Tom Cruise was just 27 when he starred as Ron Kovic, the marine turned activist whose biography formed the basis of the acclaimed 1989 anti-war movie, Born on the Fourth of July directed by Oliver Stone. Risky Business, Top Gun and Rain Man were in his past; Days of Thunder and Nicole Kidman were in his immediate future.
According to Charlie Sheen in The Hollywood Reporter, director Oliver Stone had originally promised him the part. He thought he was a shoe-in due to Platoon but the role went to Tom Cruise who was nominated for an Academy Award for his incredibly strong and moving portrayal of the former Marine. Cruise—who has also earned nominations for Magnolia and Jerry Maguire—didn't take Osar home while Oliver Stone did.
"Ron Kovic was a natural athlete, a shy teenager who dreamed of girls and loved baseball, God, John Wayne, John F. Kennedy, and above all his country. He was a boy who yearned to be an American hero, and who couldn't wait to enlist in the Marines and be shipped off to Vietnam to fight. But Kovic did not come marching back a hero; he came back in a wheelchair, a man with strong reservations about the conduct of the war, and a growing determination to voice those reservations."Born on the Fourth of July earned eight nominations in all, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography by the acclaimed Robert Robertson and Best Score for John Williams. You can watch today's Saturday Matinee, Born on the Fourth of July on Google-Play, iTunes, Vudu, Amazon and M-Go. I've double checked and it's a no on NetFlix streaming.
Happy Fourth of July!
originally published 7/4/15