Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Directed by
Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning film, based on a true story, stars Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic, a Vietnam vet paralysed from the waist down. At first retaining his patriotism, he discovers that America's indifference to its returning wounded is too agonising, and he takes refuge in alcohol, drugs and whores before becoming a voice for disabled war veterans, taking their case for better treatment to the highest levels.

The power of the film comes from Stone's belief in Kovic's plight. Both men fought in Vietnam, going out as gung-ho patriots, returning to an America hostile to them and the war; an attitude they both eventually understood and embraced. After Platoon, which chronicled Stone's Vietnam experiences, he was eager to film Kovic's story, but it took time before the film received the greenlight with Cruise onboard.

Tracing Kovic's story from injury through military hospitals to the drugs and whores he and his fellow vets use to assuage the self-pity, Cruise shows the voyage to activist with conviction, playing a man who paid dearly to find his real self.

Highly recommended.

Written by ,

Genre: Film

Production Year: 1989

5/5 Stars

Classification: 18 Certificate

Filmed in Colour


Image for Tom CruiseTom Cruise...Ron Kovic
Bryan Larkin...Young Ron
Raymond J. Barry...Mr. Kovic
Caroline Kava...Mrs. Kovic
Josh Ryan Evans...Tommy Kovic
Seth Allen...Young Tommy
Jamie Talisman...Jimmy Kovic
Sean Stone...Young Jimmy
Anne Bobby...Suzanne Kovic
Jenna von Oÿ...Young Suzanne
Samantha Larkin...Patty Kovic
Erika Germinder...Young Patty
Amanda Davis...Baby Patty
Kevin Harvey Morse...Jackie Kovic
Image for Kyra SedgwickKyra Sedgwick...Donna
Image for Willem DafoeWillem Dafoe