6.7/10
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17 user 30 critic

Streamers (1983)

Four young soldiers waiting to be shipped to Viet Nam deal with racial tension and their own intolerance when one soldier reveals he's gay.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Albert Macklin ...
Martin
B.J. Cleveland ...
Pfc. Bush
...
Lt. Townsend
Paul Lazar ...
MP Lieutenant
Phil Ward ...
MP Sgt. Kilick
James Terry McIlvain ...
Orderly (as Terry McIlvain)
...
MP Sgt. Savio
Mark Fickert ...
Dr. Banes
Dustye Winniford ...
Staff Sergeant
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Storyline

Four young recruits about to be sent to Vietnam confront their prejudicial feelings toward one another when it's learned one of them is homosexual. Written by Humberto Amador

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

4 April 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Windhunde  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Mike Nichols directed the Broadway season of the "Streamers" play but Nichols did not direct this feature film adaptation. See more »

Quotes

Richie: [to Billy and Roger] You're going to a whorehouse? That's disgusting.
Billy: Look who's talking!
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Crazy Credits

ON SCREEN: Produced by Joseph Papp Directed by Mike Nichols See more »

Connections

Referenced in Robert Altman: Art and Soul (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Boys In The Attic
Performed by Ellie Greenwich
Written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Kent and Rob Parissi
Courtesy of My Own Publishing, Inc.,
Jent Music and Parissi Music
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User Reviews

Good, hard-hitting drama
31 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Following on the heels of "Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean", Altman brings another play to the screen. Like the earlier movie, this is an intensely serious drama about issues of sexuality and denial. Like the earlier movie, parts of it are extremely strident and/or "stagy", and like the earlier movie, much of it is redeemed by the excellent performances.

Although set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the film is mostly about what goes on inside the heads of a small group of soldiers who are waiting to get shipped out. Much of the story's development is psychological, and not related to the specific period in history... if anything, the characters occasionally seem "too modern", but it's impossible for me to say whether this is actually the case (perhaps done intentionally by the director and screenwriter) or whether my impression of how they "should" have been behaving in the mid-1960s is colored too much by mass-media images from that time.

In any case, Altman and screenwriter David Rabe do a good job of confounding the audience's expectations and providing us with multi-faceted, complex characters, and there are some moments of chilling beauty, as when two older sergeants tell stories of paratroopers who didn't make it. While the issues involved and the serious tone will probably turn a lot of people off, this is a "worthy" member of the Altman canon, and well worth seeking out by anyone who is interested in his "filmed plays" of the 80s or in seeing him work on a small scale.


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