Coming Home (1978)

R   |    |  Drama, Romance, War


Coming Home (1978) Poster

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.


7.3/10
12,057

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5 January 2009 | Nazi_Fighter_David
8
| A thought-provoking sensitive movie with poignant moments
Hal Ashby's film shares many of the characteristics of the other big Vietnam film of 1978, "The Deer Hunter." Both are passionate and essentially incoherent in their view of the war… As Ashby and screenplay writers see it, most American soldiers who experienced the war came back mentally and/or physically ravaged…

An introductory pool table conversation among several disabled vets establishes the ground rules… Anyone who defends the war for any reason is wrong… Cut to enthusiastic Marine Capt. Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern) and his naive wife Sally (Jane Fonda) in the Officer's Club…

It is 1968…

A military campaign conducted by forces of the Viet Cong has just started and Capt. Hyde is looking forward to his tour of duty in Vietnam... As a dedicated military officer, he sees it primarily as an opportunity for progress… As soon as he leaves, Sally is forced to find housing off the base and moves into a new apartment by the beach with another Marine wife—the bohemian Vi Munson (Penelope Milford), whose traumatized brother Bill (Robert Carradine) is a patient at the local Veteran's Hospital…

Physically, Bill is fine, but "they sent him back without an ignition," Vi says… Lonely and looking for something to do, Sally volunteers at the hospital and runs across embittered cripple Luke Martin (Jon Voight). They soon discover that they went to the same high school, where he was the star quarterback and she was a cheerleader…

Now, paralyzed from the waist down Luke is subject to furious, self-pitying rages, understandable but still unpleasant and offensive… Sally externalizes his troubles, his scars, and his frustrations…And through Luke's eyes, Sally's absolute outlook on life starts to change… They soon become fairly close turning their friendship into a torrid affair… At the same time, Sally's husband was away discovering the horrors of the war…

There was a particular chemistry between Fonda and Voight which gave the film a certain magic

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