23 April 2011 | Sturgeon54
A Real Gem
It's so ironic that a movie whose theme about the stubbornness to forget has itself been forgotten (judging by the complete lack of reviews here and elsewhere). Randomly finding this on an old VHS rental tape, I discovered one of the best post-Vietnam War movies I've ever seen (also, one of the best movies portraying America's short-sightedness about war in general). Mike Farrell, in what may be his best performance, plays a prosperous lawyer who has deliberately repressed his memories of the Vietnam War, only to have them painfully re-emerge when one of his long-forgotten comrades from the war commits suicide.
This TV movie came right at the tail end of the Rennaisance era of made-for-television films, when that medium sensitively and intelligently handled difficult, often taboo, subject matter that feature films and television series would not touch. Its director, Joseph Sargent, was by this time (1983) one of the great pioneers of high quality television drama. Comparing this movie to other more popular theatrical movies about Vietnam (Platoon, The Deer Hunter, First Blood, etc.), it's amazing that such a low-key movie with virtually no violence, flashback re-enactments, or visual flamboyance could still be so affecting after almost 30 years. In fact, if someone asked me what movie to show to someone who knew nothing about the Vietnam War but wanted to become initially acquainted with the subject, I would recommend this one unhesitatingly.