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Under Fire Academy Award Nomination! 

By Doug Thomas

Under Fire is a savvy political thriller of journalists in war-torn Nicaragua circa 1979. Clayton Frohman and Ron Shelton's (Bull Durham) script follows ace photojournalist Russell Price (Nick Nolte, in a key marquee performance) from the jungles of Africa to the Central American boiling point. Along with the usual band of fellow journalists, Price finds himself involved in a love triangle with Claire (Joanna Cassidy in her best role) and Alex Grazier (Gene Hackman, perfect again), who believes he's one career-making story from a lofty news anchor position. In Nicaragua, Price finds his own deadly mission: to photograph an unknown rebel leader.

Although the setup is traditional, Roger Spottiswoode's film feels as alive and vital as the best of the genre. Showing his ambiguity for the lives he shoots, Price is just as friendly with the impoverished in Africa as with an icy mercenary, Oates (Ed Harris in a role the polar opposite of his breakthrough performance in The Right Stuff the same year). On one level, Oates and Price are simply Americans doing their jobs in a foreign land. But soon Price has a change of heart. Blessed by a splendid final-act action sequence that is unforced and emotionally charged, the film is stuffed with color and energy, a good dose of which is supplied by Jerry Goldsmith's Oscar-nominated score.

Academy Awards

Under Fire received an Academy Awards nomination for Music Scoring Awards (Best Original Score: Jerry Goldsmith).


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Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Stars: Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman, Joanna Cassidy, Ed Harris, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Richard Masur, Rene Enriquez, Hamilton Camp

Released: October 21, 1983

Availability: DVD VHS

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