• terriannjohnson27 September 2006
    8/10
    excellent early returning Viet Nam vet movie.
    i first saw this movie as a child in the early 70s,and saw it again for the first time since recently on tape,it is as relevant to a new generation and war today as it was to the "Nam"generation over 30 years ago.lee majors is excellent as the disaffected veteran who returns to a crumbled former life back home and has trouble adjusting to civilian life.also look for Marvin Gaye in a rare acting role.this low budget TV movie is as good as other returning vet movies that came later in the 70s-the deer hunter and coming home,i like this movie it shows the problems of the returning war veterans and the obstacle's that they faced.even more surprising is that this movie was released as a TV movie while the united states was still deeply involved militarily in southeast Asia.this film deserves a fresh look today with veterans returning home from a new war-to the same old problems.
  • daniel-bell227 January 2004
    9/10
    viet vet
    Made for tv movies used to have the stigma of being-made for tv. And for the most part it was deserved. Much like Japanese products were once dismissed as-made in Japan. Remember that? Well this is an early made for tv movie that is an exception to the rule. It deserves inclusion with the better films of the returning vet genre. I highly recommend it.
  • Poseidon-322 March 2005
    Simple-minded, but somewhat interesting view of a returning vet.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Then-timely, this TV movie examining the plight of a returning Vietnam veteran is now nostalgic (and more than a little trite and clichéd.) In a (thankfully brief) opening sequence, real Vietnam footage is uneasily mixed with indoor studio work as Majors is injured and then sent back to the U.S. He encounters some hippies (including an underutilized Haworth) before heading back to Texas where his small business and his girlfriend await him. Unfortunately, he finds that his business is all but dismantled while his friends have made good without him and his girl (Hetherton) is now married to someone else. The film details his struggles to find a niche for himself following his tour of duty and his desire to make his dream of self-employment come true. However, the world seems to have passed him by and no one is particularly open to helping him reach his goals. Majors, who enjoyed a twenty-year period of nearly uninterrupted TV success, is attractive and appealing, but also rather bland and wooden. He lacks the spark to really sell this story completely. He doesn't quite have the range to take on all the colors of this disappointed and dejected bad boy. Hetherton shows off her trademark pout with regularity (especially in a hilarious cinematic "innovation" in which she and Majors share a phone conversation while soft-focus, dimly-lit versions of themselves appear face-to-face!) Oddly, three music stars make rare appearances here as actors. Dean has the biggest role as Majors' loudmouthed former partner. Hatfield does an adequate job as another former pal who has married for money. Gaye is Majors' old army buddy who tries to help him adjust to civilian life. Moorehead does a cameo as Hetherton's formidable mother, spouting haughty lines in between skeet-shooting! Typical of the type of telefilms that producer Spelling ground out in the late 60's and early 70's, there is both good and bad to be found here. It offers a simple take on what was actually a very complex issue. Note how many cigarettes Majors puts away just within the first 15 minutes and listen in shock as Dean refers to one of his friends as a "pussy"!! It's not always easy to identify with Majors' stubborn and occasionally foolish character, but he exudes a quality of amiability that, along with the varied and solid supporting cast, makes this watchable. The recurring ballad, sung frequently throughout the film may drive some viewers out of their mind. Others who are fans of that style of music may like it. There's also a twist ending, which places the film in almost the same genre as "The Swimmer".
  • mark.waltz9 August 2016
    5/10
    Coming home to the big valley after the worst if all unnecessary wars can turn any man into Rambo.
    Warning: Spoilers
    A great performance from Lee Majors aa Andy Crocker sets this anti-war T.V. movie into a return to being a civilian that shows it isn't the best years of their lives. It's not really a solid story, but a look at how war changes the face of destiny for everybody. Coming back and expecting to be the same, he finds that being a hero doesn't amount to a Hanoi Hilton to those who lead life as normal.

    His business partner has basically stolen his shares out from under him and his girl has remarried. He is a hero to pop Pat Hingle until he fights against the injustices done towards him, and stands up to old girlfriend Joey Heatherton's mother (Agnes Moorehead in a terrific single scene cameo), beats up the cheating partner, then leads two cops on a merry chase that will have you cheering. It is bittersweet and honest, with a terrific anti war song sung over the credits and at the end.

