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Casualties of War (1989)

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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)
Reviews
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:

Even in war... murder is murder. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

18 August 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pecados de guerra 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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$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 (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to John Leguizamo in his autobiography, the scene in which Meserve smacks Diaz took fourteen takes, and Sean Penn really smacked him every time. See more »

Goofs

When the soldiers enter the first village, kids are eating a Hershey bar wrapped in foil with a brown Hershey sleeve. For that time period it should have been a white wax paper wrapper inside the Hershey sleeve. See more »

Quotes

Eriksson: Who got hit Sarge?
Hawthorne: The cherry. Man, that boy was bagged and tagged the minute they cut his orders to this place. They should've just shot him at home.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in Scene by Scene: Brian De Palma (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Time Has Come Today
Written by Joseph Chambers & Willie Chambers (as William Chambers)
Performed by The Chambers Brothers
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the great American movies
1 July 2002 | by wezzelSee all my reviews

Coppola, Stone and Cimino did their best, but the award for best Vietnam movie goes to Brian De Palma. One of the only directors working today who still knows the meaning of 'cinema', De Palma uses all his favorite techniques (the long shots, split-focus)without being intrusive. There are so many fantastic moments in this film, so many images that stay in your mind long after the credits rolled by. Who could forget the death of the girl on that railwaybridge? It's truly one of the most chilling images I've ever seen on screen, also thanks to the haunting score by Ennio Morricone.

The acting is fantastic. Sean Penn makes it very easy for you to hate him, John Leguizamo as the pathetic Diaz hits all the right notes, John C. Reilly is wonderful as always. And then there's Michael J. Fox, in a rare dramatic role. As Ericcson, he's the beating heart of this film, the only human creature on screen. His attempts to save the girl are heartbreaking and deeply tragic.

It's a mystery why this movie doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Maybe the Americans don't like the way some of their countrymen are portrayed here. Maybe the idea of Marty McFly as G.I. Joe turns some people off. The IMDb rating this movie gets is a joke, albeit not a very funny one. This is one of Brian De Palmas finest movies (it's so hard to choose a favorite he has made so many classics), the best war movie I've ever seen and one of the greatest American movies ever.

You simply HAVE to see this!


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