5.8/10
3,280
28 user 16 critic

1969 (1988)

Two friends living in a small town during the 1960s, run away to enjoy their freedom during the Vietnam War, thus disappointing the father of one of them. When they return to town, they realize the importance of family unity.

Director:

Ernest Thompson

Writer:

Ernest Thompson
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Ralph Carr
Kiefer Sutherland ... Scott
Bruce Dern ... Cliff
Mariette Hartley ... Jessie
Winona Ryder ... Beth
Joanna Cassidy ... Ev
Christopher Wynne Christopher Wynne ... Alden
Keller Kuhn Keller Kuhn ... Marsha
Steve Foster Steve Foster ... Marshall
Mert Hatfield Mert Hatfield ... Coach Heart
Welton Tootle Welton Tootle ... Junior Roberts
Don Devendorf Don Devendorf ... Reverend Hardy
Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson ... Dean Bonner (as Dr. Robert Louis Stevenson)
Jason Summers Jason Summers ... Protestor
Scott N. Stevens Scott N. Stevens ... Hitchhiker
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Storyline

Two friends, Ralph and Scott live in a small minded town at the onset of wide public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war. While Scott's brother enlists, he and Ralph are outspoken in their opposition to the war. Scott's attitude alienates him from his father and he and Ralph leave town to enjoy their 'freedom'. Various events lead them back to town where they learn of the death of the brother. This event proves to be the catalyst needed to bridge the gap between father and son and enlightens them both to the true cost of war. Written by Mark Harding <mah@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The year the country split apart and a generation came together.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Generation von 1969 See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,979,011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Kiefer Sutherland first moved to Los Angeles, he shared an apartment with Robert Downey, Jr. for over a year. See more »

Goofs

The bus Alden gets on says Palmetto Tours on it. It would not be in Maryland, where the film is supposed to take place. South Carolina is the Palmetto State. See more »

Quotes

Scott: I've already decided if nothing happens by the time I am 20, I'm gonna cut it off.
Ralph: How ya going to pee there Scott?
Scott: Sittin' down.
See more »

Connections

References Easy Rider (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Goin' up the Country
Performed by Canned Heat
Courtesy of EMI - Manhattan Records, a division of Capitol
Records Inc. Special Markets Division
Written by Alan Wilson
Published by SBK Unart Catalog Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe Not the Deepest of Films But It Has Heart, Honesty and Acting to Match
27 June 2010 | by classicalsteveSee all my reviews

The overall point of the film may be a little obvious but it appears the story may be semi-autobiographical. What saves this movie are the acting and the characters which never lapse into stereotypes. Kiefer Sutherland plays Scott, a very different character than many of his previous roles. Rather than playing the adolescent leader-rebel (as in "Stand by Me"), Sutherland takes the role of a somewhat soft-spoken intellectual hippie-type who is into literature and leaves but not into drugs. His best friend, Ralph, played by Robert Downey Jr., is exactly the opposite. Ralph likes women and psychedelic drugs but doesn't understand any of the other aspects of the hippie culture, which included reverence for certain high literature. He isn't sure who Camus is. For him, the drugs and staying out of Vietnam are all that matters. Downey's sister, Beth (Winnona Ryder), eventually becomes a significant part of the story as the film progresses.

The film doesn't have much of a coherent plot and may be described as a character study of its leads. The setting is a small town in Maryland where Scott's brother, Alden, is about to leave for Vietnam. He is one of the first from this nameless town to be drafted into the war and the locals, including his family, seem perplexed by the whole affair. In an uncomfortable scene, Alden tries to make amends with his younger brother Scott who says the war is "b.s." Their father (Bruce Dern) who feels strongly that his sons should fight as he did in World War II reprimands Scott for his disrespect. Luckily, Dern's performance is not over-the-top and it works. After a rather strange farewell, Ralph decides that neither himself nor his friend Scott should allow themselves to get drafted. Scott begins to explore the young peoples' counter-culture movement of the late 1960's while Ralph seems only interested in exploring the drugs. They attend college, mostly to avoid the draft, but Ralph lapses in his studies. During their first summer, they decide to go on a road trip.

A good movie, by no means a great one, but high marks for all the leads and supporting characters, particularly Bruce Dern as Scott's father and Mariette Hartley as the mother. It seems this movie was missing something that was present in the writer's brilliant play "On Golden Pond". I can't quite put my finger on it, but the film made its point all too soon. I think I wanted an additional profound revelation besides the idea that Vietnam was a bad war.


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