5.2/10
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10 user 6 critic

Death of a Soldier (1986)

R | | Crime, Drama, War | 16 May 1986 (USA)
Based on a true story, James Coburn portrays a military lawyer assigned to defend a confessed psychotic killer. Set in the context of WWII and the uneasy US-Australian military alliance. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as William Nagle), (story) (as William Nagle)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Maurie Fields ...
Det. Sgt. Martin (as Maurice Fields)
Max Fairchild ...
Maj. William Fricks
Belinda Davey ...
Margot Saunders
Randall Berger ...
Pvt. Anthony Gallo
...
Jon Sidney ...
Nell Johnson ...
Maisie
Pippa Wilson ...
Singer in Boomerang Bar
Kim Rushworth ...
Band in bar
John McTernan ...
Col. Williams (as John McTiernan)
Earl Francis ...
Police Doctor
Ron Pinnell ...
Mr. Harmon
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Storyline

Based on a true story, James Coburn portrays a military lawyer assigned to defend a confessed psychotic killer. Set in the context of WWII and the uneasy US-Australian military alliance. The accused killer claims to have killed 3 women in order to possess their voices. Despite the defense lawyer's concerns that the killer is not fit to stand trial, the US military presses forward with the case and its desire to have the killer executed in order to strengthen the shaky alliance. Written by Fryingham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The obscenity of war. The brutality of murder. The travesty of justice.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 May 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dein Lied - Dein Tod  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)| (archive footage)| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie changed production companies during filming, and director Philippe Mora was sacked by the original production company. However, he was re-hired by the new production company. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Spoony Experiment: Death of a Soldier (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Boys From the U.S.A.
music by Allan Zavod
lyrics by Marty Fields
vocals by Kerrie Biddell and Sally Dodds and Wendy Grose
published by Filmtrax PLC
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fascinating flawed curiosity
13 November 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In the 1970s Phillipe Mora looked to be a director who was going to deliver the goods. His strange doco BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME was a 30s jigsaw puzzle of fascinating imagery that needed a commentary. In the 80s he delivered this quite fascinating film. But in the 90s it all went wrong with terrible horror films and now, nothing. In the last week I have seen two James Coburn films. I have never ever been interested in any performance or film of his. Timing has now led me to THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964)...a superb military satire, and DEATH OF A SOLDIER, two films made 20 years apart both with him, both set during WW2... and I have to admit I now have a new found appreciation of Coburn's acting and characterizations. DEATH OF A SOLDIER is a very well made Wartime murder drama with a protagonist played by under rated and over looked he-man Reb Brown. My only vision of him was during BIG Wednesday of all things, when, during a hilarious house party, he cleaned up the gatecrashers in a demolition derby worthy of Hercules visiting Animal House. He is great looking and appears as a cross between Steve McQueen and Ryan O'Neal with a great physique. Here that look is used to great affect as a loudmouth Yankee party bumpkin on leave during WW2 whose alcoholic haze leads to crimes that actually did happen In Melbourne in the mid 40s.. His character is a lot like that of Don Murray, the yahooo-ing cowboy in the Marilyn Monroe film BUS STOP. It is the study of his mentality and it's effect that mires Coburn into a court trial or considerable predicament. The film is excellent and interesting in so many ways, and really flawed in two major things: the clumsy appearance of "General MacArthur" posing and strutting about.... never speaking ..even wearing sunglasses indoors to maintain the image (Jeez!) ....and the overuse of obvious 40s music. If I hear In The Mood again in a 40s film well..... Sadly the film did no biz in its day which I remember had a lot to do with Mora's difficulties with the distributor and with the media, and remains a strange and interesting example of a period piece pic almost 'got right'. Coburn is the best actor there, among Aussie stalwarts... with Maurie Fields being very real. There is far too much swearing.


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