D: Oliver Stone

Hemdale (Oliver Stone & Gerald Green)

US 1986

123 mins


W: Oliver Stone & Richard Boyle

DP: Robert Richardson

Ed: Claire Simpson

Mus: Georges Delerue

James Woods (Richard Boyle), Jim Belushi (Doctor Rock), Michael Murphy (Thomas Kelly), John Savage (John Cassady), Elpidia Carrillo (Maria)

James Woods gives his career best performance in this war drama based on Richard Boyle's experiences in El Salvador during a period of political unrest and civil war.

Woods plays the controversial and ill-tempered American journalist who gets involved with opposing political factions during his visit to the country and eventually has to venture into the war zone to rescue his girlfriend and her children.

The film does have a slight bias to the left wing revolutionary group depicted in the film and highly critical of American involvement in the troubles.

Not quite as gut-wrenching as 1984's The Killing Fields, which focuses on similar troubles in Cambodia, but it's still a powerful film, particularly due to James Woods' Oscar-nominated performance.


James Woods & John Savage in Salvador
James Woods & John Savage in Salvador