To Heal A Nation (1988)


“It was the names, wasn’t it. Yeah. ” – Jan Scruggs

Number of Times Seen – 1 (20 Mar 2018)

Brief Synopsis – True story of how a Vietnam Veteran broken by his experiences was able to rally the nation in order to create a memorial to the men who fought and died in Vietnam.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall hearing about when it came out but never had the chance to ever see it before now.

They do a great job with the story here in order to show how much one man can accomplish if he sticks to his intuition and chooses to persevere even when things don’t always seem so positive.

Eric Roberts is great in the lead as Jan Scruggs and he allows us to really feel for and understand his character’s plight during a very trying time in his life.

He not only is trying to raise a memorial for his lost friends but also wants to try and bridge the gap in the nation over the controversy of the Vietnam War.

His wish to heal himself is something that many veterans also were seeking and in the end they wanted to find a way for the entire nation to come to terms with the feelings towards veterans of the war.

This movement was able to open dialogue on multiple levels within the nation as to what should be done after the fact no matter your opinions on the War itself.

This film isn’t perfect, but it is extremely effective in what it sets out to do.

Bottom Line – Great TV film that shows was is possible to accomplish if you persevere. Roberts is great in the lead as Jan Scruggs and we can really feel for and understand his character’s plight as he tried to heal both himself and his brothers-in-arms.  The Vietnam War was such a controversial issue and Scruggs’ passion is what opened up the chance for dialogue on the subject from both sides of the aisle.  Very effective, yet not perfect. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In March 1979, Scruggs and his wife went to see The Deer Hunter, a drama about three friends whose experiences in the Vietnam War leave them badly emotionally scarred. That night, Scruggs began drinking and brooding over the film. About 3:00 AM, he began having flashbacks, particularly about the mortar truck accident that killed 12 of his friends. Toward dawn, the idea of a memorial with the names of American service members who had died in the Vietnam War flashed into his mind. (From Wikipedia)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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One thought on “To Heal A Nation (1988)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1988 |

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