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Friendly Fire is an American television movie first broadcast on the ABC network on April 22, 1979. Watched that night by an estimated 64 million people,[1] Friendly Fire went on to win four Emmy awards, including Outstanding Drama Special.[2] The film was directed by David Greene.[3]

Friendly Fire
Written byFay Kanin
(based on the book by
C. D. B. Bryan)
Directed byDavid Greene
StarringCarol Burnett, Ned Beatty, Sam Waterston, Timothy Hutton
Music byLeonard Rosenman
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Martin Starger
Producer(s)Philip Barry Jr.
Fay Kanin
Production location(s)Stockton, California
CinematographyHarry J. May
Editor(s)Michael Economou
Running time147 minutes
Production company(s)Marble Arch Productions
Martin Starger Productions
DistributorITV Global
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original release
  • April 22, 1979 (1979-04-22)

The movie tells the real-life story of Peg Mullen (played by Carol Burnett), a woman from rural Iowa who works against government obstacles to uncover the truth about the death of her son Michael, a soldier killed by American "friendly fire" in the Vietnam War in 1970. Mullen's husband Gene is played by Ned Beatty.

Friendly Fire is based on the 1976 book of the same name, written by C. D. B. Bryan,[4] which in turn was adapted from a series of New Yorker magazine articles Bryan had written about the Mullens and their ordeal.[5]



  1. ^ Brown, Les (25 April 1979). "ABC's 'Friendly Fire' Drew 64 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2008.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Friendly Fire". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Bryan, Courtlandt Dixon Barnes (1976). Friendly Fire (1st ed.). New York City: Penguin Adult HC/TR. ISBN 978-0399116889.
  5. ^

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