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Films >> Born on the Fourth of July (1989) >>

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
With the long-awaited end of WWII, three veterans return home from the Navy, Army, and Air Force. All different in age and personality, these three men experience the effects of their time at war in similar ways. Captain Fred Derry, a young pilot, faces prejudices when trying to get a job because employers doubt his academic credentials. Homer Parish, a sailor, lost both of his hands while in the service and learns to adjust to the stares and sympathy for civilians. He withdraws from society and pushes away loved ones who merely want to help him. Al Stephenson, a sergeant in the Army, comes back to a family that has grown up on their own for the past few years. He feels uneasy with his wife and children, as if he doesn't belong there anymore. Once a banker, Stephenson begins work at his old job. His boss actually likes his experience in the Army and wants him to be a loan officer to soldiers returning from the war. As all three men make the switch back to civilian life, they suffer from episodes of post traumatic stress, anger, alcohol abuse, and depression.
Platoon (1986)
Also from the infamous director Oliver Stone is Platoon, a film that portrays the lives of soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. The main character, Private Chris Taylor played by Charlie Sheen, enters the war as an optimistic but naïve college dropout. As he spends more time in Vietnam, Chris realizes the brutality of war and the sickness that dominates the minds of the men who fight. He witnesses the death of his friends and the innocent deaths of Vietnamese villagers. The men within his battalion develop hatred for one another, ultimately dividing the group and resulting in the deaths of two sergeants. Platoon displays the chaos of war and the ruthlessness on both sides. In addition to fighting, Stone, who actually fought in the Vietnam War, shows the downtime in the barracks and base camps. Many of the soldiers drink heavily to ease their tension, while others use several types of drugs. Platoon set the bar for credible war films and is one of Stone's greatest contributions to historical cinema.

See Also

Black Hawk Down (2001)

Coming Home (1978)

Deer Hunter (1978)

The Men (1950)

The Outsider (1961)

The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Taxi Driver (1976)

We Were Soldiers (2002)

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)