76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2005
You can read the reviews to find out how moving and real this film is. Jane Fonda, Jon Voight and Bruce Dern are all perfect in their roles. Since the soundtrack doesn't seem to be available, I am going to share with you the songs played on the soundtrack so that you can compile your own soundtrack.
Update - January 2014
I just watched this movie on Encore Classic the other night and I was still deeply moved by it. Since I have the dvd, I am going to read through the music credits one more time to see if I can add to this list.
They are organized by group.
Happy Viewing and Listening! This is a film not to be missed.
Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever, Hey Jude
Big Brother & the Holding Company with Janis Joplin - Call on Me
Tim Buckley - Once I Was
Buffalo Springfield - Expecting to Fly, For What It's Worth
Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today
Bob Dylan - Just Like a Woman
Aretha Franklin - Save Me
Richie Havens - Follow
Jimi Hendrix - Manic Depression
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
Rolling Stones - Out of Time, No Expectations, Jumpin' Jack Flash, My Girl, Ruby Tuesday, Sympathy for the Devil
Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends
Steppenwolf - Born to Be Wild
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2004
I realize that some folks' contempt for Jane Fonda has caused them to feel equal contempt for this movie... Dont let it... Regardless of one's perspective on Fonda's political position(s) over the years, "Coming Home" is nonetheless the most poignant of all the Viet Nam movies.
Made in a period before the subject had been done to death (especially in the 1980s, where pretense, posturing and insincerity reigned), "Coming Home" which, as per its title, takes place almost entirely on American soil, get the mood, and late-60s "look" uncannily correct.
Focusing on a paraplegic vet (Jon Voight) who falls in love with a married and not-worldly army nurse (Fonda) while her officer husband (Bruce Dern) is overseas, the Oscar-winning "Coming Home" is its era's equivalent of 1946's "The Best Years of Our Lives"... Some may consider that blaspemous, but it isn't-- at all.
Too bad this movie seems to be buried now... Is it because of the done-too-much-since-then subject-matter, or is it bias against Miss Fonda? I dont know. But despite all those other Viet Nam films that would come along, this a (rare) classic take on that period-- a period now so long ago.
And long before Voight dun lost his mind.
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
This is the moving story of a military wife, played by Jane Fonda, who volunteers in a veterans' hospital when her captain husband gets sent to Vietnam. Here she meets Luke Martin, a paraplegic, played by Jon Voight. When she first meets him, he's on a gurney, and when she accidentally bumps into him, his catheter bag is knocked over, embarrassing him so much that he goes into an angry rage and has to be restrained. Eventually, though, she comes to know him and, as his condition improves enough so that he can get a wheelchair, she gradually develops a relationship with him. Through the art of this film, I found myself drawn right into the emotional intensity of the situation and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the life of a paraplegic.
All the actors are great, including the supporting roles of Bruce Dern as the husband and Penelope Milford as Fonda's friend whose psychotic brother commits suicide. No wonder the film was nominated for eight academy awards in 1979 with those coveted statues going to Fonda and Voight as well as a trio of writers for the screenplay. I applaud the entire production though because it never slipped into maudlin sentimentality. Instead it was a real story the way the Vietnam War affected us all; it was easy to relate to it.
The scenes in the veterans' hospital are particularly upsetting as we watch these young men gradually learn to live with their broken bodies. The audience is not spared the actualities of their care and of their suffering. However, as the film moves on, we get to know the Jon Voight character and the romantic scene between him and Fonda plays as bittersweet reality. Years have now past since the Vietnam War, but this film brings it all back. And it does this without one scene being placed in Vietnam itself. A fine film. Recommended.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Who would have thunk?? How is that someone as adamantly against the Vietnam war made such a transition that she starred in this terrific melodrama focusing on what happens to those who gave their all for their country, and have to live with the consequences. Certainly none of us veterans would have supposed Hanoi Jane to be capable of such a mind-boggling transformation. Yet her personal feelings about the damage done to our young men and women "in country' were truly galvanized by what she learned in preparing for her role as the wife of a Marine officer at loose ends with her time and spirits, and volunteers her time at the local Veteran's hospital. Both she and co-star Jon Voight won Academy Awards for their thoughtful, moving, and emotional portrayals of people caught in the biggest and most overwhelming geo-political issue f the sixties.
The entire ensemble cast is wonderful, with Bruce Dern superbly playing the marine officer feeling confused and cuckolded, on an emotional knife's edge as he learns of her romantic and emotional betrayal with the wheel-chair ridden Voight, and neither of them can save him from the roaring emotions Dern feels roaring through his head. This is a sensitive screenplay that introduces a lot of fairly sophisticated and sometimes shocking aspects of real life onto the screen, but it is so well done that it all seems quite natural and open and healthy. For example, this was the first time paraplegics are seen making love on-screen, and the action is both realistic and fairly explicit. So forget about Jane's confused and somewhat tortured past, take a chance and give this movie a roll. I know you will love it. Enjoy!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
`Coming Home' had an uphill battle to earn my interest, let alone my affections. First off, I've never been entirely sold on Voight as an actor, despite some nice turns. Second, I don't really care for any of the Fondas (a common phrase used in my home is `we're not fond of Fonda' and we mean that). Third, I tend to find these war `message' films very heavy handed, and you just can't do that. The 70's was a time of real forcefulness and opinions abound regarding this very controversial subject, but you need some grace in order to make it stick. I was highly afraid that this was going to be extremely dated and hard to swallow.
That, and that poster art is dreadful.
Still, I knew that it was a film I really needed to see, for the novelty of saying that I did in fact see it, and so I settled in and gave it a go. I was astounded with just how sincere and how moving a film this really was. Not only was the script highly sensible, balanced and appropriate, but the performances were rooted in genuine sincerity and the impact felt was not only strong but poignant for us today. The only thing `dated' about this film is the war itself. The emotions, the story, the message is all very much `now'.
The film tells the story of a wounded war vet, Luke Martin, who develops a close relationship that turns romantic with a married volunteer at the hospital he is residing. Sally's husband is overseas fighting the war and in his absence she is making serious changes within herself. Over the course of the months that follow, their lives are impacted by those around them and situations that shake them and destroy them and rebuild them into different, stronger human beings. Then, Sally's husband Bob comes home.
The perfect balance of message film, genre film, drama and romance, `Coming Home' never sacrifices one for the other but achieves something so much deeper and more fulfilling. With expert use of music and character development, `Coming Home' is the perfect film. Fonda relaxes a bit and turns in one of her finest performance (I've never been in awe of her and yet I was spellbound throughout this film) and Jon Voight earned that Oscar with every fiber of his being. His final speech had me in tears. Dern makes a serious impact, especially when he confronts his wife over her indiscretions. This is a film that covers a lot of ground (war, marriage, guilt, insecurities, regret, love) and does so with passion and precision.
You feel every moment.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2008
I have always loved this movie, and I saw it again after many years. It was as deep and well acted as remembered. Jane Fonda, Bruce Dern,and Jon Voight were at their professional and artistic peaks. The details are what made this so compelling, the real Vietnam vets, ( they were not actors), the music, the expressions in the actors' and actresses' eyes...
I have to especially commend the men who did the commentary. It is one of my favorite things to do, to re-watch a good movie and listen to the commentary, which often is quite entertaining ( such as the movie Sideways' commentary)or in this case, extremely enlightening and educational.
Haskell Wexler, Jon Voight, and Bruce Dern provided the commentary, and while I would have loved Jane Fonda to be included, these 3 proved to be wonderful. They quietly discussed all the aspects of this movie, from the difficulties in lighting, the script and improvisational moments, the interpersonal relationships, the Vietnam vets in the movie and the real basketball players; the purpose of the music chosen, the history of what was going on in the US and why this movie was unique for it's time...I can not stress enough to any of you reading this: Please take time for the commentary. To be able to hear these 3 great artists and to learn about a piece of movie making history... it was engrossing and touching; makes me appreciate the movie itself even more.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Coming Home is a sensitive portrayal of three people and how their lives were changed by the war in Vietnam. Look for wonderful acting by Jane Fonda who had to contend with a script that was not exactly the best I've ever seen; and Jon Voight does an excellent job playing the role of Luke Martin, a Vietnam vet who was badly wounded in combat. Bruce Dern plays Capt. Bob Hyde with a lot of style; all the actors do their best in this film. The script fails to flesh out the depth of the characters and the movie held my attention although there were some slow moments along the way.
