One of the silliest action movies of the year, BORN AMERICAN offers as protagonists three of the least sympathetic all-American jerks whose idea of a good time is to get blasted on beer and then to sneak across the border from Finland into Russia. Before they can get back, they are
captured and marched off to prison. Coburn, injured in an earlier gun battle, lies slowly dying while Durham and Norris learn the harsh truth about prison life. The strange thing about this film is that there are some interesting--albeit half-baked--ideas floating around in the script, and the
direction shows some skill and style. However, the plot is ludicrous from start to finish, the characters one-dimensional, and the world-view simplistic. It is astounding that anyone would finance such a production. Much more entertaining than the film itself was the controversy that surrounded
it. The Finnish government invoked a seldom-used 1948 law to ban the film on the grounds that it might harm relations between Finland and another nation. After several cuts and resubmissions, the ban on BORN AMERICAN was dropped on appeal.
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