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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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A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Anthony Barrile, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle
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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

Gross USA:

$18,671,317

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,671,317
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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

Captain Dale Dye, a retired Marine, appears in the film. He also has parts in Platoon (1986), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and Starship Troopers (1997). Dale Dye acted as a consultant on each of the Vietnam War movies. See more »

Goofs

When the soldiers are shooting the girl on the bridge, she is positioned in a crossfire between three soldiers on one side of her and one soldier on the other side of her. With the number of shots fired, they would all have been shot, if not killed. See more »

Quotes

Eriksson: Everybody's acting like we can do anything and it don't matter what we do. Maybe we gotta' be extra careful because maybe it matters more than we even know.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in Eriksson's War: A Talk with Actor Michael J. Fox (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
There's hard hitting, and then there's Casualties of War
7 May 2013 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

CASUALTIES OF WAR tells the excruciating true story of a squad of American soldiers during the Vietnam War, who kidnap and rape a young Vietnamese girl in the name of fun. The story is told through the youthful and innocent eyes of Michael J. Fox, in a rare dramatic performance that may be his career-best.

Films like this can hardly be enjoyed, but CASUALTIES OF WAR proves to be unmissable entertainment and one of the harshest war stories out there; also, one of the best. It's a bit like watching a film of a train wreck, where you can't tear yourself away from what's happening and what you know is going to happen. The tragic, soul-searing story is one of the most moving I've ever seen.

A film like this needs a great director to tell it, and de Palma is that director. He wisely lets the story tell itself for the most part, but he can't resist incorporating a couple of flourishes (like the POV sequence) that remind us of his skill as an auteur. The cast is great, too, particularly the newbie actors (John C. Reilly and John Leguizano) playing soldiers and Sean Penn as the hateful sergeant. Understandably, Thuy Thu Le has the toughest role, and it's one she walks away from with her head held high; if ever an actress deserved an Oscar nod, it's her.


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