When the action begins, we meet Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) and her soon to go to war Marine husband Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern). We also soon meet Sally's friend Vi Munson who is ably portrayed by Penelope Milford. Bob is eager to go to war and fight (and kill) for his country but Sally's much more realistically concerned about her husband being in combat. After Bob does go off to war, Sally and Vi form a friendship bond that is sweet and touching. Vi's brother Bill Munson (Robert Carradine) is psychiatrically disabled in a veteran hospital; so when Vi goes to volunteer there Sally decides to volunteer as well. Sally wants to deal with true issues about the war but the other women volunteers won't have any of it; and slowly but surely Sally begins to doubt that the war is absolutely necessary and good.
At the same time, Sally meets an old school pal named Luke Martin (Jon Voight). Luke himself is very injured following his being wounded in combat during the war and Luke is certainly cynical and haunted by guilt to say the least. Luke and Sally also form a friendship and this eventually leads to a love affair that is rather poignant and well done in the movie.
Of course, the plot could go anywhere from here. Will Sally want to leave her husband Bob when he returns from war and live with Luke instead? How will Vi handle life after her brother Bill kills himself in the hospital? What about Bob's injury--just how did he REALLY get wounded? In addition, when Bob is away Sally works (which Bob doesn't like) and she becomes more anti-war than ever before. How will Bob handle this change in his wife? No plot spoilers here, folks--watch the movie and find out!
There are a few DVD extras; the optional running commentary was very good.
Overall, Coming Home is a very good but not truly great story of how lives were drastically changed because of the war in Vietnam. I recommend this for people who like this type of theme and people studying the Vietnam War would do well to get this movie. However, the script falls short of my expectations and the actors are indeed left to make the best of a lukewarm situation. The acting is truly better than the script!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2008
This is not just another film about the Vietnam War. It is the film about people affected by the war in a ways they least expected. Young military wife is left to her own devices once her husband is called into active duty in Vietnam. As she and her husband grow increasingly apart, thru her volunteer work she reconnects with an old high school friend Luke who is wounded and is adjusting to a life of a paraplegic. The unlikely love affair between her and Luke evolves and both rediscover themselves thru their devotion to one another. It is the unlikely love affair that affirms their life to both of them. Jon Voight's performance is fantastic. The range of emotion (rage, depression, longing for a woman) he is able to express in this film is absolutely beautiful.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2003
I've seen quite a few movies dealing with the subject of the war in Vietnam but this is the best by far. I love the realism in this film and how effective the plot of the movie plays into the lives of the two main characters. This is one of the best films ever made period, the acting,writing and directing is superb on all counts. John Voight is brilliant in this movie as the bitter paraplegic. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1978, which I was glad that he did because he truly deserved it. Bruce Dern (in his Oscar nominated role) is also wonderful and very convincing even Jane Fonda who I have never been fond of was very good. This movie was directed by the late Hal Ashby and Waldo Salt wrote the terrific screenplay. This film is excellent in every way and it would make a great addition to anyone who collects great movies such as this one.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2001
Sally Bender (Jane Fonda) feels lonely and unfulfilled while her husband Bob (Bruce Dern) is away in Vietnam, so she volunteers at a veteran's hospital. There she meets an old high school acquaintance named Luke Martin (Jon Voight). Luke is a bitter paraplegic, but he begins to warm up to Sally. Sally discovers that beneath his rage Luke is sensitive and attentive, whereas her husband is distant physically and emotionally. Luke is released from the hospital and he and Sally fall in love. Sally feels emotionally - and sexually - fulfilled for the first time, but she and Luke know that the days are numbered until Bob comes home. Soundtrack includes original songs by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Buffalo Springfield. Luke comes across as an inspiration when we see how he doesn't let his crippling injury hamper his life. Unfortunately, some of the final scenes let us down; there really isn't a satisfactory wrap up. Otherwise a wonderful film that will stand the test of time.