In this final film of his Vietnam trilogy, Oliver Stone turns his cameras away from the experience of the American combatants to focus on the devastating effect of the war on the Vietnamese people. Starring Hiep Thi Le as Phung Le Ly, it recounts the epic journey of her life, which began in an idyllic village in Central Vietnam living as her people had lived for thousands of years. When the war broke out, she was plunged into a maelstom, trapped between the forces of North and South. Separated from her family, Le Ly was imprisoned by the South Vietnamese, who used an assortment of tactics on her, including electric shock treatment, and upon release from prison, she was raped by a vicious gang of Viet Cong. After escaping to Saigon, she becomes pregnant by an employer and is fired. She turns to prostitution to survive, until Steve Butler (Tommy Lee Jones), an American Special Forces officer, impulsively asks her to marry him and return to America with him. She agrees to marry him and moves with him to San Diego but finds that, after a life in the military, he has a more difficult time adapting to life in the U.S. than she does. HEAVEN AND EARTH is a profoundly moving saga of resiliency in the face of unspeakable suffering.
Tommy Lee Jones - American actor
Tom Lee Jones - American actor
Joan Chen - Actress
Chen Chong - Actress
Debbie Reynolds - American Actress/Singer, MOTHER (1996)
Mary Frances Reynolds - American Actress/Singer, MOTHER (1996)
David Brenner - Oscar Winning Editor, began in late '80s, Oliver Stone films
Hiep Thi Le
Haing S. Ngor - Cambodian actor, THE KILLING FIELDS (1984)
Dr. Haing S. Ngor - Cambodian actor, THE KILLING FIELDS (1984)
Oliver Stone - Director/Screenwriter/Prod.
Bill Brown - Post-Production Supervisor (mostly for O.Stone, J.Hughes)
The final chapter in Oliver Stone's acclaimed Vietnam trilogy, HEAVEN AND EARTH dramatizes the memoirs of Le Ly Hayslip (Hiep Thi Le), tracing her epic journey from innocent Vietnamese farm girl to guerrilla to prostitute to California housewife and nascent entrepreneur. Previously focused on the war's effect on Americans, whether civilians or combatants, Stone here takes stock of the incalculable damage done to the land of Vietnam and its people due to what is now recognized as a tragic error in judgment.
Theatrical Release: December 25, 1993. Scenes of Le Ly's childhood, depicted as idyllic in the film, were actually shot in Thailand. Stone was unable to shoot in Vietnam because of the official displeasure with Le Ly's books. In spite of that, Stone had a crew quietly film some background shots in Vietnam. The film was shot in Thailand because the region is more hospitable to foreign filmmakers than the actual town of Xa Hap Qui, in which the film is set. Stone won Academy Awards for his work on his two previous Vietnam pictures, PLATOON (1986) and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY (1989). Songs used in the film include: Selections from "Sacred Ceremonies" and "Sacred Ceremonies 2"--Ritual Music of Tibetan Buddhism; performed by Monks of the Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery, Dharamsala. Courtesy of Fortuna Records by arrangement with Celestial Harmonies. "Flying Cloud" arranged and performed by Nguyen Thi Thanh Tam, courtesy of Caprice Records. "Keep it to Yourself" written by Alan Mirikitani, performed by B.B. & the Screaming Buddha Heads. Courtesy of Windswept Pacific Entertainment. "Airs of My Fatherland" by Dang Xuan Khai, performed by The Phong Lan Group. Courtesy of Caprice Records. "Temple of Deliverance" by Eugene Gales, Eric Gales, Hubert Crawford, Jr., performed by The Eric Gales Band. Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment by arrangement with Warner Special Products. "Judy in Disguise" by John Fred and Andrew Bernard, performed by John Fred & His Playboy Band. Courtesy of Jewel-Paula Records, Inc. by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing.
"...It offers a spectacular, palliative portrait of a beautiful country chronically afflicted with the blight of military destruction..." - 03/01/1994 Sight and Sound, p.40-1
"...Impressive....A memorable job of recreating the village as well as teeming Saigon....Colorfully dense widescreen images of the recent past..." - 12/27/1993 Variety
"...The movie is vintage Stone: raw, manipulative, powerful..." - 12/24/1993 Entertainment Weekly, p.36