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To Heal a Nation (1988)

M | | Drama | TV Movie 29 May 1988
The true story of Jan Scruggs, an embittered Vietnam veteran who returns from the war a broken man. However, with the help of his loving wife Becky, he begins to find a new life for himself... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Pressman

Writers:

Jan Scruggs (book), Joel Swerdlow (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Roberts ... Jan Scruggs
Glynnis O'Connor ... Becky Scruggs
Marshall Colt ... Jack Wheeler
Scott Paulin ... Bob Doubek
Lee Purcell ... Sandie
Brock Peters ... Paul Turner
Gloria Carlin Gloria Carlin ... Monica
Jordan Charney ... Spreiregen
Tamlyn Tomita ... Maya Ying Lin
Laurence Luckinbill ... Senator Bob Mathias
Linden Chiles ... Senator John Warner
James F. Kelly James F. Kelly ... Webb
Eloy Casados
Tom Everett ... Thompson
Gary Hershberger
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Storyline

The true story of Jan Scruggs, an embittered Vietnam veteran who returns from the war a broken man. However, with the help of his loving wife Becky, he begins to find a new life for himself, and a personal goal when he agrees to begin a determined campaign to raise funds for a veteran's memorial. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cicatriz de guerra See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the role is credited as "Senator Bob Mathias," the character portrayed by Laurence Luckinbill was actually a Republican member of the US House of Representatives (also known as a Congressman) representing California for four terms, from January 3, 1967 to January 3, 1975, and never ran (nor was he appointed) for the office of either California State Senator or United States Senator from California (or any other state). The role should have been credited as either Congressman Bob Mathias or Representative Bob Mathias. See more »

Quotes

Jan Scruggs: [waking up in a cold sweat] Da names, it's gotta have da names!
See more »

Connections

References The Deer Hunter (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

A Whiter Shade of Pale
Written by Gary Brooker, Keith Reid and Matthew Fisher
Vocals by Randy Crenshaw
Arranged by Bruce Miller
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moving, patriotic story of the Vietnam Memorial
4 July 2000 | by MartaSee all my reviews

Eric Roberts has a certain hypnotic quality when he's good, and in this film he's exceptionally good as Jan Scruggs, a Vietnam vet who runs into a another vet one night and neither can remember the name of a fallen comrade. In Scruggs' mind, this offhand conversation grows into the conception of a memorial that lists all the names of the dead soldiers from the Vietnam War. The story is told in a sincere, straighforward manner that gathers momentum towards the dramatic opening ceremony of the finished memorial, and is held together by Roberts' energetic performance but amplified by the supporting characters. Despite obstacles along the way, including the tantrums of Ross Perot who doesn't like the chosen design and threatens to scuttle the whole plan, people show up at a fundraiser to donate money and their support to get the memorial built. The film is not a tearjerker, but by virtue of its subject matter I found myself crying at intervals; just keep a handkerchief handy.

This is a film that should be viewed at intervals, just to keep in mind that despite the unpopularity of the war and all the protests, men and women did die in that war and they deserve to be remembered. It's not on any medium at the moment, but it would be nice to see a VHS or DVD presentation of it so that everyone can see it.


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