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Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry (2004)

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A documentary on Senator John Kerry's Navy tour of duty in Vietnam, his contributions to the peace movement that followed, and the ultimate shape of his future political career.


George Butler


Douglas Brinkley (book), Joseph Dorman



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Credited cast:
David Alston David Alston ... Himself - Gunner's Mate, PCF-94, Vietnam Veteran
Dan Barbiero Dan Barbiero ... Himself - Yale Roommate, Vietnam Veteran
Douglas Brinkley ... Himself - Official Kerry Biographer
Harvey Bundy Harvey Bundy ... Himself - Yale Roommate
Dick Cavett ... Himself (archive footage)
Max Cleland Max Cleland ... Himself - Former Democratic Senator (Georgia)
Bestor Cram Bestor Cram ... Himself - VVAW Anti-War Activist, Vietnam Veteran (as Bester Cram)
Walter Cronkite ... Himself (archive footage)
Chris Gregory Chris Gregory ... Himself - VVAW Anti-War Activist, Vietnam Veteran
Richard Holbrooke ... Himself - Former US Ambassador to the UN
Lyndon Johnson ... Himself (archive footage)
John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)
Bob Kerrey Bob Kerrey ... Himself - Former Democratic Senator (Nebraska)
John Kerry ... Himself (archive footage)
Joe Klein ... Himself - Writer


A documentary on Senator John Kerry's Navy tour of duty in Vietnam, his contributions to the peace movement that followed, and the ultimate shape of his future political career.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some men are changed by history, others make it.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images of war and some dialogue


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

1 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tour of Duty See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$279,219, 3 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$613,252, 31 October 2004
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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User Reviews

The parallels are amazing
30 October 2004 | by ritsnSee all my reviews

This film was somewhat pedestrian at first, but as it got into the heart and passion of the Vietnam era it really caught fire.

During that time I was a naive teenager/college kid, with these events going around on the periphery. This movie helped to crystallize the past, as well as to connect it to the present. The statement John Kerry made, about asking someone, or someone's son (now include "daughter") to die for a lie holds so true today. Although Kerry has mellowed a lot in 34 years, if even a fraction the spark, the integrity and the bravery it took to volunteer for battle and then to see the truth and to fight for a just cause are still in him, I can be proud of my vote on Nov. 2nd.

It would be oh so illuminating to contrast the current president's past life and times during those same years with that of this impressively articulate and thoughtful man.

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