    Majors really shows that he could really act, and Moorehead goes into J.R. Ewing territory as a powerfully rich Texas woman who eats Andy up and spits him out, although there was obviously a sour aftertaste. I would rate this higher, but I wanted more of the story is which had the potential to be like a William Inge type play and a great possibility of a T.V. drama series that mixed the themes of "Peyton Place" and "Dallas".
  • wes-connors30 August 2010
    3/10
    Coming Home from Vietnam
    "When a Vietnam veteran returns from serving his country in the war, his homecoming is hardly a hero's welcome. In fact, things couldn't get much worse: his girlfriend is now married to another man and his cycle repair shop is on the verge of bankruptcy. He is now left with putting the scattered pieces of his life back together," according to the DVD sleeve description, "He was supposed to return as a hero!" This ABC-TV Tuesday "Movie of the Week" stars handsome Lee Majors (late of "The Big Valley").

    To his credit, Mr. Majors and his "Andy Crocker" character seem way to smart for the story. We are led to believe Majors would come home from Vietnam after over ten years and immediately take up with Peter Haskell's sitar-strained hippies, then expect sexy Jill Haworth to accompany him on a motorcycle trip home to Texas, where curvy girlfriend Joey Heatherton (as Lisa) would have been waiting for them with open arms. Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, Farrah Fawcett was dating Tommy Smothers.

    And, Majors left his "Used Bikes" shop, acquired when he was a teenager, in the hands of ditzy Jimmy Dean (as Mack), a singer without a song. Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield (as Joe Bob) and Motown's Marvin Gaye (as David Owens) are other singers appearing without a note, and Agnes Moorehead (from the popular "Bewitched" series) has a cameo. After Majors beats up Mr. Dean, his father asks, "Son, when are you going to grow up?" Good question. Stay tuned for "Marcus Welby, M.D."

    *** The Ballad of Andy Crocker (11/18/69) George McCowan ~ Lee Majors, Joey Heatherton, Jimmy Dean, Bobby Hatfield
  • MartinHafer9 November 2016
    5/10
    I just couldn't get past the awful music!
    irritating music at beginning and throughout film finds fiancé is married, business gone and friends hard to find

    Lee Major is Andy Crocker--a guy who is coming home from the Vietnam War with all sorts of plans...plans that turn to crap! First, he sees that the public is NOT happy to see him and there is a lot of anger towards Vietnam vets. Second, his fiancée married someone else...without telling him. Third, his business is in ruins! Fourth, Andy really does a lot to alienate himself from his family. Obviously making his transition to civilian life is going to be rough!

    I rarely say this but the music from this movie is so irritating and painful to listen to that I had to fast-forward through these hellish montage sequences. They were a sort of folk/pop tunes that sounded very whiny and made my brain scream for relief! Yes, they were that bad!! It's a shame as it really had a major impact on the film.

    So is the rest of this any good? Well, I appreciate how the film did talk about the mistreatment of returning vets and even went so far as to have one character talk about how she thought the US was going to lose the war!! This is pretty radical stuff considering this was the middle of the war back in 1969. Interesting but many of the features made a few years later were 1000 times better, such as "Coming Home" and "The Deer Hunter".

    By the way, if you DO watch...look at Andy's friend from Vietnam...that's Marvin Gaye...yes, THAT Marvin Gaye!!
  • fredreiland8 October 2014
    1/10
    A complete waste of an hour and a half
    Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING - THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A NUMBER OF SPOILERS which may save you the awful experience of suffering thru the movie itself!

    When I was 12years old, I saw this flick and thought it was pretty cool - mainly because of the motorcycle theme. I sat thru it again years later and realized what an absolute farce it is! The story is so badly flawed on so many levels it is ridiculous. I can't imagine someone with an objective outlook feeling sympathetic to the lead character, Andy Crocker - because he is clearly a moron who cannot make one intelligent decision. Ever. Okay, so he had a rough time in Viet Nam, but he came back home to learn that the rest of the world had gone on just fine without him. His lame "motorcycle shop" (an empty room with a few automotive v-belts hanging on the wall) has supposedly gone right down the tubes and his partner also had the nerve to sell the hoist (something which NO bike shop needs)... his girlfriend is married and pregnant, and nobody around him is interested in overhauling the Present to bring back Andy's longed-for (and long-gone) Past. Apparently, you are expected to consider this brainless dreamer to be the "hero" of the story - in spite of the fact that he steals a motorcycle, beats up his best friend, runs off for a secret fling with his (now married) ex-girlfriend and then tells his father that he wasted his entire life by being a truck driver. Again and again Andy is offered gainful employment - as well as three thousand dollars (a LOT of money in 1969) for his half of the nonexistent bike business - three thousand more to simply leave his old girlfriend alone... but, no - this fool can't see the logic in any of that! He would rather ignore all of the offers, go visit the girl again, have a warrant posted for his arrest - get in a big chase with the cops, throw the stolen bike off a cliff... and ultimately re-enlist in the army. Yeah, I felt sorry for the guy, all right. Sorry that he was such an incredible blockhead from one end of that film to the other!!!