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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving story of a Vietnam vets recovery after the war.
Tom Cruise stars as war veteran Ron Kovic in this moving story of a man destroyed by a war he didn't believe in. The film starts off with Kovic as a teenager preparing to go to Vietnam, his only reason being his love for his country. Only a short period of the film is actually set in Vietnam as the film is about the consequences for one man rather than the war. Kovic is...
Published on 25 Nov. 2000

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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Poor DVD
This is a great film of showing the after effects of the wounded in the Vietnam war. I have no problems with the film as i think it is one the best film i have seen.
Although you might as well buy this on VHS as the DVD has nothing else to offer but the film. I usually buy DVDs which have alot fo extras in them as their worht paying the extra money for them but...
Published on 8 Nov. 2001


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving story of a Vietnam vets recovery after the war., 25 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
Tom Cruise stars as war veteran Ron Kovic in this moving story of a man destroyed by a war he didn't believe in. The film starts off with Kovic as a teenager preparing to go to Vietnam, his only reason being his love for his country. Only a short period of the film is actually set in Vietnam as the film is about the consequences for one man rather than the war. Kovic is paralysed from the chest down during a gunfight, he is condemned to a chair for life. The film focuses on his struggle to come to terms with this and a powerful performance by Cruise conveys this perfectly. In my opinion this is by far Cruise's best performance in any film yet. Oliver Stone's direction is perfect and the supporting cast are all outstanding. This is, next to Apocalypse Now, the finest vietnam film ever made.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and distrubing, but ultimately redemptive, 23 Oct. 2003
By 
Dennis Littrell (SoCal) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I avoided this when it came out in 1989 having seen Coming Home (1978) and not wanting to revisit the theme of paraplegic sexual dysfunction and frustration. I also didn't want to reprise the bloody horror of our involvement in the war in Vietnam that I knew Oliver Stone was going to serve up. And Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic? I just didn't think it would work.
Well, my preconceptions were wrong.
First of all, for those who think that Tom Cruise is just another pretty boy (which was basically my opinion), this movie sets that mistaken notion to rest. He is nothing short of brilliant in a role that is enormously demanding--physically, mentally, artistically, and emotionally. I don't see how anybody could play that role and still be the same person. Someday in his memoirs, Tom Cruise is going to talk about being Ron Kovic as directed by Oliver Stone.
And second, Stone's treatment of the sex life of Viet Vets in wheelchairs is absolutely without sentimentality or silver lining. There are no rose petals and no soft pedaling. There was no Jane Fonda, as in Coming Home, to play an angel of love. Instead the high school girl friend understandably went her own way, and love became something you bought if you could afford it.
And third, Stone's depiction of America--and this movie really is about America, from the 1950s to the 1970s--from the pseudo-innocence of childhood war games and 4th of July parades down Main street USA to having your guts spilled in a foreign land and your brothers-in-arms being sent home in body bags--was as indelible as black ink on white parchment. He takes us from proud moms and patriotic homilies to the shameful neglect in our Veteran's hospitals to the bloody clashes between anti-war demonstrators and the police outside convention halls where reveling conventioneers wave flags and mouth phony slogans.
I have seen most of Stone's work and as far as fidelity to authentic detail and sustained concentration, this is his best. There are a thousand details 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. In particular, 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 and likely to haunt me for many years to come.
Of course, as usual, 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 redemptive. 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 other 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 consciousness. 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 deplorable of circumstances.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly dramatic biopic that remains powerful and hasn't dated., 4 Dec. 2011
This was my first viewing of the movie, and frankly I forgot when it was filmed. This was down to 2 factors: firstly it's all set in the past (50's 60's and 70's, all meticulously recreated), and secondly it has come out beautifully on blu-ray, with a clear, sharp print.
Within minutes it reminded me why Oliver Stone is still hailed as a great director. Although I've never been a huge fan of drama or Bio-pics, I was so fascinated by the cinematic sweep and incredible storytelling I forgot everything else going on around me.
Starting as the typical all-American boy, Tom Cruise's journey as Ron Kovic is told so well through Cruise's performance, Stone's direction and John William's emotive music that you're thoroughly swept up.
The American segments of the film almost have a Spielberg feeling of olden times America about them and are laden with period and charm. Once we get to Vietnam, Stone's power as a dramatic storyteller kicks in even harder with shockingly emotional and upsetting moments. These are so powerful that they take the breath away, and become the catalyst for everything that's going to happen later.
After 2 battle scenes that can be accurately referred to as his day going literally to hell, the film barely lets up.
Stone can do 'harrowing' better than most, and Kovic's hellish experiences in battlefield triage and then a filthy veterans' hospital back in the States are among the film's most shocking sequences.
Once back in the USA, the fervently patriotic Kovic finds his faith shaken by everything from his own family's opinions to those of his college sweetheart, and eventually begins to swing from disaffected and drunk to angry and liberal.
It's a barnstorming performance from Cruise who is often underrated as an actor, and married to Stone's angry intelligent script and Williams' soaring score it really takes you on an emotional journey. From one of the most romantic moments in cinema (Kovic's passionate last-minute dance with his sweetheart), to some of the worst battlefield horrors, to bored hookers ridiculing injured vets in Mexico and right back to Veterans flinching at firecrackers in a Fourth of July parade, every nuance and emotion is nailed right on the money.
Impactful emotional films like this, that entertain while helping remind us of important moments in world history are why we need mavericks like Oliver Stone. Everybody with a strong opinion on War should see this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent release, 5 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The best: region free, very high quality on image and sound (english 5.1 HD MA), it contains several audio languages (french, italian, german, spanish, etc)
The worse: it could have had more bonus material

