The Leader 03/1990

Jeffrey S. Williams | Staff Writer

The majority of today’s college students have not experienced anything like the intensity of the Vietnam War. Nor have they experienced the deep feeling and emotions with protesting a war.

The movie, “Born on the 4th of July,” which stars Tom Cruise (of “Top Gun” fame), is based on the life of Ron Kovic, a combat veteran who loses use of his legs and turns to anti-war activism.

This Oliver Stone movie is about Vietnam at its best…and worst moments. he brings you inside the mind of Kovic from when he (Kovic) was a little boy, in his high school years, in Vietnam, in the Veterans Hospital in Bronx, New York, and while in the streets as a protestor.

The beginning shows the patriotism with which Kovic says, “I want to serve my country. I want to go to Vietnam and I’ll die there if I have to.”

Throughout the course of the movie, his mood and attitude changes were very dramatic, especially when he cries. “Who’s ever gonna love me?” It shows the affliction and anguish of the way that the Vietnam veterans were treated upon coming home.

Stone introduced a unique feature in this movie when he uses actual television footage from such events as: one of President Kennedy’s speeches, the 1968 democratic convention and Nixon’s acceptance speech in the 1972 republican convention.

It is a movie which will probably make you look back and ask yourself, “Where are my priorities?”

Mencke Dollar System rating (introduced 1989): $$$$$ Regular Rating System (not star): R