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Nick Nolte plays an American photo-journalist covering the civil war in Nicaragua in 1979, finding himself caught in a dangerous and cynical web of duplicity and self-interest, as well as falling in love with fellow American, Claire (Joanna Cassidy). Nolte gradually uncovers the degree of his own government's involvement with the corrupt regime, and inevitably ends up crossing the line from neutral observer to helping the rebel cause.
Under Fire is in essence a reworking of Casablanca, especially as Gene Hackman's network newsman proves to be Cassidy's ex-lover, yet thanks to an intelligent script, strong support from Ed Harris as a mercenary and some genuinely unnerving and frightening scenes of the random chaos of war, it's one which packs a powerful punch. Jerry Goldsmith's evocative score is among his best of the 1980s.
On the DVD: Under Fire is presented in an anamorphic 1.77:1 transfer which is very clean and clear with minimal grain. The well-mixed Dolby Pro-logic soundtrack is highly effective, if not so startling as a 5.1 track. Beyond multi-language and subtitle options, the only extra is the original trailer, which is also anamorphically enhanced. --Gary S Dalkin
Its resonance is the hypocrisy and arrogance of US foreign policy - then supporting South American Juntas through the 1980s and 1990s - and now... It is based upon a true story - the the death of journalist Bill Stewart at the hands of a Nicarguan soldier was filmed by a TV crew and really did change the course of a Civil war - but not before countless "less important" deaths.
The film is driven along by an excellent soundtrack, which sucks you in as the tension builds. Weaved in this is an inevitable but credible love story. The leads all give strong performances.
I think this film has been rather overlooked - perhaps it said too many things the American public did not want to hear. Better than Salvador. A policitical drama and love story about a murder set in a war!
Worth a watch.