7.9/10
1,616
26 user 12 critic

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987)

A documentary featuring letters written by U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines during the Vietnam War to their families and friends back home. Archive footage of the war and news ... See full summary »

Director:

Bill Couturié (as Bill Couturie)

Writers:

Richard Dewhurst (screenplay), Bill Couturié (screenplay) (as Bill Couturie)
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... (voice)
Ellen Burstyn ... Mrs. Stocks (voice)
J. Kenneth Campbell ... (voice)
Richard Chaves ... (voice)
Josh Cruze ... (voice)
Willem Dafoe ... Elephant Grass (voice)
Robert De Niro ... Great Sewer (voice)
Brian Dennehy ... (voice)
Kevin Dillon ... Jack (voice)
Matt Dillon ... Mike (voice) (unconfirmed)
Robert Downey Jr. ... (voice)
Michael J. Fox ... Pfc. Raymond Griffiths (voice)
Mark Harmon ... (voice)
John Heard ... Johnny Boy (voice) (unconfirmed)
Fred Hirz Fred Hirz ... (voice)
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Storyline

A documentary featuring letters written by U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines during the Vietnam War to their families and friends back home. Archive footage of the war and news coverage thereof, augment the first-person "narrative" by men and women who were in the war, some of whom did not survive it. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dear America See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?


Quotes

Mrs. Stocks: [In a letter to her KIA son, left at the Vietnam Memorial] Dear Bill, I came to this black wall again, to see and touch your name. William R. Stocks. And as I do, I wonder if anyone ever stops to realize that next to your name, on this black wall, is your mother's heart. A heart broken fifteen years ago today, when you lost your life in Vietnam. And as I look at your name, I think of how many, many times I used to wonder how scared and homesick you must have been, in that strange country called ...
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Crix Pick Prez Flix (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

What's Going On
Written by Renaldo Benson, Marvin Gaye and Al Cleveland (as Alfred Cleveland)
Performed by Marvin Gaye
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User Reviews

 
A Heartfelt Way to a Time and Place
2 July 2004 | by August1991See all my reviews

This film presents the Vietnam War from the American perspective and primarily from the perspective of ordinary American soldiers. It is chronological and describes essential events to put the soldiers' stories into context. While it might help viewers to know basic facts about the war beforehand, the film stands alone. I think this would be an excellent film to show students when discussing, for example, the Cold War.

This film is a remarkable documentary because it presents various sides to a complex story in such a short running time. I think the film succeeds because it simply reports the truth. I am not American and appeals to American patriotism or God's blessing of America tend to roll my eyes, not make them tearful. But this film makes the lives of these guys plain to a universal audience.

Once the film started, I was so captivated that I ignored the narration and never even thought about who was speaking. I was only grateful the filmmakers chose people practiced in reading text clearly. Ignore the famous names connected to this film. That's not the story at all. The images and music, however, are part of the story. But not front and centre. That place is reserved for the ordinary words of ordinary Americans.


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