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Casualties of War (1989)

R | | Crime, Drama, War | 18 August 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:56 | Trailer
During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Director:

Brian De Palma (as Brian DePalma)

Writers:

Daniel Lang (book), David Rabe (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael J. Fox ... Eriksson
Sean Penn ... Sgt. Tony Meserve
Don Harvey ... Cpl. Thomas E. Clark
John C. Reilly ... PFC Herbert Hatcher
John Leguizamo ... PFC Antonio Diaz
Thuy Thu Le ... Oanh
Erik King ... Brown
Jack Gwaltney ... Rowan
Ving Rhames ... Lt. Reilly
Dan Martin ... Sgt. Hawthorne
Dale Dye ... Capt. Hill
Steve Larson ... Agent #1
John Linton John Linton ... Agent #2
Vyto Ruginis ... Prosecutor
Al Shannon Al Shannon ... Wilkins
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Storyline

During the Vietnam war, a girl is taken from her village by five American soldiers. Four of the soldiers rape her, but the fifth refuses. The young girl is killed. The fifth soldier is determined that justice will be done. The film is more about the realities of war, rather than this single event. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Inspired by a true event, that the army never saw it coming See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brian De Palma chose to utilize segments from Ennio Morricone's score for The Thing (1982) when he laid in his temporary sound track. See more »

Goofs

Clark sings a line from the Doors' song, "Hello I Love You", to Oanh while marching. "Hello, I Love You" was originally released as a single in June 1968. However, the events portrayed in the film happened in 1966. See more »

Quotes

Meserve: Brownie, look into my fuckin' eyes I'm gonna hypnotize you. YOU'RE FINE!
Cpl. Brown: I knew it man, I knew it!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Extended Cut is 6 minutes longer than the original and contains 2 extra scenes. See more »

Connections

Version of The Visitors (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Magic Carpet Ride
Written by Rushton Moreve & John Kay
Performed by Steppenwolf
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
Blistering assault on the degrading effects of warfare
5 May 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

CASUALTIES OF WAR

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)

Sound format: 6-track Dolby Stereo

(35mm and 70mm release prints)

During a routine field trip at the height of the Vietnam War, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) rebels against his commanding officer (Sean Penn) and other members of his patrol when they kidnap a defenceless Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Le) and subject her to a terrifying physical ordeal.

Unfairly overshadowed by the simultaneous theatrical release of Oliver Stone's pompous - but still impressive - BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989), Brian DePalma's CASUALTIES OF WAR recreates a harrowing incident from the Vietnam conflict - first reported in 'New Yorker' magazine in 1969 - in which a group of otherwise decent men succumbed to their own worst impulses and committed a terrible crime. Filmed with typical cinematic bravado by master craftsman DePalma, the movie uses every inch of the scope frame to convey both the duality of the landscape (vast swathes of breathtaking countryside, where sudden death lurks around every corner) and the moral vacuum which stretches the two central characters (Fox and Penn) to breaking point. Crafted with blistering simplicity by screenwriter David Rabe (himself a Vietnam veteran and author of the acclaimed stageplay 'Streamers'), the soldiers are depicted as brave individuals whose principles are shattered by their traumatic combat experiences, leaving Fox to essay the role of peacemaker in a world where all the rules have been turned upside down. Thuy - a model with no prior acting experience - is truly heartbreaking as the soldiers' terrified prisoner, and her ultimate fate is so horrific (arguably the most disturbing set-piece of this director's entire career), many viewers will be too appalled to see the film through to its inevitable conclusion. All in all, this uncompromising drama emerges as one of DePalma's strongest films to date.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

18 August 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Casualties of War See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,201,261, 20 August 1989

Gross USA:

$18,671,317

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,671,317
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Cut)

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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