Welcome Home is a Vietnam movie in which all the action takes place on an emotional battleground. Kris Kristofferson plays a stoic Air Force pilot, supposedly killed in action 17 years before, who returns to discover that his wife (JoBeth Williams) is happily remarried. The military wants Kristofferson to lay low because they are worrrrd that his return will cause ”backyard Rambos” to start braying about MIAs. Kristofferson agrees only if the brass promises to bring back the two children he fathered in Southeast Asia.
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton), who is used to working on a grander scale, Welcome Home is really a domestic tearjerker that plays better on the small screen than it did on the large one. For all the potential emotional resonance, the movie feels oddly hollow. Kristofferson is lifeless. But the sappy Henry Mancini score weeps even when the actors don’t. C-