Cover image for Casualties of war
Casualties of war
De Palma, Brian.
Publication Information:
Culver City, Calif. : Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, [2001]
Physical Description:
1 videodisc (114 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Based on the true story of a squad of soldiers caught in the moral quagmire of wartime Vietnam. Witness to a vile crime, Private Ericksson (Michael J. Fox) is forced to stand alone against his fellow soldiers and commanding officer Sergeant Meserve (Sean Penn). Master filmmaker Brian DePalma creates a devastating and unforgettable tale of one man's quest for sanity and justice amidst the chaos of war.
General Note:
Originally released as a motion picture in 1989.

Based upon the book by Daniel Lang.

Special features include the featurette, Eriksson's war: a talk with actor Michael J. Fox (18 min.), the documentary, The making of Casualties of war (31 mins.), deleted scenes, filmographies, and three trailers.
Reading Level:
MPAA rating: R.
Added Uniform Title:
Casualties of war (Motion picture)
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DVD 2604 Adult DVD Open Shelf
DVD 2604 Adult DVD Audio Visual

On Order



Casualties of War was based on a New Yorker article by Daniel Lang. This, in turn, was inspired by a true incident which illustrated the dehumanizing aspects of the Vietnam experience. Michael J. Fox plays Eriksson, a member of an American squadron stationed in the deepest jungles of Southeast Asia. Sean Penn co-stars as Meserve, the squadron sergeant, who vows revenge after his best friend is killed. He orders his men to invade a village and "requisition" a young Vietnamese girl (Thuy Thu Lee), who is repeatedly tied, gagged and gang-raped. The horrified Eriksson refuses to participate in these atrocities, and he does his best to console the girl and to attempt to free her. Before this can happen, however, Meserve orders another man to kill the girl. Once he returns to camp, Eriksson attempts to file a report on the tragedy and to bring Meserve and the others to justice, but he is stonewalled by the brass and threatened with death by his fellow soldiers. Eventually Meserve and his co-conspirators are jailed for their crimes, but Eriksson can never forget his "compliance" in the incident by failing to save the girl. The script is by well-known playwright David Rabe. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi