138 user 84 critic

Casualties of War (1989)

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


Brian De Palma (as Brian DePalma)


Daniel Lang (book), David Rabe (screenplay)
4,419 ( 475)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


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


Crime | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Quentin Tarantino has hailed the film as "the greatest film about the Vietnam War." See more »


During the firefight on the bridge, after intense firing, one soldiers reaches over to pull another soldier to get started down the bridge by grabbing the muzzle of his gun. That act would create severe burns on his palm. See more »


Lt. Reilly: So what was I doing in jail? What I was doing, let me advise you, was fixin' to shoot some mothafucka's working in that hospital, that's what I was doing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


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User Reviews

An Effective Film!
26 April 2012 | by namashi_1See all my reviews

Based on the actual events of the incident on Hill 192 in 1966 during the Vietnam War, 'Casualties of War', directed by legendary filmmaker Brian De Palma, is An Effective Film, that talks about Human-Cruelty & Violence. De Palma handles this unsettling & disturbing fare with ruthlessness, making it an experience to remember.

'Casualties of War' Synopsis: During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

'Casualties of War' is disturbing, unsettling & yet effective. Based on a true horrifying event, the film comes across as uninhibited & Extremely bear.

De Palma's Direction, as mentioned, is ruthless, like the story itself. David Rabe's Screenplay talks about Human-Cruelty & it very efficiently narrates that. Cinematography & Editing, are mention-worthy.

Performance-Wise: Michael J. Fox delivers a believable performance, that ranks amongst his finest works to date. Sean Penn is mesmerizing as the bad-guy, causing hate each time he appears on-screen. John C. Reilly, John Leguizamo & Don Harvey, are terrific. Thuy Thu Le as the frightened victim, delivers a haunting performance, that's impossible to forget. Ving Rhames is good in a brief role.

On the whole, 'Casualties of War' is worth a watch, but its certainly NOT meant for the faint-hearted.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »


Box Office


$22,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,201,261, 20 August 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Cut)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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