Rumour has it that Coming Home almost stole The Deer Hunter's Best Picture Oscar, last-minute voters opting for 1978's 'other' Vietnam picture when it was discovered Michael Cimino's favourite had fabricated its Russian roulette scenes. Had it won, it would have been folly on a grand scale, an Oscar crime to rival How Green Was My Valley robbing Citizen Kane in 1941.
A terrifically acted but rather clumsy prod at America's post-'Nam guilt, Hal Ashby's message movie sees Jane Fonda's nurse fall for Jon Voight's paraplegic vet while gung-ho hubby Bruce Dern is off killing Charlie. There's no doubting the good intentions, Ashby examining fresh wounds while others were averting their gaze, but his exploratory fumblings now seem simplistic, his sentiment unbridled.
Worth seeing for Jane and Jon's Oscar-winning performances and a cracking love scene - tender, moving, erotic - but this is the footnote; Cimino's epic proving the textbook masterpiece.