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Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

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The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Ron Kovic (book), Oliver Stone (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,290 ( 1,184)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Ron Kovic
Raymond J. Barry ... Mr. Kovic
Caroline Kava ... Mrs. Kovic
Josh Evans ... Tommy Kovic
Jamie Talisman Jamie Talisman ... Jimmy Kovic
Anne Bobby ... Suzanne Kovic
Samantha Larkin Samantha Larkin ... Patty Kovic
Tom Berenger ... Recruiting Gunnery Sgt. Hayes
Frank Whaley ... Timmy
Jerry Levine ... Steve Boyer
Richard Panebianco Richard Panebianco ... Joey Walsh
Rob Camilletti Rob Camilletti ... Tommy Finnelli
Stephen Baldwin ... Billy Vorsovich
Michael McTighe Michael McTighe ... Danny Fantozzi
Richard Haus Richard Haus ... Recruiting Sgt. Bowers
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Storyline

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of innocence lost and courage found.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nacido el cuatro de julio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$172,021, 25 December 1989

Gross USA:

$70,001,698

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$161,001,698
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ixtlan See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the beginning of the movie when young Ron Kovic is playing baseball, the camera catches the back of what appears to be his Jersey. It has STONE written on it. See more »

Goofs

During the Syracuse protest the group of students that are speaking are holding the Viet Cong flag. They have the Viet Cong flag upside down with Blue on top. The Viet Cong flag should actually have Red on top. However, that could be intentional. However, when the camera pans back and forth between Kovic and the speakers the Viet Cong flag is seen to have Red on top, then back to blue on top. See more »

Quotes

Steve Boyer: You probably think it's just a hamburger. A patty's just a piece of meat, but it can have character. See that doughnut hole? Gets 18 patties to the pound instead of 16. Saves me about $40,000 a year. That's serious money, Ron. I plug the hole with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, spices. I cover it with a pickle. They'll never miss a thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »


Soundtracks

Rock Around the Clock
Written by James E. Myers (as Jimmy De Knight) and Max Freedman (as Max Freeman)
Performed by Rodney Lay and the Wild West
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corp. c/o Original Sound Entertainment
Published by Myers Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Absorbing Piece of Work
13 August 2006 | by ReelCheeseSee all my reviews

Let's start with the good news. "Born on the Fourth of July" is an absorbing piece of work, based on a true story, about Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), a gung-ho Marine-turned-war-protester. We first meet Kovic as an all-American boy as strong in his faith as he is in his will to succeed. After high school he proudly joins the Marines, hoping he'll be shipped to Vietnam to stop the spread of communism. But the barbarities of war, including civilian casualties, friendly fire and a paralyzing bullet through the chest, gradually turn him against the conflict. Director Oliver Stone's method of telling Kovic's story over a period of several years is highly effective and convincing. Cruise is at his best as Kovic, portraying a wide range of emotions and developing apathy with the viewer. The audience feels what he feels, from confusion on the battlefield to the terror of being paralyzed from the waist down.

Now for the bad news. The picture is overly political, with Stone once again (and unnecessarily) casting Republicans as the bad guys and Democrats as the good guys (seemingly ignoring that the Dems initially sent the troops to 'Nam). The film also takes a while to build up steam, and the all-American life of the pre-Marine Kovic seems a little too perfect to be believable. Obviously a story such as this requires adequate screen time, but the 145 minutes is slightly drawn out, particularly toward the end. And although one of its central themes is the opposition to the war that greeted returning vets, the genesis and rationale of that opposition are not adequately explored.

As a whole, however, "Born of the Fourth of July" is recommended. Kovic's biography and Stone's masterful storytelling are a perfect match. It's not your typical war movie. In fact, it's not your typical movie, period.


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