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Gardens of Stone (1987)

R  |   |  Drama, War, Romance  |  8 May 1987 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,772 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 14 critic

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.

Director:

(as Francis Coppola)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Gardens of Stone (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Capt. Homer Thomas
...
Rachel Feld
...
Slasher Williams
...
Betty Rae
...
Lt. Webber
...
Pete Deveber
...
Sgt. Flanagan (as Larry Fishburne)
...
Wildman
...
Col. Feld
...
Mrs. Feld
Erik Holland ...
Col. Godwin
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Storyline

In the late 60s, during the Vietnam War, the idealistic soldier Jackie Willow arrives at Fort Meyer expecting to go to the Academy and then to the Vietnam War. Jackie is the son of a veteran sergeant and soon he becomes the protégé of the former friends of his father, Sergeant Clell Hazard and Sergeant Major 'Goody' Nelson. Jackie is promoted and gets married with his childhood friend Rachel Feld, to recommend Jackie to the Academy. He is promoted to lieutenant and asks to go to the Vietnam, returning to the Arlington National Cemetery. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was a dangerous time to be young. An impossible time to be a hero. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der steinerne Garten  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,262,047 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fourth and final [to date, April 2014] of four collaborations of actor James Caan and director Francis Ford Coppola. The the other films were The Godfather (1972), The Rain People (1969), and The Godfather: Part II (1974). See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie in what turns out to be Willow's funeral, a shot of Wildman shows him in Dress Blues. At the end outside the chapel just before Willow's casket is moved to the burial site Wildman is seen in Class A (green) uniform. See more »

Quotes

"Goody" Nelson: You ever take biology in school, soldier?
Jackie Willow: Yes, Sergeant-Major.
"Goody" Nelson: How do worms copulate?
Jackie Willow: They don't, Sergeant-Major; they use asexual reproduction.
"Goody" Nelson: Mmmm-hmmmm! Interesting concept! Tell me, Willow - any idea who first came up with that notion: reproducing without sex?
Jackie Willow: Your wife, Sergeant-Major?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood Vietnam (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Georgy Girl
Written by Tom Springfield and Jim Dale
Performed by The Seekers
Courtesy of EMI Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A forgotten gem
13 February 2004 | by (Yorktown, Virginia) – See all my reviews

This movie is little-watched compared to Coppola's other Viet Nam movie, "Apocalypse Now", which is unfortunate, because it's a gem. Taking a device straight out of Aeschylus' masterpiece "The Persians", the war itself is almost entirely an off-screen presence (except for a few atmospheric news-reel clips, which serve to separate acts, as it were). Instead, like "The Persians", it considers the war through its effects on those at home, and does a generally excellent job.

It is particularly good at showing the view from inside the military "family", both of that life in general, and the effects of Viet Nam in particular. James Caan and James Earl Jones (the latter especially) turn in fine performances as veteran non-coms (the backbone of any army). One reviewer condemned D.B. Sweeney's portrayal of the young gung-ho recruit Willow because he sounded as if he were reading his line from cue cards - which rather misses the point, which is that because the green Willow doesn't know what it's really like, the slogans he repeats inevitably sound tinny and false.

Despite a few flaws (e.g. Mary Stuart Masterton's character is rather under-developed, and a few scenes are clangers), overall this is one of the greatest of all Viet Nam movies.


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