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Courage Under Fire [DVD] [1996]

Denzel Washington , Meg Ryan , Edward Zwick    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: 2.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Courage Under Fire [DVD] [1996] + The Siege [DVD] [1999] + Out of Time [DVD] [2003]
Price For All Three: 9.22

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Product details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips, Michael Moriarty, Matt Damon
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Patrick Sheane Duncan
  • Producers: David T. Friendly, Debra Martin Chase, John Davis, Joseph M. Caracciolo, Joseph Singer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Czech, Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Jun 2004
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004D0C3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,095 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Lieutenant Colonel Nat Serling (Denzel Washington), suffering from guilt after destroying one of his own tanks in a 'friendly fire' incident during the Gulf War, is assigned to investigate the death of Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan). Walden died in action, but accounts of her actions vary and so Serling has to discover the truth before she can be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honour. At the same time he has to come to terms with his own traumatic experiences in the Gulf.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gulf War Rashomon with Washington and Ryan 14 July 2004
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
The basic plot line of "Courage Under Fire" is that Lt. Col Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is investigating an incident during the Gulf War to determine whether or not the Medal of Honor should be awarded posthumously to Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan). It does not take us long to find out that the title of this film refers to both Serling and Walden. The initial story on Walden, the pilot of a rescue helicopter, is that she made a spectacular rescue of a downed helicopter crew, then fought off attacking Iraquis after her own copter crashed, dying right before the besieged group was rescued. But as Serling questions the surviving members of Walden's crew, he discovers their various versions do not jive, and he begins to question what is the truth of what really happened. Moreover, Serling is haunted by his own actions during the Gulf War, where he was responsible for a "friendly fire" incident that resulted in the death of American soldiers. To complicate matters even more, Serling is drinking way too much, has grown distant from his family, and is being hounded by both a commanding officer (Michael Moriarity) who wants the P.R. value of Walden being the first woman to receive the Medal of Honor and a reporter (Scott Glenn) who knows something of what happened to the Colonel in Iraq and wants to know the rest.
"Courage Under Fire" makes excellent use of the "Rashomon" technique, wherein we get to see each person's version of what really happened in Iraq. Serling's own feelings of guilt and responsibility for what happened in Iraq provide an additional level of depth to the narrative (more so than in Kurosawa's original classic film in fact).
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting at the Truth 15 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This is a riveting Military drama that works as a human drama as well. Director Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall) has made something special here as what could have been a routine story takes on depth and a sense of honor and history as this routine investigation into the death of the first female officer killed in combat turns into a marshy quicksand of lies and deception about the events leading to her death.
Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) is assigned the task of signing off on the details so Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) can be given the Medal of Honor for her sacrifice. But as Serling begins to talk to the crew of soldiers who went down with Walden in the Medivac helicopter over Kuwait he becomes unsure whether or not she deserves it. It is not any kind of preconceptions about women in combat that prompts his misgivings but his conversations with those involved.

Michael Moriarty gives a fine performance as Serlings superior and old friend Brigadier General Hershberg. The President wants to give Walden this honor and the pressure is great on Serling to hurry up and sign off on the investigation. Ilario (Matt Damon) was the closest to Walden personally and he seems just a little to scared of the investigation to Serling. Lou Diamond Phillips gives the performance of his career as the hard edged Sgt. Monfriez, a Military lifer with a chip on his shoulder who thinks Serling is there to whitewash what happened and will tell him nothing.
Denzel Washington gives another great performance as the flawed Lieutenant Colonel Serling, whose attempt to get at the truth may cost him his career. Scott Glenn has a nice turn in this quietly powerful drama as a reporter who smells a big story. This film is about honor and integrity and human weakness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film narrated from many perspectives 16 April 2007
By Jay
Denzel Washington plays an officer in charge of a tank brigade during the war. The unit he commands is involved in a friendly fire accident that kills one of his own men. After the war he tries to take responsibility for his part in the accident, but his superiors won't allow him to.

Also in the movie Denzel Washington's character seems to have developed drinking problems and other family problems due to his guilt. Whether or not he is actually guilty of anything or not he is consumed by his guilt and states more than once that he just wants to get this investigation right. It is almost as if he feels he can get rid of his guilt by handling this properly.

The character who gets killed is Meg Ryan who doesn't share any screen time with Denzel. Also featured are Matt Damon and Lou Diamond Phillips; members of Ryan's unit.

The filming uses a little known technique known as the Rashomon technique where the versions of each of the unit members are related, and believe me do they conflict ! Watch the film to see to what extent and whether Denzel absolves himself.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not your average war film 5 Feb 2001
Format:VHS Tape
this is a very touching story from start to finish. It follows the investigations of denzel washington of whether meg ryan should be the first women given a medal of bravery postumously. The story follows the tough time of both washington and ryan through war and the true bravery that can come from a person.all in all a truly great film with action and sentiment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well acted and well written - Meg Ryan ditched the cutesy rom-com roles for this one and succeeded (although it's Lou Diamond Phillips as the mouthy grunt who steals a lot of the movie).

But British fans should be aware that when buying the BLU RAY - the US edition on 20th Century Fox is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on UK machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' which most aren't.

Buy the UK version instead - it's cheap - a looker on the Format - and a quality movie into the bargain...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item Arrive Promptly And As Described+++++++++
Published 3 days ago by Richard Dowdalls
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good film
Published 14 days ago by janice cresswell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by angela skidmore
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
With the actors you would expect a better movie but it is watchable
Published 1 month ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
everything was as stated price was good received in good order in the time statedf
Published 1 month ago by Hazel Corbett
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by IAN DORAN
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
a watchable story
Published 2 months ago by G. Ashall
4.0 out of 5 stars A different type of War movie
Courage Under Fire is not your usual War movie; focusing more on the story of Denzel Washington's struggles to discover the truth about the fate of female soldier Meg Ryan before... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gatekeeper197
5.0 out of 5 stars whodunnit
a high ranking officer in the u.s infantry is asked to investigate the events of a rescue copter and as the officer of the copter even though killed in action gets the highest... Read more
Published 2 months ago by davidhattermann
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch war is hell drama featuring a terrifyingly thin looking Matt...
Denzel Washington is always, always entertaining to watch and here he is magnificent and genuinely effecting as a man with regrets. Read more
Published 3 months ago by BigAl82
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