COMING HOME (18)
D: Hal Ashby
United Artists (Jerome Hellman)
USA 🇺🇸 1978
W: Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones &
DP: Haskell Wexler
Ed: Don Zimmerman
Jane Fonda (Sally
Hyde), Jon Voight (Luke Martin), Bruce Dern (Captain Bob Hyde), Robert Ginty (Sergeant Dick Mobley), Penelope Milford (Viola
Munson), Robert Carradine (Bill Munson)
Along with The Deer Hunter (qv), released the
same year, Coming Home was amongst the first films to deal seriously with the plight of American soldiers returning from the Vietnam war.
When her dutiful husband goes off to war,
Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) volunteers at a local veterans hospital where she develops a friendship with bitter paraplegic Luke Martin (Jon Voight), whom she originally met when they
were at high school.
Upon his release, Luke becomes an anti-war
activist and him and Sally have an affair. Soon after, Sally's husband (Bruce Dern) returns from the war with a minor injury, but has returned a very changed person from the
empassioned, patriotic man who left.
Many similarities can be made with Oliver
Stone's 1989 film Born On The Fourth Of July, which tells the true story of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic. Though the narrative gets bogged down in the middle with cloying melodrama
and an abundance of politics, the two main performances are excellent, winning Oscars for both Jane Fonda & Jon Voight.