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Courage Under Fire (1996)

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A U.S. Army officer, despondent about a deadly mistake he made, investigates a female chopper commander's worthiness for the Medal of Honor.

Director:

Edward Zwick
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4,618 ( 1,055)
9 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Nat Serling
Meg Ryan ... Karen Walden
Lou Diamond Phillips ... Monfriez
Michael Moriarty ... General Hershberg
Matt Damon ... Ilario
Bronson Pinchot ... Bruno
Seth Gilliam ... Altameyer
Regina Taylor ... Meredith Serling
Zeljko Ivanek ... Banacek
Scott Glenn ... Gartner
Tim Guinee ... Rady
Tim Ransom ... Boylar
Sean Astin ... Patella
Armand Darrius Armand Darrius ... Robins
Mark Adair-Rios ... Bobcat 5 (as Mark Adair-Riós)
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Storyline

The pilot of a rescue copter, Captain Karen Walden, died shortly before her helicopter crew was rescued after it crashed in Desert Storm. It first appears that she made a spectacular rescue of a downed helicopter crew, then held her own crew together to fight off the Iraqis after her copter crashed. Lt. Colonel Serling, who is struggling with his own demons from Desert Storm, is assigned to investigate her worthiness for the Medal of Honor. But some conflicting accounts, from her crew and soldiers in the area, cause him to question whether she deserves it. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In wartime, the first casualty is always truth. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for war violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

12 July 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mut zur Wahrheit See more »

Filming Locations:

Austin, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$46,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,501,000, 14 July 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$59,031,057

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$100,860,818
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Denzel Washington and Scott Glenn appeared in Training Day (2001). They also played the same role in different versions of the same story; Glenn in Man on Fire (1987) and Washington in Man on Fire (2004). See more »

Goofs

During Serling and Gartner's talk in the park, it was alternately sprinkling then not. When the camera cuts to Gartner, their jackets are wet, but when it cuts to Serling, their jackets are completely dry. See more »

Quotes

Nathaniel Serling: How did you get to be on Captain Walden's chopper?
Monfriez: Used to hang around medivac units, sir.
Nathaniel Serling: Did you want to become a medic?
Monfriez: Wanted to hump a nurse once, does that count?
[both laugh]
Monfriez: See, I play poker. Do you want to know a poker secret, sir?
Nathaniel Serling: Always.
Monfriez: Find out what the people you are playing against are interested in, and pretend you're interested in it, too. They start running off at the mouth and don't pay no attention to their cards. Medivac crew love to talk about their choppers.
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Courage Under Fire' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Angel from Montgomery
Written by John Prine
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Denzel Washington At His Best
22 October 2000 | by degraciaSee all my reviews

"Courage Under Fire" is perhaps the best illustration of how flexible and adaptive actors like Denzel Washington are. What makes "Courage Under Fire" impressive is not so much its plot or storyline (which is somewhat inconsistent), but its portrayal of a lone officer torn between personal conscience and duty. Denzel's overweight build and alcoholic demeanor create the highly credible image of a man barely attached to his life. Basically the story of a budding Army officer re-assigned to administrative duties following a Desert Storm friendly fire incident, "Courage Under Fire" submerges the viewer into pure emotional hell as it progresses. The stunning emotional catharisis portrayed at the film's end is incredibly dramatic and almost entirely unmatched. Anyone who has ever been under the extreme pressures of stress or suffered cognitive dissonance following a bad judgement will definitely connect with this film. A great psychological thriller and a tour-de-force drama. Definitely one of the best films...if only it would be released on DVD!!


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