Casualties of War

August 18th, 1989


Casualties of War

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Still of Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn in Casualties of WarStill of Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn in Casualties of War

During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 7.0/10 (18,741 voted)

Director: Brian De Palma

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey

During the Vietnam war, a girl is taken from her village by five American soldiers. Four of the soldiers rape her, but the fifth refuses. The young girl is killed. The fifth soldier is determined that justice will be done. The film is more about the realities of war, rather than this single event.

Writers: Daniel Lang, David Rabe

Michael J. Fox - Eriksson
Sean Penn - Sgt. Tony Meserve
Don Harvey - Cpl. Thomas E. Clark
John C. Reilly - PFC Herbert Hatcher
John Leguizamo - PFC Antonio Diaz
Thuy Thu Le - Oanh
Erik King - Brown
Jack Gwaltney - Rowan
Ving Rhames - Lt. Reilly
Dan Martin - Sgt. Hawthorne
Dale Dye - Capt. Hill
Steve Larson - Agent #1
John Linton - Agent #2
Vyto Ruginis - Prosecutor
Al Shannon - Wilkins

Taglines: Even in war... murder is murder.

Release Date: 18 August 1989

Filming Locations: Dolores Park, San Francisco, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $22,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $5,201,261 (USA) (20 August 1989) (1487 Screens)

Gross: $18,671,317 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (extended version)

Did You Know?

The railroad trestle bridge utilized in the firefight near the end of the film (located in Kanchanaburi, Thailand) is part of the Japanese transportation system as portrayed in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. This particular bridge was constructed by prisoners of war held captive by the Japanese when Thailand was under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Anachronisms: The division patch worn on the shoulder is that of the Americal Division (23rd Inf Div), which wasn't formed until mid 1967.

[the squad watches the storm after raping the girl]
Clark: When's the last time you had a real woman, Sarge?
Meserve: She was real. I think she was real.

User Review

Disturbing and highly compelling war/drama.

Rating: 10/10

"Casualties of War" is based on a horrifying true accident which took place in 1966.Some American soldiers abducted a teen-age Vietnamese girl and dragged her on a long-range reconnaissance mission.They tortured,raped and finally murdered her.Michael J.Fox is excellent as a the only soldier in the platoon who tries to stop the violent crime.Thuy Thu Le is also impressive as the victim-her performance is so convincing that I'm surprised that she hasn't appeared in the other movies.The rape/murder scene is among the most heart-breaking sequences ever captured on screen.The film is well-directed by Brian De Palma("Sisters","Carrie","Dressed to Kill")and it delivers the message which tells the viewer that war is hell and can turn young men into monsters.A must-see for fans of disturbing and thought-provoking cinema.


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