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On Valentine's Day is the central film in Horton Foote's semi-autobiographical trilogy that also includes Courtship and 1918. It is a nearly verbatim retelling of his stage play and the sets and costumes.
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A New York City teenager named Eugene Jerome enlists in the US Army during the last year of World War II in 1945. Eugene is sent to basic training at Biloxi, Mississippi where he must live with a variety of fellow soldiers from all walks of life while also enduring the whims of a mentally unstable drill sergeant. Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In an interview with Ron Base of "The Toronto Star' published on 27th December 1986, writer Neil Simon said: "'Brighton Beach' was going to be another singular play....Again, I still hadn't thought of a trilogy. But I decided to take Eugene the next step chronologically in my life, which was the army. But even after I wrote 'Biloxi Blues', I still didn't think about a sequel, because if it turned out to be a bomb, why would one want to do a sequel? So I just waited to see what would happen. Well, Biloxi enjoyed enormous success, and I thought of a third part". See more »
When Sgt. Toomey first greets the men, he quietly calls for "attention". When the troops don't react to his liking, he repeats himself. Though you hear him shout "ten-hut!", he is clearly mouthing the word "attention" again. See more »
Biloxi Blues is a wonderful character comedy with strong dramatic scenes as well. Eugene Jerome (Matthew Broderick) is an anti-hero, who is typically concerned with making wisecracks, rebelling against the rigid drill Sergeant (Christopher Walken), and talking about wanting to become a writer. Similar to the dark pathos of characters in Catch-22, Biloxi Blues exposes men in the service who do not want to be there, who are incompetent, and basically as far from battlefield heroism as you can imagine. Mike Nichols directs, and his comedic and dramatic pace is pitched perfectly for the film.
The movie has quotable lines throughout. But if you are looking for a typical war movie, this is not for you. There are no heros, at least in the conventional sense, as the story focuses upon the dusty boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi. The story does deal with sharp internal conflicts, and the cultural topics addressed emerge strongly against the backdrop of one of the US's most traditional institutions: the military. Although it has been over fifteen years since the release of the movie, the conflict in the movie feels timely and relevant for today's world. It's the type of tight, well-written comedy that rarely exists in current cinema.
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