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In 1963, the night before the 18 years old "Birdlace" Eddie and his friends are shipped to Vietnam. They play a dirty game called 'Dogfight': all of them seek a woman for a party, and who finds the most ugly one, wins a prize. Eddie finds the lonesome pacifist Rose working in a coffee shop. She's happy to accompany him - but then she sees through the game. However by this time he already learned to like her, so he follows her home. Will he manage to win her heart despite their differences?Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
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The picture of American musician Bob Dylan that Rose points out to on her wall was taken in 1964, while the scene takes place in 1963. See more »
Love story, Vietnam bound Marine & a hip '60's San Francisco anti-war girl.
Dogfight captures the feelings of the mid to late 1960's in San Francisco. It accurately shows the characteristics of young U.S. Marines destined for Vietnam. They are insensitive and cruel to the young women they invite to the 'Dogfight' because of their youth and the situation they find themselves in as G.I.'s. Being in the Air Force during this period I could relate to their crudeness as a posture taken by some young men as a defense against their environment. Being insensitive was a way to deal with their situation over which they had little control. The movie also accurately portrayed how young G.I.'s bond with other young guys who in civilian life they might not have bothered to befriend.
The love story involves a girl invited to the 'Dogfight' (a contest to see who could bring the ugliest girl) and the young Marine who brings her. She breaks through his shell of indifference and they become friends and lovers.
Lilly Taylor and River Phoenix are terrific. Their characters ring true and my wife and I cared very much about what happened to them.
Phoenix's return to S.F. after his tour in Vietnam was just as I experienced it. Although I was not returning from overseas when I returned the Bay Area in 1969, I discovered that the San Francisco of 1965 was totally gone and replaced with a foreign land.
'Dogfight' is accurately nostalgic for those of my generation and perhaps older. Younger viewers get to enjoy a truly good love story. They also get a glimpse of life as a young G.I. during that uniquely explosive period of change and social upheaval in America during the middle to late 1960's.
33 of 34 people found this review helpful.
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