All in all, excellent purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not The Best Nam Film but an Historically Valuable Piece., 2 May 2015
By 
Thespionic "Thespionic" (West Country) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the normal DVD version and I have to say that the film quality was very average and that the sound escaped me on several occasions. I was not particularly impressed from that point of view – the Bluray I would hope is a big improvement?
Compared to ‘Platoon’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ this film lags behind in some areas, though the ‘moral’ of the storyline is of course more compelling, though less expansive on all things Vietnam?
The film won an Academy Award and Tom Cruise a Golden Globe. It recouped its budget five-fold. However, for me it is not a great film, though, historically it’s important in the tale that it has to tell. There are several ‘Oh my God’ moments here but overall I felt the camera work of war was better done on films like Platoon.
If this film is a true account of what the ‘vet’s’ went through then America has truly been shamed, I can’t understand how the American public and administration allowed the horribly wounded to be treated in this awful way? There was a staggering 75,000 ‘severely disabled’ war vet’s after Vietnam?
And for what? - An ultimate defeat (whatever way you gloss it up) and an eventual realisation (now admitted) that they should never have become involved in the first place.
Vietnam was an American nightmare, the all-powerful bully massacring an estimated three million Vietnamese (a third of them innocent civilians), wrecking their country, poisoning their land and children and yet walking away with nothing? Their own people condemning them for what they were doing and did, war legacies galore - of war crimes, 30,000 drug addicted soldiers, murder within their own ranks and ultimately the poor ‘vets’ treated like it was all their fault? 'My Lai' is touched on in this film, and yet the same public who turned on their own troops, campaigned for the release of William Calley, who orchestrated the massacre of 500 unarmed Vietnam villagers - Oh the irony?
And who are now putting the country of Vietnam back on its feet - the Communists!
What an almighty mess all round this was for America, and what a ghastly carnage they caused and then left behind - with some 6.5 million displaced refugees ( the boat people) fleeing their country?
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5.0 out of 5 stars An oustanding effort by Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise., 7 Nov. 2010
This is the film that Platoon could have been if the budget had allowed. Instead Oliver Stone had to wait for the opportunities to occur in the right way for this film to be made. Getting a bankable star like Tom Cruise to star as the lead sealed the big money that would be necessary to make this film happen.

The end result is perfect. The visual design is excellent from leafy Massachussets to the hot and dusty banks of the Cua Viet Estuary, South Vietnam. The acting is note perfect and totally believeable. The script, based on the original non-fiction book by Ron Kovic, is outstanding. The score is superb, not intrusive and very memorable. The direction is deft, the editing splendid. This film knocked my socks off the first time I saw it and continues to impress years later.

The story is simple and profound at the same time. A young, idealistic, patriotic Massachussets teenager and high school wrestler, Ron Kovic, volunteers for the US Marine Corps in the 1960s. He is sent to South Vietnam. Promoted to Sgt, he is put in acting command of a Rifle Squad. During one very intense and confusing encounter with the opposing soldiers of North Vietnam his Squad accidentally shoots up a hut containing innocent civilians and kills or maims several of them. Then later on in similar confusion Sgt Kovic accidentally shoots and kills a Marine Private. Both events weigh heavily on his conscience. Some days or weeks later during another firefight with the forces of North Vietnam he is hit by an enemy bullet and paralysed from the waist down. He is expected to die and given the Last Rites at the Field Hospital where he is operated on. He survives - but his problems are only just starting.

And that's as much as I'm going to tell you: if you want to know the rest of the story you'll have to buy and watch the DVD. It's definitely worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruise is magnificent, 20 Nov. 2013
By 
N. G. Harverson (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you have any doubts about Tom Cruise as an actor then watch this. Unforgettable and very moving. Timeless message from a brilliantly captured era. Hard to watch because of its searing honesty but Oliver Stone pays a remarkable tribute to his veteran colleagues through this film.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting film about paraplegic Viet Nam veteran, 25 Jan. 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This film based on the true life experiences of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) who started out as a dedicated patriot joining the US Marines to fight in Viet Nam. His experiences in Nam make him embittered with the futility of the conflict and the sufferings of the Vietnamese.
The first part of the film showing Kovic growing up and joining the marines is more targeted at American audiences, but once he is wounded, paralysed and a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair the appeal is universal. His gradual conversion to the aims of the “Stop the war movement” and peace activist are superbly acted by Cruise.
This is a tough, harrowing film to view, it depicts the desperate trauma I have read about suffered by Nam vets, I once saw a veteran comment “Nam made me so wild I am not safe to live amongst ordinary people”. We encounter the equivalent of that in this film, it is devastatingly honest and depicts not only the horrors of the conflict, the field hospitals, and the destruction of the souls of the men who survived.
Compelling viewing, but only if you are prepared to face the truth about war, but at the end there is some kind of hope.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly powerful, 19 Feb. 2014
Rather than go into detail about the film (as others have already done very clearly), i will just say this. Born on the Fourth of July is Tom Cruise's defining moment. He had never before (and perhaps never will again) perform to this level as an actor. If i were trying to convince a young actor, just how powerful a performance can be, i would show them this film, and in particular i would point to one scene in the middle of the film that without fail has me in tears. This is a stunning piece of cinema. Powerful, thought provoking, and difficult to watch at times, i would describe Born on the Fourth of July as a modern classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Born on the Fourth of July, 16 July 2006
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is an excellent film and has one of Cruise's best ever performances. Based on the book of the same title, which is a powerful read, this is also a powerful film. I found this film very moving and inspiring to see how one deals with his disability and tries to make a difference. Still brilliant even after repeated viewings and over time. Well worth a viewing.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Born On The Fourth Of July [HD DVD]
Born On The Fourth Of July [HD DVD] by Oliver Stone (HD DVD - 2007)
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