Born On The Fourth Of July details
|Formats:||18 DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Byron Keith Minns, Jerry Levine, Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond Barry, Frank Whaley, Willem Dafoe, Tom Cruise|
|Studio:||UNIVERSAL PICTURES UK|
|Collections:||100 Eighties Greats|
Born On The Fourth Of July
|Run time:||2 hours 18 minutes|
|Rental release:||09 May 2005|
|Dubbed:||German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Czech|
|Subtitles:||Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish|
Most helpful review
Haunting and DisturbingBy John H Glen from London, England , 30 Jul 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]First, for those who think that Tom Cruise is just another pretty boy, this movie sets that mistaken view to rest. He is nothing short of dazzling in a role that is extremely demanding, physically, mentally, artistically, and emotionally. I don't see how anybody could play that role and still be the same person.
secondly, Stone's handling of the sex life of Vietnam Veterans in wheelchairs is entirely without sentimentality. There are no rose petals and no soft pedalling. There was no Jane Fonda, as in Coming Home, to play an angel of love. Instead the high school girl friend justifiably went her own way, and love became something you bought if you could afford it.
Thirdly, Stone's portrayal of America, and this movie in reality is about America, from the 1950s to the 1970s, from the simplicity of childhood war games and 4th of July parades down Main street USA to having your guts spill out in a foreign land and your comrades being sent home in body bags, was as ineffaceable as black ink on white paper. He takes us from pleased mothers and fathers and patriotic homilies to the discreditable disregard in our Veteran's hospitals to the bloody clashes between anti-war demonstrators and the police outside convention halls where revelling conventioneers wave flags and mouth spurious slogans.
I have seen most of Stone's work and as far as faithfulness to genuine detail and continuous attentiveness, this is his best. There are a thousand facts that Stone got exactly right, from Dalton Trumbo's paperback novel of a paraplegic from WW I, Johnny Got His Gun, that sat on a tray near Kovic's hospital bed, to the black medic telling him that there was a more important war going on at the same time as the Vietnam war, namely the civil rights movement, to a mother throwing her son out of the house when he no longer fulfilled her trophy case vision of what her son ought to be, to Willem Dafoe?s remark about what you have to do sexually when nothing in the middle moves.
Also striking were some of the scenes. The confession scene at the home of the boy Kovic accidentally shot; the Mexican brothel scene of sex/love desperation, the drunken scene at the pool hall bar and the pretty girl's face he touches, and then the drunken, hate-filled rage against his mother, and of course the savage hospital scenes, these and some others were deeply moving.
Yes, predictably, Oliver Stone's political message weighed heavily upon his artistic purpose. Straight-laced conservatives will find his portrait of America one-sided and offensive and something they'd rather forget. But I imagine that the guys, who fought in Vietnam and managed to get back somehow and see this movie, will find it redeeming. Certainly to watch Ron Kovic, just an ordinary Joe who believed in his country and the sentiments of John Wayne movies and comic book heroics, go from a depressed, enraged, drug-addled waste of a human being to an enlightened, focused, articulate, and ultimately triumphant spokesman for the anti-war movement, for veterans, and the disabled was wonderful to see. As Stone reminds us, Kovic really did become the hero that his misguided mother dreamed he would be.
No previous Vietnam War movie haunts me like this one. There is something about coming back less than whole that is worse than not coming back at all that eats away at our perception. And yet in the end there is here displayed the triumph of the human will and a story about how a man might find redemption in the most appalling of situations.
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epicBy a customer from MArlow uk , 04 Sep 2006And stands the test of time. Has USA learned anything since Vietnam? Tom Cruise fine, and Stones directing fantastic.
A great filmBy Alan Myers from England , 30 Mar 2006absolutely superb ... really gripping
TOP MOVIE !!!By a customer from GLASGOW , 04 Mar 2006Oliver Stones Born on the Fourth of July is not an adaptation of the memoir by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, though thats what the credits indicate. Its an indulgent style showcase for Stone, who, with his longtime cinematographer Robert Richardson, employs every act of film trickery imaginable that doesnt involve CGI effects.
Tom Cruise, in a role that was a brave departure for him in 1989, plays Kovic in his adult years. Kovic grows up as a child of the American dream in 1950s Long Island. Hes a God-fearing, baseball-hitting, patriotic lad who lives in an environment full of parades and malt shops. As a high school senior, young Ron doesnt think twice about signing up for the Marines, believing that hes doing the right thing for his country.
He does two tours of duty in Vietnam, a time that changes everything. He mistakenly guns down a Vietnamese family; then, minutes later, he accidentally kills a fellow soldier, so Kovics mental torment is already hefty when he gets shot in battle, leaving him paralyzed.
After a lengthy stay at an understaffed and filthy VA hospital, Kovic returns home to find the environment has changed. Wheres the red scare everyone was talking about? What happened to the American dream that he pursued? I dont feel like myself anymore, he tells a childhood friend. Kovic starts drinking, rejects God and his family, and wastes time whoring and boozing with other vets in Mexico, where he officially hits rock bottom before making amends with his recent past.
Kovics story should be riveting on its own a young man who realizes a little too late that his whole life has been a sham. Stone, who co-wrote the movie with Kovic, is not content to let Kovics life speak for itself. Born on the Fourth of July is a mish-mash of extreme close-ups, slow motion photography, and heavy-handed imagery and sound effects. The result: Kovics story gets muffled in all of the gee-whiz technique, zapping any emotion and personal touch from the material. Its tough to distinguish the subject from Stones attempt to wow us with bleached out shots and sound symbolism. John Williams saccharine score serves only to turn Kovic into more of a stylistic conduit.
Whats so frustrating is that there are opportunities to show Kovics metamorphosis. One is when he takes a trip to visit an old flame (Kyra Sedgwick), now an anti-war protester. The other is the trip to Mexico. Both subplots are important because they open Kovics eyes to the failures in his life, but the most effecting parts of those scenes dont involve any internal reflection. In Syracuse, its a student protest that goes violently awry; in Mexico, its Cruise and Willem Dafoe spitting at each other in the middle of a desert.
Ill give Stone credit for capturing the craziness of Kovics life, but he fails to give a human face to his free fall. Stone, who (incredibly) won a Best Director Oscar, gives a cinematic face to it. You never feel that Kovic is the subject of his own movie. Hes indeed an outsider, but in the worst way.
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Truely BrilliantBy a customer from North West , 04 Dec 2005I was going to write a in-depth review but im not. All I can say is watch this film it's a masterpiece, it gives another side to war and shows how some of the public mainly those that didn't want to get drafted treated the soldiers that came back from Vietnam. It's a harrowing tale but uplifting. P.S Whoever says Tom Cruise can't act watch this movie - truely brilliant' his finest hour.
great filmBy a customer from shropshire , 01 Dec 2005great classic war film