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Friendly Fire

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Friendly Fire (1979)

directed by David Greene
featuring Carol Burnett, Ned Beatty, Sam Waterston, Dennis Erdman, Timothy Hutton

About this title: The Emmy-winning TV movie Friendly Fire was adapted by Fay Kanin from the fact-based book by C.D.B. Bryan. Carol Burnett and Ned Beatty play Peg and Gene Mullen, the parents of a young soldier who is killed in Vietnam. Dissatisfied with the "official" version of their son's death, Peg and Gene conduct a soul-wrenching investigation of their own. Only after months of military stonewalling does the truth come out: their son was accidentally killed by "friendly fire" from American artillery. This revelation leads to Peg Mullen's full-scale embracing of the anti-war movement. Even allowing for the grimness of the story, Carol Burnett's taciturn performance wears on the viewer after a while (one wonders if Peg Mullen ever smiled before her son died). Far better within the framework of the film is the superbly detailed performance of Ned Beatty as Gene. Friendly Fire was originally offered on April 22, 1979, as an ABC Theatre presentation. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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