Cinema is a very powerful tool for expressing the cultural problematic of its time on a big screen, catching the attention of movie lovers and immersing them into a well-known or slightly familiar territory such as the one presented in the 1972 American drama film Welcome Home, Soldier Boys. Now primarily known as a television actor and director, Richard Compton began his career in the 1960s making government propaganda films for the United States Information Agency. After releasing two films, he focused on soldiers’ return home following their experience on the war front.

The era of the 20-year-long Vietnam war served as an inspiration for many American films including Welcome Home, Soldier Boys starring Joe Don Baker, Paul Koslo, Alan Vint and Elliott Street as Danny, Shooter, Kid and Fatback, discharged soldiers returning home from the war. The four veterans decide to drive across the country to see the nation they protected but they are very far from being welcomed back: their whole road trip falls apart and the post-war melancholy slowly takes over their identities leaving four shells of unsatisfied and angry traumatized men, who let their wrath take the wheel. As New York Times’ Roger Greenspun pointed out in 1972: “There is a quality of emptiness and random pathos to the film that is ultimately rather lovely, and that belongs as much to the spirit of American movie making as it does to the spirit of American life.”