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Gardens of Stone (1987)

R  |   |  Drama, War, Romance  |  8 May 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,869 users  
Reviews: 32 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.


(as Francis Coppola)


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

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


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


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


Drama | War | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der steinerne Garten  »

Box Office


$5,262,047 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was a "screen comeback after a decade of unsuccessful films" for actor James Caan according to 'Rating the Movies'. See more »


After the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performs the "Troop Step" in the parade field ceremony scene, there are four bass drum beats before the Fife and Drum Corps steps off to "Yankee Doodle." In actuality there are only 2 bass drum beats before the Fife and Drum Corps Steps off from the Troop Step into "Yankee Doodle." See more »


"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 »


Featured in Hollywood Vietnam (2005) See more »


Break on Through (To the Other Side)
Written by The Doors
Performed by The Doors
Courtesy of Electra/Asylym Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

First hand knowledge of this super movie.
12 September 1999 | by (Palacios, Texas) – See all my reviews

My oldest son spent 8 years in the Old Guard Delta Company from 1984-1992. He was fortunate to be ask to play the part of the guidon bearer ( the black Delta Company Flag ) in the movie, and also to help instruct the actors in how to dress, stand, march ect. The movie was a masterpiece that covers just how it was for troops state side while the war was raging in Asia . My son said " Coppola did a superb job of following military protocol to make the film as real as possible " The story line is so right on. Coppola has another winner in my books. I thought the movie was very moving, lacking in nothing .

It was tragic that Coppola's son was killed in a boating accident while out with Ryan Oneal's son during the making of this excellent movie.

As you can tell I'm not a professional writer, but I just had to say something about how good this film is

27 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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