136 user 76 critic

Southern Comfort (1981)

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition ... See full summary »


865 ( 5,090)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Franklyn Seales ...
Les Lannom ...
Bowden (as Carlos Brown)
Rob Ryder ...
Greg Guirard ...
Cajun Couple


A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The bayou has its own law... and they just broke it. See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Prey  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Walter Hill later said he enjoyed the experience of making the film but that it was tough: "I was very proud of the actors in it. It was a tough movie to make, and they put up with a lot. They would probably tell you they put up with a lot from me. [Laughs.] But they really did it without complaint. And I just thought I was very fortunate to have the cast that I had. Jesus, it was a hard movie to make . . . I think when you see the movie you can see that this one wasn't nightclubs in Vegas. But it was just very hard locations to get in there. Very hard to shoot. I remember so many times we'd only have a few minutes to set the camera because the bottom of the swamp would give way. And so, for your camera positions, you had to stage and shoot very quickly in many cases. It just was hard, and the weather was miserable. However, I will say this: If you choose to go make a movie in a swamp in the middle of winter, you probably deserve what you get". See more »


When Tyrone Cribbs sees the dead deer, he makes the statement "..damn, somebody shot Rudolph". When we hear this the words don't match the movement of Cribbs's lips. He's seen saying something entirely different. See more »


Spencer: Here's your ammo... blade to the throat, huh, that how they do these things in El Paso?
Hardin: Yeah, that's how they do things where I grew up.
Spencer: Thought you're some kind of chemical engineer.
Hardin: I am, and I'm out of the habit of spending time with a bunch of gun-totin' rednecks.
Spencer: Well, you know how it is, down here in Louisiana, we don't carry guns, we carry ropes, RC colas and moon pies, we're not too smart, but we have a real good time.
See more »


Referenced in Vrijeme ratnika (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Nice little backwoods brutality picture. Don't expect "Deliverance", but still better than most of its ilk.
19 February 2007 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

I hope that if my life's ever in danger, these guys won't come to my rescue! Honestly, some have complained about the negative Cajun stereotypes in this movie, but the National Guard are depicted as the biggest bunch of incompetents imaginable. The trailers for this film compared it to "Deliverance" and "Apocalypse Now". While "Southern Comfort" is nowhere near the level of those classics, its still a nice little thriller. It goes to prove that Walter Hill is one of the most underrated filmmakers ever. With "The Driver", "The Warriors", and this to his credit, its a shame the man isn't more than just a cult figure.

The film itself is pretty good. This may just be a grade-b "Deliverance" but its one of the better backwoods brutality films from the time (not to mention one of the last). The acting all around is good, especially the underrated Powers Boothe and Fred Ward. The direction by Hill is tight, taut, and quickly paced as usual. There is only one major complaint I have. First off, the screenplay by Michael Kane is better than most of his but still pretty poor. The dialog is lame, the situations largely implausible on closer inspection, and the story isn't really involving until the end. Fortunately, Hill is such a good action director that this film still remains a good way to kill two hours. Special mention must go to the fantastic score by Ry Cooder, possibly his best work. (7/10)

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: