Die Verdammten des Krieges (1989)

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Die Verdammten des Krieges: Directed by Brian De Palma. With Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey, John C. Reilly. During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager.

“CASUALTIES OF WAR u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Panavision)u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSound format: 6-track Dolby Stereou003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003e(35mm and 70mm release prints)u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eDuring a routine field trip at the height of the Vietnam War, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) rebels against his commanding officer (Sean Penn) and other members of his patrol when they kidnap a defenceless Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Le) and subject her to a terrifying physical ordeal.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUnfairly overshadowed by the simultaneous theatrical release of Oliver Stoneu0026#39;s pompous – but still impressive – BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989), Brian DePalmau0026#39;s CASUALTIES OF WAR recreates a harrowing incident from the Vietnam conflict – first reported in u0026#39;New Yorkeru0026#39; magazine in 1969 – in which a group of otherwise decent men succumbed to their own worst impulses and committed a terrible crime. Filmed with typical cinematic bravado by master craftsman DePalma, the movie uses every inch of the scope frame to convey both the duality of the landscape (vast swathes of breathtaking countryside, where sudden death lurks around every corner) and the moral vacuum which stretches the two central characters (Fox and Penn) to breaking point. Crafted with blistering simplicity by screenwriter David Rabe (himself a Vietnam veteran and author of the acclaimed stageplay u0026#39;Streamersu0026#39;), the soldiers are depicted as brave individuals whose principles are shattered by their traumatic combat experiences, leaving Fox to essay the role of peacemaker in a world where all the rules have been turned upside down. Thuy – a model with no prior acting experience – is truly heartbreaking as the soldiersu0026#39; terrified prisoner, and her ultimate fate is so horrific (arguably the most disturbing set-piece of this directoru0026#39;s entire career), many viewers will be too appalled to see the film through to its inevitable conclusion. All in all, this uncompromising drama emerges as one of DePalmau0026#39;s strongest films to date.”

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