7.2/10
97,597
208 user 78 critic

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Trailer
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

Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise both expressed interest in using a nerve agent to cause genuine paralysis in Cruise's legs, but they were unable to find a substance that was safe enough to guarantee no permanent damage. See more »

Goofs

During the parade at the beginning of the film set in 1956, several parade goers and participants are wearing 1980s-era clothing and hairstyles. See more »

Quotes

Ron Kovic: [to reporters] I'm a Vietnam veteran, I'm here tonight to say, this war is wrong, this government lied to me, lied to my brothers, the people in this country tricked us into going thirteen thousand miles to fight a war against poor peasant people who have a proud history of resistance who have been struggling for their own independence for one thousand years, the Vietnamese people, I can't find the words to express how the leadership of this country sickens me, people say "if you don't love ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
Written by John Phillips
Performed by The 101 Strings Orchestra (as 101 Strings)
Courtesy of Alshire International, Inc.
Published by MCA Music Publishing, a Division of MCA, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
A Patriot's Fall From Grace
23 June 2002 | by comix-manSee all my reviews

What defines a great film? I believe that for a movie to be great, it should move you. It should make you think. It should make you reconsider your views and outlooks. It should make you take a closer look at its subject matter. It should draw attention to itself. Above all, you should gain some amount of enjoyment from a great film. I believe that BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY was a great film. I say this because, whether or not you agree with Ron Kovic's message, and although Oliver Stone almost ruined it with his attempts to personalize reality, the movie still made people stop and look. It literally defined the Vietnam War for a generation of Tom Cruise fans, and made many more aware of what the vets went through. The cinematography, score and fabulous acting made it a pleasure for many people to watch, if only to see how Cruise would deliver his next line.

The film grossed $70,001,698 nationwide. In 1989, when BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY was released, movie tickets cost five dollars. Therefore, over fourteen million American people went to the theater to see this movie. The number of viewers increases when you take into consideration the people who rented it on video or watched a television broadcast. It had that special something that made people think about issues that they might not have thought about before. It is lamentable that by 1989, many of the members of Generation X had paid little or no attention to the Vietnam War, even though only sixteen years had passed since the war's end. The younger generation was reminded that the war did, indeed, happen, and that the country was still being lambasted with the side effects.

The camera work was extremely effective in relaying the messages in the film. Different moods within the film were indicated by different tints in the color. Combats were filmed in red, while blue indicated sadness, and white tints where used in the dream sequences. Whether intended or not, the colors of choice also coincide with that of the American flag, which is very appropriate for the film. The film also employed a wide variety of interesting angles without becoming confusing to the viewer.

The musical score is one of the best of all time. John Williams is a genius in the music industry. His fabulous music can make a film feel the way it was intended to. He seems to simply know what sequence of notes will produce what emotions. Along with Williams' music, the score also includes some of the popular music from the time of the film's setting. For instance, AMERICAN PIE by Don McLean, MY GIRL by the Temptations, and MOONRIVER by Henry Mancini, all give the viewer who remembers the music a sense of nostalgia, taking them back to those years.

Two words sum up why the movie got the attention it did: Tom Cruise. Many critics were skeptical whether or not the pretty boy of RISKY BUSINESS and TOP GUN fame had what it took to portray a real life Vietnam veteran and make the audience believe he was that person. Fans crowded into the theaters to watch Cruise's handsome face (which was not so attractive through most of the film). Critics went to watch him blow the role. But he proved himself and went above and beyond what was expected of him in one of the most moving performances I have ever seen. He literally became Ron Kovic.

Many people were affected by BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. It had great cinematography. Its soundtrack was inspiring and beautiful, pulling out of the viewer all possible emotions. Tom Cruise's performance as Ron Kovic blew almost everyone away. In short, BORN ON THE FORTH OF JULY has what it takes to be a great film. It overcomes Stone's blatant manipulation of facts, such as the violent conflict that in the movie occurs during a republican convention, but in reality occurred during a democratic convention. Powerful and touching, it drives its point home and back again, never missing a beat.

8 out of 10 stars


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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
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