When a first-classman's insignia is found on the riverbank near the drowned body of plebe David Hand, the specter of murder casts a shadow of scandal across the U.S. Grant Military Academy.... See full summary »

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(based on the novel by) (as Lucian K. Truscott IV), (teleplay)
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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Judge Hand
...
Rysam 'Ry' Slaight
...
Gen. Axel Rylander
...
David Hand
...
Elizabeth Hand
...
Gen. Charles Hedges
...
Mrs. Iris Rylander
...
Col. King
...
Maj. Clifford Bassett (as James B. Sikking)
...
Sgt. Oliphant
...
Maj. Consor
...
Lugar (as Tim van Patten)
...
Buck
Peter Nelson ...
Barnes
Louise Latham ...
Mrs. Loerna Tutwiler
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Storyline

When a first-classman's insignia is found on the riverbank near the drowned body of plebe David Hand, the specter of murder casts a shadow of scandal across the U.S. Grant Military Academy. General Hedges, the headmaster of the school, is determined to keep the beleaguered school out of the headlines and attempts to cover-up the likelihood of murder by wielding his considerable influence to pass it off as a simple drowning. This is done in spite of forensic reports that show that, shortly before his death, David Hand participated in "consensual sexual relations" with another man. Letters from the dead boy, which the Army Intelligence Department "confiscates" from his sister's New York apartment, implicate Ry Slaight as the first-classman with whom David was in love. As General Hedges says, "You cannot have a murder without a murderer." He offers Slaight the opportunity to "go quietly" which means he would be washed out into the infantry and quickly bound for Vietnam. Professing his ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La divisa strappata  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1980, producer Richard Roth announced this as a major movie to be directed by Lindsay Anderson. See more »

Goofs

During the search for Cadet Hand's body, the helicopter pilot spots the body in the river. Hand's head is above water, over a log, and his neck is arched, with his head looking forward. When the divers get to the body, Hand's head is face down in the water. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engaging Whodunit
28 December 2004 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

In this 1986 whodunit, the death of a cadet at a U.S. military academy provides the basis for a story dealing with repressed homosexuality. The screenplay has great misdirection. You think the plot is headed one way, only to find at the end that it was headed in the opposite direction. Clues to the crime's solution are provided, but as with any good murder mystery, they are subtle and hard to find.

The acting ranges from good to excellent. {Hal Holbrook gives his usual, and endearing, deep-throated raspy voice performance). Production values are high. And the music is suitably eerie. Cinematography is quite good, and the film's ending has an Oliver Stone "JFK" feel to it, a sense that you are privy to the revelation of a cover-up (at the highest levels of course).

My only complaint is the verbose script. They could have cut back the forty thousand page screenplay considerably, without doing harm to the overall story. Nevertheless, "Dress Gray" is a well-crafted film, with an engaging plot that would, in my opinion, be of interest to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery.


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