At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »
Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.
Sally Bender is the wife of a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is sent over to Vietnam, and Sally is alone. With nothing else to do, she decides to volunteer at a local veteran's hospital, where she meets Luke, who went to high school with Sally. Luke was wounded and is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. When Sally begins to fall in love with Luke, she has to make a crucial decision about her life.Written by
Going to Hong Kong for "R&R" (rest and recuperation) was normally for troops going by themselves, not for meeting spouses. Hawaii was the preferred R&R location since it was part of the U.S.A. and was far less expensive flying to than Hong Kong. See more »
Bruce Dern plays a Marine Captain.
Even in the late 1960s early 70s he wouldn't have had hair and a mustache that long. See more »
Capt. Bob Hyde:
Freakin' combat. Huh! I took this little hamlet - and I got this Second Lieutenant, this, eh, f*ckin' Camp LeJeune wiz-kid. Aw, he comes whippin' right on up to me, "Excuse me, sir. Sorry to bother you; but, do you think it would be okay if we put the heads on the poles? You know that really scares the sh*t out of the VC." - - My men, were chopping heads off - and that's what they were into - while they were dead.
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Four members of the film crew are designated as "Friends who did everything". See more »
The strength of "Coming Home" is its realistic portrayal of the emotional effects of war on individuals far removed from battle. In particular, the film calls attention to the difficulties, hardships, and trauma that paraplegic vets are forced to endure, as a result of governmental neglect. The emphasis here is on life after combat, upon returning home, and the ensuing experiences, personal feelings and relationships, and the drudgery of everyday life. More effective than dialogue, the close-up camera shots of character's faces effectively convey the psychological suffering, the scars, brought about by exposure to war. In this context, I thought Jon Voight's performance was quite good.
The subject matter is so totally ... not glamorous. Yet its importance is undeniable. And so, I respect this film for its intent and its sensitivity. The film's humanistic message is surprisingly relevant 27 years after its release.
That said, the film's screenplay is weak. The plot rambles and meanders. The love triangle seems incongruent with the heavy-duty political message. The film is anti-climactic from start to finish. You keep thinking something big is going to happen. Then at the end, the film dwindles, and eventually just fizzles out. Finally, the background music, an assortment of late 60's pop songs, is intrusive.
Overall, "Coming Home" is less about entertainment than it is about education. I'm not sure that I would choose this film to watch on a first date. But, I would choose it as part of a high school course in governmental ethics.
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