34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Born on the Fourth of July [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Another addition to our family library, which we keep filled with books that entertain and/or educate.
This movie, however, is not for the younger kids nor for the weak of heart, but for older members of the family, especially kids who might have fallen for the "John Wayne is cool" view point of war (or in our day, perhaps Mortal Kombat is cool view point of life) OR the young pacifist who believes that those who go to war are bad.
We're all so tenderly human, and that's what this movie shows. The reason some find this depressing, I think, is that it shows the loss of innocence of the man who wrote this autobiography, Ron Kovic, who goes to war during the Vietnam era longing to be a hero, and returns damaged emotionally and physically, and receives the welcome of a baby-killer.
Note: When the book version of this movie was due to come out, back in the 70's, I was working in a bookstore. Long-haired ex-vets would come in, looking for the book and I (duh) didn't understand why they were so enthusiastic. The book was the first attention given to what the war experience did to those who fought in it, which later opened the doors for WWII veterans to be able to talk about the emotional horrors of war.
I read the book, and years later watched the movie - either of these are incredible experiences - if you like Saving Private Ryan, you will want to watch this movie, too.