The War at Home (film)

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This article is about the 1996 film. For other uses, see The War at Home.
The War at Home
The War at Home DVD Cover.jpg
Directed by Emilio Estevez
Produced by Brad Krevoy
Emilio Estevez
Written by James Duff
Starring Emilio Estevez
Kathy Bates
Martin Sheen
Kimberly Williams
Music by Basil Poledouris
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
20 November 1996
Running time
119 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English
Budget $3 million
Box office $44,722

The War at Home is a 1996 motion picture starring Emilio Estevez, Kathy Bates, and Martin Sheen. Estevez also directed the film as well as served as a co-producer.


Estevez plays Jeremy Collier, a returning Vietnam War hero whose experiences leave him unable to adjust to the quiet realities of small town life. The film discusses the hidden costs of war on those who fight.

Sheen plays Bob Collier, Jeremy's father. He expects his son to go back to his life as it was, without understanding the problems of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Kathy Bates plays Estevez's mother, Maurine, who treats Jeremy "like he's a 10-year-old", and seems to think he should forget about his war experiences.

His sister Karen, played by actress Kimberly Williams, is more understanding of his readjustment problems, but their father doesn't want her to help her brother.

This is portrayed in the movie when the family's Thanksgiving celebration occurs and Jeremy refuses to put on his "nice" clothes and instead decides to wear his combat uniform and medal. The film climaxes at the conclusion of the Thanksgiving celebration when Jeremy pulls his semi-automatic handgun on his father and his family, explaining the hate he feels for his father because he wouldn't lend Jeremy money to leave the country to escape the draft.

He also explains how he was able to execute a Vietcong prisoner only because he saw his father's face instead of the enemy soldier's face. Jeremy finally breaks down hugging his father only to be thrown out of the house by him despite pleas from his daughter that Jeremy needs help. A tearful Jeremy is seen buying a bus ticket and the clerk asks if he is all right; a voice-over then explains that Jeremy would be all right and that he was among the thousands of veterans who made the trip to Washington for the unveiling of the Vietnam Memorial.


The film was made for $3 million, and was distributed by Touchstone Pictures. It is regarded as a box office failure. Disney did not advertise the film heavily[citation needed], and it grossed only $43,000.[citation needed] The film was released on DVD in the US in September 2002.

The soundtrack is faithful to the time period, using music from artists such as Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Singer Jena Kraus is featured singing a folk version of the song "Me and Bobby Mcgee" as well.

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