Born on the Fourth of July (Ron Kovac Story) (1989)
Director: Oliver Stone (Oscar won for best director)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava, Kya Sedgwick, Bryan Larkin, Jery Levine, Josh Evans, Frank Whaley, Stephen Baldwin, John Getz, Lili Taylor, Tom Berenger, Abbie Hoffman, Jason Gedrick, Ed Lauter, Michael Wincott, Tom Sizemore, Mike Starr, James Le Gross, John C. McGinley, Wayne Knight, Bob Gunton
all-American soldier boy becomes disillusioned after being wounded in the Vietnam War
Ron Kovac (Tom Cruise) was a gung-ho American who bad-mouthed the "hippies" who wouldn't fight for the country in Vietnam. He joins the marines and goes to Vietnam where he was soon to learn that combat is not as easy as a John Wayne war movie would make one believe. He accidentally shoots and kills a fellow American soldier who he mistakes for the enemy. He is filled with guilt, but can find no release for it in the army, his C.O. staunchly denying that the death actually happened.
Kovac is wounded and winds up in the military hospital, paralyzed from the chest down, where his travails really begin. He is treated very poorly and, along with his guilt, becomes disillusioned with the Vietnam War.
He wonders around both mentally and physically and finally becomes an activist against the war, joining the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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