***SPOILERS*** Very personal movie directed by the late great Elia Kazan with the screenplay written by his #1 Son Chris involving naming names or testifying against fellow GI's and the consequences that result from it to the person who felt obligated to do so. The movie "The Visitors" takes place in early January 1969, judging the New York Jet Baltimore Colt Superbowl Game shown on TV, in snowy Newton Connecticut. It's there where young Vietnam vet Bill Schmidt is living a quite and peaceful existence with his live in girlfriend Martha Wayne and the couples out of wedlock two year old boy Hal. Bill trying the make ends meet with his job at a local helicopter plant is in luck in both him & Martha being allowed to live in Martha's dad's, Harry Wayne, home rent free. Wayne is anything but impressed with Bill's very in your face pacifism even though he served as a combat infantryman in Vietnam with honors. Harry himself being a combat vet from the Pacific Theater in WWII and damn proud of it can't understand Bill's misguided attitude towards those Vietcong Commies who, in Harry's mind, are a threat to everything America stands for. Wayne also feels that there's something loose upstairs in Bill's head, besides his pacifism, in his refusing to as much as go out raccoon or rabbit hunting with him! Writing 19th Century American Western novels and getting heavily drunk while doing it Wayne makes more then enough money to support himself as well as his daughter Martha together with Bill and little Hal. Still Wayne has no use for Bill at all and lets him known it, especially when he's smashed out of his head, at every opportunity. It's on one cold & snowy morning that Bill's fellow Vietnam vets Mike Nickerson & Tony Rodrigues show up unexpectedly at the Wayne home that the past suddenly catches up with him. It was some three years ago that Bill testified against both Mike and Tony in a brutal rape and murder that they committed in Vietnam which he was an eye witness to. Like a spider spinning a web for its intended victim both Mike & Tony begin to set Bill up for the kill with his girlfriend-Martha-having at first no idea of what their planning to do! Bill ashamed and feeling like a turncoat in, by testifying against them, having sent Mike & Tony away for two years at the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary kept what he did from Martha, as well as Harry, all this time! But now all that was about to come out in the wash with Martha, besides Bill, being the one to end up paying for it. James Woods in his movie debut is both touching and tragic as the troubled Vietnam vet Bill Schmidt a man with a conscience that never goes away. Troubled in what he was involved with, in doing nothing to stop it, in the Vietnam War Bill turned evidence against Mike and Tony at their court-martial trial that has now come back-like a boomerang- to haunt him. Now out of prison on a technicality the two after a evening of heavy drinking decided to pay Bill, who's home address they found out from their court appointed lawyer, a visit. It turned out to be a visit straight out of hell!
Crime / Drama
Crime / Drama
Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez.
February 13, 2021