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In Country (1989)

1:10 | Trailer
A young girl whose father died in the Vietnam War becomes determined to find out more about him and his experiences.


Norman Jewison


Bobbie Ann Mason (novel), Frank Pierson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Emmett Smith
Emily Lloyd ... Samantha Hughes
Joan Allen ... Irene
Kevin Anderson ... Lonnie
John Terry ... Tom
Peggy Rea ... Mamaw
Judith Ivey ... Anita
Daniel Jenkins ... Dwayne
Stephen Tobolowsky ... Pete
Jim Beaver ... Earl Smith
Richard Hamilton ... Grampaw
Heidi Swedberg ... Dawn
Ken Jenkins ... Jim Holly
Jonathan Hogan Jonathan Hogan ... Larry
Patricia Richardson ... Cindy


Samantha Hughes, a teenage Kentucky girl, never knew her father, who died in Vietnam before she was born. Samantha lives with her uncle Emmett Smith, who also served in Vietnam. Emmett hangs around with Tom, Earl and Pete, three other Vietnam veterans who, like Emmett, all have problems of one kind or another, that relate to their war experiences. Sam, as Samantha is known, becomes obsessed with finding out about her father and his experiences, but Emmett and the other veterans don't want to talk about the war. Sam pushes everyone to attend a dance honoring the town's veterans, but Pete and Earl get into a fight, Emmett disappears, and Tom takes Sam home for an unsuccessful tryst. When Sam reads her father's diary, she begins to understand what his life and death meant, and with a trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, she and Emmett at least temporarily come to terms with the war in their lives. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the heartland of a nation... In the mind of a young girl... In the memory of a soldier... In the soul of America... The healing has begun. See more »


Drama | Romance | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


A full scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the first replicas outside Washington, D.C., was built in Mayfield, as shooting on the Mall at that time was restricted. See more »


In the opening scene where the Platoon Leader is marching in the Platoon you see his shirt has one too many buttons unbuttoned. See more »


Emmett Smith: There's something wrong with me, like there's this hole in my heart. I guess there's something missing, I can't get it back.
See more »


Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Norman Jewison (1999) See more »


I Never Felt Worse
Performed by Jim Kimball
Courtesy of Soundscape Productions
Written by Jim Kimball and Steve Knox
See more »

User Reviews

Sam graduates from high school in Kentucky, then tries to find out who her father was.
17 February 2002 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

"In Country" is what soldiers called being in Viet Nam during the war, thus the title of this 1989 film. Emily Lloyd, an 18-year-old English actress credibly plays Sam (Samantha) who is being raised by her uncle (Bruce Willis) while her mother (Jane Allen) lives elsewhere in Kentucky. Sam wonders about her father, who was killed in Viet Nam right before she was born. She found old letters of his to her mom, and this sparks her interest in finding out more about him. The film ends when she finds his name in D.C. at the memorial.

I was drafted in 1968, and only a medical disqualification kept me out of Viet Nam. I'm certain that some of my college buddies, and ROTC mates, went and never returned. For us who remember those times this is an especially meaningful film. It is slow moving in many places, but well-done and perhaps deserving of a bit higher rating on the IMDb.

This is one of the many older movies now being released as budget DVDs. It sold for under $6. It is very basic, no extras, no surround sound. Still, the picture is very true, in fullscreen, and the sound is above average. Includes some good Bruce Springsteen.

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Release Date:

29 September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In Country See more »

Filming Locations:

Lexington, Kentucky, USA See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,505, 17 September 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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