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Coming Home

(DVD - 2002)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Coming Home
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A sad, poignant love story set against the social upheaval of the Vietnam war. Set in 1968, the story concerns a woman who, while her husband is serving in Vietnam, falls in love with a paraplegic while performing volunteer work at a San Diego veterans hospital.
Publisher: Culver City, CA : MGM/UA Home Video, 2002.
ISBN: 0792852206
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (127 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.

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Dec 13, 2014
  • Nursebob rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

One of the quintessential films examining the effects of the Viet Nam War on those who served and those who waited at home. When Captain Bob Hyde marches off to battle with dreams of guts & glory his all-American wife Sally dutifully tends the home fires, even volunteering at a veteran’s hospital despite the disapproval of her husband who frowns on anything that threatens his role as man of the house. It’s there she meets Luke Martin, an embittered marine sergeant paralyzed from the waist down who channels his frustrations into the occasional angry outburst and act of civil disobedience. A friendship gradually develops between sergeant and housewife leading to a romantic liaison and eventual love affair. Meanwhile Captain Hyde, unbalanced and disillusioned by the horrors he’s witnessed, returns home a hollow man with nothing to show for his ordeal but a meaningless medal and a head full of ghosts. When Sally’s infidelity is finally exposed it proves to be the final straw for Hyde whose drinking binges and bouts of rage conceal an anguish far deeper than anyone imagined… Beautifully written and flawlessly performed (Jon Voight's and Jane Fonda’s Oscars were well deserved as was Bruce Dern’s nomination), Hal Ashby’s critical look at a system which sends men to fight then seems to forget them when they come back broken focuses on those internal battlefields that exist long after peace is declared; indeed, he restricts images of actual warfare to snapshots and grainy B&W news reports. The tone may be angry and sardonic at times, but his sense of compassion towards his main characters never wavers. There is a balance here with one man rediscovering his humanity while another loses everything he believed in, and in the middle Sally tries desperately to comfort both even though she can’t possibly understand what they’ve been through. The period detail is impeccable, including a brilliantly integrated score of 60’s rock anthems, and a few subtle touches add just the right amount of irony; a yuppie flashing a peace sign (the director’s brief cameo), a TV station going off air to the strains of the national anthem, and a bittersweet closing montage with Tim Buckley’s haunting Once I Was playing in the background. As a side note, the love scenes between Luke and Sally, besides being groundbreaking in themselves (the sexual needs of the handicapped were never addressed so honestly before), were filmed with such piercing intimacy they border on erotic art. One of the better films to emerge from the 70s.

Dec 18, 2013
  • jpozenel rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This movie seems a bit overrated. When it was made, the U.S. had already left Vietnam, so it didn't appear to be "edgy" in any way. It may be nitpicking, but Bruce Dern's haircut as a Marine officer really bothered me. This was true for other actors portraying active duty soldiers too. How difficult would it have been to give them haircuts? You just don't get away with hair like that in the military.

Feb 24, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A stirring, heavy human drama. Jon Voight was exceptional as the bitter, broken veteran; softened and transformed through the caring, feminine tenderness of Jane Fonda. One of Bruce Dern's better roles, also. I was shocked at the turn of events when his mildly perturbed character was "locked and loaded" at film's end.

Jan 23, 2013
  • akirakato rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is a 1978 drama film directed by Hal Ashby and starring Jane Fonda, Jon Voight and Bruce Dern.
It is based loosely on the novel of the same name by George Davis.
The plot follows a love triangle among Sally (Jane Honda), her Marine husband (Bruce Dern) and Luke Martin---the paralyzed Vietnam War veteran (Jon Voight) and her former classmate---Sally meets while her husband is overseas.
Luke had gone to Vietnam but came back wounded.
He is recuperating at the hospital from the injuries he sustained in the Vietnam War and which left him a paraplegic.
Filled with pain, anger, and frustration, Luke is now opposed to the war.
At first, Luke is a bitter young man.
As he is increasingly thrown into contact with Sally, however, a relationship starts to develop and deepens.
They have happy times, play at the beach, and the two fall in love.
Their lovemaking is quite something!
Meanwhile Billy (Luke's friend), traumatized by his experiences at war, commits suicide by injecting air into his veins.
After Billy’s suicide, Luke has only one obsession: that is, do anything to stop sending young men off to war.
Fonda and Voight won an Academy Award for their performances.
Although this is an anti-war movie, it is also quite interesting to see the love triangle as a human drama.

Sep 19, 2010
  • Septum rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Watching this movie and the additional material in the Special Features section of the disc has given me a new respect for Jane Fonda and Jon Voight. This movie is the most beautiful and moving experience I have ever had about the aftermath of the Vietnam War. So many movies about the Vietnam War are full of horror and pain and hopelessness. This movie does not sugarcoat the horrific acts of war and the consequences, but this movie does show how love can transform us, if we allow ourselves to be open to its restorative power. If we shut ourselves off from love and prefer to live in our despair and hate, then, we will not be able to recover. This movie is romantic, while being both honest and real in its depiction of a wide range of emotional responses to the problems of war.

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Feb 23, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Luke Martin: "...I have killed for my country, or whatever, and I don't feel good about it. Cuz there's not enough reason, man, to feel a person die in your hands, or to see your best buddy get blown away."

Sep 19, 2010
  • Septum rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

From the scene at the bar in Hong Kong when Sally goes to meet her husband for his R&R Days.

Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda):
"Tell me what the War is like."

Captain Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern):
"I don't know what it's like. I only know what it is. The TV shows you what it's like, but they sure don't show you what it is."

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