Certified Classics: Coming Home

“I have killed for my country, or whatever, and I don’t feel good about it.  ‘Cause there’s not enough reason, man, to feel a person die in your hands, or to see your best buddy get blown away.”

Coming Home (Hal Ashby, 1978)

With Jane Fonda, Jon Voight and Bruce Dern.

This is essentially an anti-war film, but it deals with the issue in a way that doesn’t seem forced or preachy.  It is really a human story about relationships and the effects that war can have on them.  Jane Fonda stars as a woman who volunteers at a veterans hospital and falls in love with one of her paralyzed patients (Jon Voight) while her husband is away in Vietnam.    Fonda and Voight both won well-deserved Oscars for their performances.  Bruce Dern is also outstanding as the husband in a much more subdued portrayal of the same type of character we saw Tobey Maguire take on in last year’s Brothers.  I also want to note that the film compiles perhaps the greatest soundtrack in film history.  Stones, Beatles, Hendrix and Dylan… pretty much all the classics are here.  I actually much prefer this film to The Deer Hunter, which was incidentally released the same year.

Rating: 10/10

RIYL: Brothers, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Deer Hunter.

2 Responses to “Certified Classics: Coming Home”
  1. Bruce Dern gives the best performance in the film hands down. And should have won over Walken for “The Deer Hunter” although DeNiro should have won over Voight.

  2. I think it’s a tough call between Dern and Walken, but I actually preferred Voight’s performance over DeNiro’s. I think I’ve said it before, but I would have actually given best picture to “Coming Home.” It was less bloated and made more of an impact on me than “The Deer Hunter.”

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