Gardens of Stone (1987)

R  |   |  Drama, War, Romance  |  8 May 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,893 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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2 nominations. See more awards »



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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:

Jardines de piedra  »

Box Office


$5,262,047 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The nick-name of Regimental Sergeant Major Nelson (James Earl Jones) was "Goody". See more »


The movie is set in 1968, but in the parade ground scene, the extras in the crowd clearly have 1980s-era hairstyles. See more »


Jackie Willow: [over the phone]
Jackie Willow: Hey, Sarge! I need another favor.
Clell Hazard: [shouts] Oh, great. Let's see... you got my money, you got my car. I guess now you need my dick to seal the deal!
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

An alternative Vietnam film showing only emotional combat.
15 March 1999 | by (Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA) – See all my reviews

After 'Apocalypse Now', it's hard to believe that this film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola with such sensitivity. Truly a testament that in many ways demonstrates that Coppola is one of film's greatest directors.

This film shows the lives of many different people and their backgrounds in opposing the Vietnam war. James Caan is a military officer working as a home guard at Arlington National Cemetery during the casualties of America's most tragic conflict. It shows his relationship with Anjelica Huston and James Earl Jones as his closest friends. D.B. Sweeney and Mary Stuart Masterson are great as the younger and more naive observers of the times.

Part documentary style, part sentiment and all inclusive drama showcase its impact in a more sedated manner than most other films dealing with its subject but worth a look as an alternative.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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