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Courage Under Fire Details


A soldier discovers how elusive the truth can be in this first major film about America's role in the Gulf War. Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling (Denzel Washington) was the commander of a unit during Operation Desert Storm who mistakenly ordered the destruction of what he believed to be an enemy tank, only to discover that it actually held U.S. soldiers, including a close friend. Since then, Serling has been an emotional wreck, drinking heavily and allowing his marriage to teeter on the brink of collapse. As a means of redeeming himself, Serling is given a new assignment by his superior, Gen. Hershberg (Michael Moriarty). Capt. Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) was a helicopter pilot who died in battle during the Iraqi conflict, and the White House has proposed that Walden be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Serling is asked to investigate Walden's actions on the field of battle, but he quickly discovers that no two stories about her are quite the same; Ilario (Matt Damon) says Walden acted heroically and sacrificed herself to save the others in her company, while Monfriez (Lou Diamond Phillps) claims she was a coward who was attempting to surrender to enemy troops. Meanwhile, reporter Tony Gartner (Scott Glenn) is hounding Serling, trying to get the inside story on Walden and on Serling's own difficulties. Matt Damon lost 40 pounds to prepare for his role in Courage Under Fire, which resulted in a potentially life-threatening illness for the young actor. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:July 4, 1996


Denzel Washington
as Lt. Col. Nathaniel Serling
Meg Ryan
as Captain Karen Walden
Lou Diamond Phillips
as Monfriez
Michael Moriarty
as Gen. Hershberg
Matt Damon
as Ilario
Bronson Pinchot
as Bruno
Michael Dolan
as Orderly
Tim Ransom
as Boylar
Diane Baker
as Louise Boylar
Seth Gilliam
as Altameyer
Ken Jenkins
as Joel Walden
Ned Vaughn
as Chelli
Reed Frerichs
as Delinquent Soldier
Bob Apisa
as Iraqi Tank Commander
Regina Taylor
as Meredith Serling
Tim Guinee
as Rady
Pat Young
as Drill Team Commander
Christina Stojanovich
as Anne Marie Walden
Amy Hathaway
as Annie
Kathleen Widdoes
as Geraldine Walden
Kyle Mickaelian
as Refueler
Albert Hall
as Speaker
Julius Carter
as Rowtero
Richard Venture
as Don Boylar
Zeljko Ivanek
as Banacek
Tom Schanley
as Questioner
Jimmy Pickens
as Soldier
John Roarke
as The President
Jack Watkins
as Coffee Sergeant
Armand Darrius
as Robins
Mark Adair-Rios
as Bobcat 5
Sean Astin
as Patella
Bruce McGill
as McQuillan
Manny Perez
as Jenkins
Scott Glenn
as Tony Gartner
Sean Patrick Thomas
as Thompson
Lucky Luciano
as Nathan Serling Jr.
Michole Briana White
as Maria


Edward Zwick
David T. Friendly
Joseph M. Singer
Patrick Sheane Duncan
Roger Deakins
James Horner
James Horner
Musical Arrangement
James Horner
Composer (Music Score)
Steven Rosenblum
John Graysmark
Production Designer
Paul Neesan
Debra Martin Chase
Executive Producer
Andrew Neskoromny
Set Designer
Barbara Mesney
Set Designer
Randall D. Wilkins
Set Designer
Francine Jamison-Tanchuck
Costume Designer
Willie D. Burton
Sound/Sound Designer
Skip Cosper
First Assistant Director
John Cenatiempo
Danny Rogers
Jim Halty
David Zellitti
Pete Antico
Steve Picerni
Alan Oliney
Steve Kelso
Mary Colquhoun