7.3/10
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17 user 1 critic

Friendly Fire (1979)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | TV Movie 22 April 1979
When they try to learn how how their son died in Vietnam, the Mullens meet lies and evasion on all sides.

Director:

David Greene

Writers:

C.D.B. Bryan (based on the book by), Fay Kanin (written for television by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Burnett ... Peg Mullen
Ned Beatty ... Gene Mullen
Dennis Erdman Dennis Erdman ... Michael E. Mullen
Sherry Hursey ... Patricia Mullen
Timothy Hutton ... John Mullen
Fanny Spiess Fanny Spiess ... Mary Mullen
Steve Bonino Steve Bonino ... Cactus
Henry Brown
Cosie Costa Cosie Costa
Hilly Hicks ... Willis Huddleston
John Hillner
Kevin Hooks ... Polk
David Keith ... Leroy Hamilton
Mark Montgomery Mark Montgomery
Dan Shor ... Prince
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Storyline

In March 1970, a U.S. Army officer arrived at the Iowa farm of Peg and Gene Mullen and informed them that their son Michael had been killed in Vietnam by "friendly fire." Their determined attempts to learn more about the circumstances of their son's death are the subject of this true account film. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of the anguish and courage of one American family.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peg Mullen, an author and former Iowa farm wife who hounded the U.S. military to find the truth about her son's death in Vietnam and was portrayed by Carol Burnett, died on Oct. 3, 2009 at the age of 92. See more »

User Reviews

 
Carol Burnett Is Superb
21 January 2017 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Watching this film nearly 40 years later, it's amazing that nothing has changed. We are still involved in useless wars, and the military/industrial complex and secret government continue to lie to American citizens as they profit from their wars.

FRIENDLY FIRE helped make the Vietnam War personal, taking the unnecessary death of an unimportant soldier and showing the world that every death matters.

The story of the Iowa farm couple, the Mullens, is beautifully told here in an straightforward way. It shows us their everyday life, their community, their kids. It shows the devastation their son's death in Vietnam brings. It then chronicles the long journey to discovery the truth about that death.

Carol Burnett and Ned Beatty are superb in playing this middle-America couple. There's nothing extraordinary about them. They are average citizens going about their lives until war claims their son. What ensues is a years-long battle with the government and the military to get to the truth. Their mail is tampered with. Their phones are bugged. They are lied to by the military anxious to cover-up their own ineptitude.

The Mullens challenge the way the war is sold to the American public on the evening news. They challenge the very concept of this "war to save democracy" that actually has nothing to do with this country and that was never legally sanctioned by Congress.

Nothing has changed. Add Iraq and Afghanistan to the list of wars.

In casting comedienne Burnett as Peg Mullen, the filmmakers scored a brilliant bulls eye by using Burnett's cozy personality to embody Mullen's flinty determination. Beatty is also perfectly cast. Together they portray a couple shattered by the death of their son, unable to move forward with their lives. Sam Waterston plays the writer who eventually pens the book this film was based on.

No one wins a war. And this film perfectly portrays the that fact.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bala Traiçoeira See more »

Filming Locations:

Stockton, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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