7.2/10
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208 user 78 critic

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

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2:54 | Trailer
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
4,037 ( 624)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Cruise ... Ron Kovic
Bryan Larkin ... Young Ron
Raymond J. Barry ... Mr. Kovic
Caroline Kava ... Mrs. Kovic
Josh Evans ... Tommy Kovic
Seth Allen Seth Allen ... Young Tommy
Jamie Talisman Jamie Talisman ... Jimmy Kovic
Sean Stone ... Young Jimmy
Anne Bobby ... Susanne Kovic
Jenna von Oÿ ... Young Susanne
Samantha Larkin Samantha Larkin ... Patty Kovic
Erika Geminder Erika Geminder ... Young Patty
Amanda Davis Amanda Davis ... Baby Patty
Kevin Harvey Morse Kevin Harvey Morse ... Jackie Kovic
John Getz ... Marine Major
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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

Plot Keywords:

drunkenness | desert | bar | 1970s | 1950s | See All (138) »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Cruise was born on the third of July. See more »

Goofs

In a scene in the Bronx Veterans Hospital, supposedly at some point in 1968, there is a poster next to a bed for the Doors' album, Morrison Hotel. That album was released in 1970. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Kovic: [almost sobbing] Don't say penis in this house!
Ron Kovic: Penis! Penis! Big fucking erect penis, Mom!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's title is seen after the end credits have finished. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 86th Annual Academy Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Times They Are a Changin
Written by Bob Dylan
Published by Warner Bros. Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Reality hurts
4 February 2007 | by anupam-satyasheelSee all my reviews

When you see a war veteran campaigning against the very war in which he was willing to die once, you begin to have second thoughts about the intent behind the war. Many Americans went deep into this deliberation when veterans like Ron Kovic went on record questioning the wisdom behind US's offensive against Vietnam. Regardless of historical outcome of the war, the question will haunt USA forever -was the Vietnam War a noble and just cause. Your answer could be anything depending upon your political and ideological preferences, but the reality of thousands who lost their lives and limbs continues to hurt.

Oliver Stone's Born on Fourth of July - based on the true story of Ron Kovic - takes the audience through the triumph and trauma of a crusader who went from one side of the war debate to the other. Ron wanted to fight for his country and stop the evil force of communism dead in its tracks. He went to Vietnam to defend his nation but came back soon, injured and doomed to suffer further. In the inadequately equipped hospital, his dreamer instincts crashed against the harsh realities of political ambivalence, not for the first time though.

Over next eight years that are depicted in this masterpiece, the character of Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise with unprecedented brilliance) goes through the trauma of knowing that no one will "love him now", that even his own sibling is not on the same side of ideology, that the government had more pressing issues than taking good care of war veterans, that his countrymen did not necessarily endorse of his view point. The reality that he killed a soldier from his own army, the reality that he was the unfortunate one to butcher children and women in Vietnam, the reality that he would not be able to father a child, the reality of his realization that his government had made a wrong case for the war - it all kept gnawing at his conscience. It kept gnawing him until he opened up to speak about what was wrong about this war. Thus 'ended' the patriotic fervor of a driven person, but he continued his passion as an antiwar activist.

Born on Fourth of July may have been the story of one Ron Kovic, but there are many others whose sentiments would echo with this veteran's. At the end, there is no easy way out of this debate. War always comes with its baggage of pain, trauma and hurt. Whether Vietnam was a mistake or not - the arguments would go on forever. So would the history of people who aspired to be motivated by JFK's historical urge - Ask not what your country can do for you, See what you can do for your country - only to realize that in every war there is only one casualty - the human spirit. And this reality hurts.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Born on the Fourth of July 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 »
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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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