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Dear America - Letters Home from Vietnam

144 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (DVD)

This classic HBO documentary features reenactments of actual letters written by soldiers during the Vietnam war. In each case, a famous celebrity voice (Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Robin Williams, and others) reads the letters to us.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Berenger, Ellen Burstyn, Willem Dafoe, Robert De Niro, Brian Dennehy
  • Directors: Bill Couturie
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 30, 2006
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ARXF7S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,139 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dear America - Letters Home from Vietnam" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By J. Fritz on August 30, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the mid-nineties, when I was a high school student, my A.P. English teacher showed us clips from this movie as part of a weeks-long unit entitled war. Simply hearing the emotionally-laden words and viewing the clips of these young soldiers moved many of my classmates, not excluding myself, to tears. Almost a decade later, with the feelings and images still in my mind, I came online to order the dvd. The second viewing was as equally moving as the first. The ending is especially potent. An excellent addition to anyone's personal collection of media related to war/Vietnam/war literature.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Viet Tran on October 4, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Being a 5 years old boy living in Saigon (a peaceful but lively city even in war time) in 1972, I hardly noticed that the country was at war. If not for the facts that my father was an ARVN officer, news war footages on TV everyday, and once in a while seeing tanks & soldiers roaming & patrolling the countrysides, I wouldn't have thought or reminded of how much destructions the VN war brought to Vietnamese/US civilians, soldiers and their families.

Watching Dear America: Letters Home from VN for the first & only time on Veteran's day in the early 90's on PBS, I have found the utmost respect for all the young US men, women & their families who sacrified so much for that politically unwinnable war. I have watched, read a lot about this war from many different perspectives, but nothing has come close to truthfully provide personal experiences, heartfelt losses, and devastated destructions this war has caused as this documentary movie does.

I wanted to have a chance to watch this movie again for so long. It's so powerful in every sense of its word. It's a CAN'T MISS or a MUST SEE movie for educational & historical purposes/values. I have goose bumps from thinking about the movie now. I just can't wait to watch it again, the DVD is coming in a few days.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ella Muir on December 19, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Extraordinary documentary. This documentary reveals an emotionally panoramic view of the Vietnam War, a view that is painful and absolutely clear. The reading of the letters, the photos, the film footage and the soundtrack couldn't be more haunting for those who experienced the Vietnam War first hand or by waiting at home for the return of the person they love, as I did. Over the years, I have watched Born on the 4th of July, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Coming Home, and various documentaries regarding the Vietnam War, but this documentary film got to me on a deeper level than any of them. It brought me back thirty-four years and then I couldn't help but see how the faces of war then look a lot like the faces of war today in 2004 and all through history. This is a timeless view of war from the intimate perspective that comes across in personal letters. I also recommend the book on which it is based, DEAR AMERICA: LETTERS HOME FROM VIETNAM. This film came to my attention when I recently saw an extensive list of movies in which Bob Dylan's music is used in the soundtrack.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lance G. Aldrich on February 3, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
To begin the video is an unforgetable portrayal of the horrors, confusion, and tragedy of war. The thing that sticks out in my mind is the closeness you feel for the common, everyday, and ordinary young men mentioned in the movie. Having talked to many veterans this closeness is exactly what develops during times of war. Not being able to experience war in our classrooms we can get a glimmer of the closeness from the movie. You see the faces, the emotions, the heartache, and for a lack of better words confusion and disilusionment that Vietnam brought to so many different people. The music is fantastic and adds a certain character and time to the experience of watching the video. I'm showing it, you should show it, and most of all reflect upon its message and purpose for being produced. A must show!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By 50s sci-fi Fan on January 22, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Our great battle in Vietnam was Long Tan, 1968 when 100 hundred Australians and 18, 105mm Australian Kiwi artillery, killed possible 2,500 NVA and VC in a rubber plantation. The battle of Long Tan took place during a tropical downpour deliberately used by the enemy to hamper ANZAC defenses.The battle was so fierce - Australian and Kiwi Artillery rained shells at one per second on a rubber plantation the size of two football fields as advancing NVA AND VC crawled over their own dead three deep. The diggers, a combination of regulars and "Nashos" were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
(Just thought I owed our "Diggers" their due before I begin!)

Dear America does a good job in giving you the "feel" of the war to the average soldier by seperating the "Americans:" the 19 year old boys who'd largely never been outside the USA from "Foreign policy America" and its "falling dominos" intervention in a 2,000 year of independence (against China, France, the U.S. and then China(1980-83 again), that Sen. Wayne Morse's warned would "lead to the deaths of untold American boys - and for nothing."

The letters home, trace well the shifting mood of these white poor and minorities boys: the kids with no money for the extended college enrolement needed to avoid the draft. We see these kids arc from cheerful youths "mugging" on 8mm home movies to "grunts" haggard beyond their years on TV news footage patrolling in(& to) Dylan's, "Hard Rain."
Others were bitter and confused, "they say we're fighting for something"...."the whole thing stinks, really."
Yet, as another soldier wrote, "even though most men thought the war was being fought incorrectly and we would not win....they went out and risked their lives as if they were defending the continental USA.
Read more ›
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Dear America - Letters Home from Vietnam
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