Watch Friendly Fire
- 2 hr 21 min
Friendly Fire is a 1979 made-for-TV drama directed by David Greene and starring Carol Burnett, Ned Beatty, and Dennis Erdman. The movie is based on the true story of Peg and Gene Mullen, an Iowa farm couple who lose their son, Michael, in the Vietnam War. The Mullens begin to have doubts about the reasons for their son's death when inconsistencies in the official reports about the circumstances of his demise start to emerge.
As they try to uncover the truth about what happened to their son, Peg and Gene become increasingly frustrated with the Army's lack of transparency and the seeming indifference of their fellow citizens. They begin to question the morality of the war and the government's handling of it, which puts them at odds with their pro-war neighbors and family members.
The emotional heart of the movie lies in Carol Burnett's portrayal of Peg Mullen, a woman who is trying to come to terms with the loss of her son while also battling the bureaucracy that seems determined to keep her in the dark. Burnett delivers a powerful performance, conveying the deep grief and anger that Peg feels while also hinting at the vulnerability that lies beneath her tough exterior.
Ned Beatty is also excellent as Gene Mullen, Peg's husband, who is more reserved than his wife but no less devastated by their son's death. Beatty brings a quiet strength to the role, embodying the stoicism that is often associated with the Midwest.
Dennis Erdman rounds out the main cast as their son, Michael, whose death sets off the chain of events that forms the movie's central conflict. Erdman is only in the movie for a short time, but he leaves a lasting impression, portraying Michael as a young man who is both brave and vulnerable.
While Friendly Fire is undeniably a political movie, it doesn't shy away from the human toll that the war takes. Rather than focusing solely on the ideology of the conflict, the movie explores how it affects the people who are caught up in it - not just the soldiers, but their families as well. This humanistic approach makes the movie feel more timeless than other films that tackle the same subject matter.
Overall, Friendly Fire is a heartbreaking and compelling movie that provides a poignant look at the human cost of war. The exceptional performances from Carol Burnett, Ned Beatty, and Dennis Erdman elevate the material, making it a must-see for anyone interested in Vietnam War-era dramas.
Friendly Fire is a 1979 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 21 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.