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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The 5th of July

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Profanity:Strong language
Nudity/Sex:References to gay and straight sex
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and drunkenness
Violence/Scariness:Tense and angry confrontations
Diversity Issues:A good example of a disabled character as a real person, not a victim or a saint
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:July 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Profanity: Strong language
Nudity/Sex: References to gay and straight sex
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking and drunkenness
Violence/Scariness: Tense and angry confrontations
Diversity Issues: A good example of a disabled character as a real person, not a victim or a saint
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011

This filmed version of Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July is a brilliantly acted story of the complicated relationships of a group of friends and relatives who get together over the 4th of July holiday.  It centers around the relationship of Kenneth Talley, Jr. (Richard Thomas), a disabled Vietnam vet in a wheelchair and his partner Jed (Jeff Daniels), his sister June (Joyce Reehling) and recently widowed aunt Sally (Helen Stenborg), and his old friends, a  wealthy couple named John and Gwen (Swoosie Kurtz in her Tony award-winning role).  It is a searing but ultimately hopeful and healing story of very real characters and also a thoughtful commentary on the Vietnam era.  This is one of three plays the gifted Wilson wrote about the Talley family, and it is a part of the superb series of Broadway Theater Archive productions that brought the best of live theater to Showtime audiences in the early 80’s.

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