to attend a dance honoring the town's veterans, but Pete and Earl get into a fight, Emmett disappears, and Tom takes Sam home for an unsuccessful tryst. When Sam reads her father's diary, she begins to understand what his life and death meant, and she and Emmett, with a trip to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, come at least temporarily to terms with the war in their lives. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sam graduates from high school in Kentucky, then tries to find out who her father was.
"In Country" is what soldiers called being in Viet Nam during the war, thus the title of this 1989 film. Emily Lloyd, an 18-year-old English actress credibly plays Sam (Samantha) who is being raised by her uncle (Bruce Willis) while her mother (Jane Allen) lives elsewhere in Kentucky. Sam wonders about her father, who was killed in Viet Nam right before she was born. She found old letters of his to her mom, and this sparks her interest in finding out more about him. The film ends when she finds his name in D.C. at the memorial.
I was drafted in 1968, and only a medical disqualification kept me out of Viet Nam. I'm certain that some of my college buddies, and ROTC mates, went and never returned. For us who remember those times this is an especially meaningful film. It is slow moving in many places, but well-done and perhaps deserving of a bit higher rating on the IMDb.
This is one of the many older movies now being released as budget DVDs. It sold for under $6. It is very basic, no extras, no surround sound. Still, the picture is very true, in fullscreen, and the sound is above average. Includes some good Bruce Springsteen.
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