A sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Vietnam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old army buddy.
Francis Ford Coppola
James Earl Jones
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Louis Gossett Jr.
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A 43-year-old mother and housewife who's facing divorce is thrust back in time when she attends her high-school reunion. Given the chance to change the course of her life, she finds herself making many of the same choices. Written by
K. Rose <email@example.com>
Maybe I am a bit prejudiced about the greatness of this film; I grew up in Sonoma County, and the sight of Peggy Sue Kelcher standing on the senior steps at Santa Rosa High School (where I drop off my granddaughters every morning) gives me a great thrill. When I drop them off, I often say, "If you see Peggy Sue, tell her I said hello." And they respond--"We will, grandpa." (And they no doubt think: "What an old cornball.") What a beautiful school! And it still looks just the same as it did in the 80's (or the 60's, for that matter). The place seems to be in a time warp. In a certain sense, taking this movie to heart has mythologized my world. Francis Ford Coppola's talent for finding the perfect settings for his comic philosophic masterpiece is unerring throughout--even if he had to paint the streets in Petaluma purple just to get the exact effect that he wanted.
"Peggy Sue" would be very high on my all-time top 100 film list, if I had such a list. The film is not only funny and soulful, it also directly addresses what is perhaps life's central existential question: "If you had the opportunity to relive your life, making the same mistakes and suffering the same consequences, would you do it?" Remember, in making your decision, that your children's lives, and the loves and friendships you have experienced in your lifetime, are contingent upon your answer.
When you watch "Peggy Sue," notice how the film parallels "The Wizard of Oz." Like Dorothy, Peggy Sue goes 'over the rainbow' into a magical world. It is in fact the world of her own past, but everything has been enchanted and transformed by her adult point-of-view. The Wizard himself, who must contrive to return Peggy Sue back home, is Peggy Sue's kind old grandfather, with his wonderful bogus lodge magic. Her friends at the reunion have their counterparts in the "over the rainbow" world of the past, just as Dorothy's friends on the farm have their counterparts in Oz. When Peggy Sue awakens from her trip, her old stale world and her old disappointing husband appear in a new light. Like Dorothy, Peggy Sue awakens and learns that there is no place like home, and the time-worn cliché is suddenly vital and alive. Like Dorothy, she is once again back in "Kansas," but it is a Kansas in which the characters, and she herself, have assumed new depths of meaning. She is now ready to step into her fate--her new enriched life (and there are also nuances of "It's a Wonderful Life" in the film).
One last comment: nowadays, I cannot watch this "comedy" without tears in my eyes through pretty much the whole movie, and much of this effect is due to the masterful performance of Kathleen Turner as Peggy Sue. Turner is usually on the hysterical edge of breaking down, and her proximity to the precipice is a knot in my gut through the whole movie. It is a shame that she did not win the Best Actress award for this performance.
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