- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 53 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: December 11, 2001
- Originally Released: 1989
- Label: Sony Pictures
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 2.35
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 2.35
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - French
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - Portuguese
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - Spanish
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Deleted Scenes (5)
- ERIKSSON'S WAR - A CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL J. FOX
- Making Of
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Selection
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"This isn't what it's supposed to be about over here... ."
Rolling Stone - 09/07/1989
"...A portrait of hell so harrowing it's impossible to shake....De Palma's merciless vision is unblinking..."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/1989
"...CASUALTIES OF WAR is the strongest, the simplest and the most painful of all the Vietnam movies....It's about the agony of seeing terrible things too clearly..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/18/1989
"...A superb film. DePalma may have found here the perfect arena for his darkly voluptuous expertise..."
Total Film - 04/01/2004
"[The film] manages to churn out an effective moral conflict..."
After being denied the chance to go to a nearby village to visit a prostitute before starting a a reconnaissance mission, a tough, embittered American sergeant (Sean Penn) involves the four men of his patrol in the kidnapping of a young Vietnamese woman. The impending gang rape and murder of the woman splits the patrol into two factions, those for it, and those against it--with young Eriksson (Michael J. Fox) leading the dissension. But before long, the sergeant has convinced everyone but Eriksson to go along with the plan, making an already difficult mission unbearable for the morally conscious young soldier. Penn gives a powerful performance in this brutal, thoughtful war film from a script by playwright David Rabe (HURLYBURLY).
A young soldier arrives in Vietnam and is assigned to a unit of men who have been in the jungle for many months. Their sergeant has only one more mission to complete before he can go home, and though he has been a successful soldier, he has lost his will to fight or to care for his troop.
When soldiers on duty prevent the sergeant from going to a nearby town to visit a prostitute on the night before his last mission, the enraged sergeant tells his unit that he will seek revenge. He concocts a plan where his troop will accompany him to the village, kidnap a woman and force her to come with them on the mission in order to furnish the group sexually.
The newest soldier in the troop does not want to go along with the plan, but the sergeant's charisma convinces the rest of the men. When they eventually reach the village, the young man again protests, which fuels the sergeant's rage, and prompts him to initiate a brutal gang rape and murder of a young village woman. The film then moves to events after the troop's return from Vietnam, where the young soldier has decided to have his unit court martialled.
- Journalist Daniel Lang's story on which the film was based ran in "The New Yorker" magazine in 1969. The actual events depicted in the article and film took place in 1966. Lang's story was later released as a book.
- Shot on location in Phuket, Phang-Nga, and Kanchanaburi, Thailand. It was also shot in Canada and San Francisco. Filming took place over a four and a half month period from April to August 1989.
- Film was screened at many festivals, among them The Deauville Film Festival, the Tokyo International Film Festival, and the London Film Festival.
- The film is a prequel to the 1972 film "The Visitors" by Elia Kazan.
- Budget approximately $22 million.
- First film directed by DePalma since his 1987 "The Untouchables" which launched Kevin Costner's international stardom, and won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for Sean Connery.