Biloxi Blues (1988) Poster


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character comedy/drama
daydreamjailbird1 May 2006
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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Neil Simon is a genius
Cory Cooper5 August 2006
This is a fantastic movie that you will want to watch again and again. The story is perfect, the cast is perfect and the acting is perfect. A coming of age story that combines young recruits from all different sections of life that have come together and now have to learn how to live with one another as they go through the rigors of boot camp. Neil Simon always knows how to combine that perfect blend of realism, a comic touch and something you can identify with into everything he writes and makes you feel so comfortable in his story because you feel you're in the story. He makes you want to be become a writer. This is what makes Neil Simon unique. If only every movie could be written this well. This is what great Hollywood film-making is all about.
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great flick
ss97-117 September 2008
I must say I'm a little surprised this movie did not scoring higher with the IMDb readers. I really expected it to be marked higher. While the movie is a comedy I would not say it is hysterically funny, so perhaps that is why the score is not higher. Maybe people felt it should have been funnier. I don't know.

Regardless, this movie is very well done and funny. Not funny as in a bust your gut kind of way - but funny enough to make you smile and laugh most of the time. It has a few serious moments that tie it into the reality of war and living in the armed forced. Although it is period sensitive the writers did well to make it applicable even years later.

The acting is excellent, and Walken is brilliant as the complex Sgt. in charge of the young troops. I'm not sure Walken was ever better in a role, he is just pure genius.

The rest of the cast is wonderful as well, from top to bottom you end up liking the cast more and more as the movie unfolds. And in the end it is impossible to say anyone was miscast or uncomfortable.

I would say if you have not seen this movie, you should because it is a classic.
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sublime experience
glennsouthall5 June 2006
OK, we all have our favourite poignant movies right? know the type - the ones that hold you in rapture - time and again, because it speaks to you on a very personal level and effortlessly touches some part of your emotions that you keep hidden from the world - evoking deeply sad or blissfully happy memories from our own passage through life. Biloxi Blues is that movie for me.

Which of us do not carry emotional scars from; Our first time away from home. Our first time interacting with a group of strangers in a mutual climate. Our first sexual encounter. Our fist kiss. Our first love. Our first brush with authority. Our first glimpse at death.

Biloxi Blues is a movie that embraces many of the "rites of passage" that we all face in life and deals with them using comedy as a foil to gently explore them, without diminishing their poignancy. Neil Simon is peerless in this. The casting is faultless. The acting is immaculate. The humor is intelligent.

If you haven't seen this movie, do so. You can thank me later.
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Strangely Compelling
sddavis6323 June 2001
It seems strange to say this about a movie that has very few moments of high drama and virtually no moments of great excitement, but "Biloxi Blues" has a strangely compelling quality to it. Once you begin to watch, you'll stay with this through to the end. Director Mike Nichols does an excellent job of bringing the viewer into the lives of the disparate group of young men who find themselves suddenly soldiers in 1945, facing the prospect of being sent to the Pacific to fight and quite possibly die for their country. From the very beginning, we want to know about these men: who they are, what makes them tick, and, most important - what's going to happen to them?

There are several fine performances in this movie. Matthew Broderick is excellent (he seems to have a knack for military roles, as in both this and "Glory") as Private Eugene Jerome, a young, idealistic Jewish teenager, just out of high school, who dreams of being a writer rather than a soldier. Much of the movie is seen through his eyes as we see him come of age in many different ways. There's great humour involved as he loses his virginity with the understanding prostitute Rowena (Park Overall). Eugene is simply a likable young man who we enjoy watching grow up. Corey Parker put on a strong performance in a supporting role as Private Albert Epstein, who challenges military authority from Day 1. Another scene of brief humour is when Epstein presents a note from his doctor in New York, asking that he be excused from having to eat army food. Also offering a strong performance is Christopher Walken as the slightly off-balance Sargeant Toomey, who drives his platoon relentlessly.

If you're looking for a classic war movie, you'll want to avoid this. But if you're interested in a story about genuine people, give it a try. I enjoyed this movie very much, and would rate it as a 7/10.
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Neil Simon has us loving these guys. Great movie!
stuman-229 December 2006
A wonderfully entertaining film. Everything seems to be in it's place. The only thing that one could grab at as being off somewhat, are some of the Simon jokes/funnies, which tend to sound too dated, corny or ill fitted. One must take into consideration on that point that this is a film and a story of an earlier time. A period piece and a script from quite a few years ago. Because of some of the tried for laughs, it seems that none of the Simon plays as they stand or the adaptations for screen will stand the test of time. A bit of re working on the script/dialog would help immensely Even with that BIG flaw that sticks out like a sore thumb, this film is wonderful. One might refer to or call these imperfections in the dialog,New York City Corn. Being form New York City myself, perhaps it's just the way it plays to me, but I doubt it. Most of today's viewers would have the same problem with some of the lines.

The characters could not be more interesting or endearing. The scenes are right on track as one follows the other in perfect harmony. The acting and casting is superb with standouts being just about all of the main characters. Christopher Walken continues to take command. But it's also the great by play and perfect casting of his buddies of all religious persuasions that are just as marvelous. Terrific performances by Matt Mulhern, Corey Parker, Park Overall, and of course Matthew Broderick are all great. A perfectly cast movie I would say. Everyone was terrific but what stands out so nicely about this work is that we don't want the relationship that Simon creates between our beloved characters to ever end. There is always a Bully right? Matt Mulhern is cast as the lovable, honest, Bologna sandwich slamming cretin. Yet he is wonderful in the part he plays, and becomes my favorite. Then their is the enigmatic, always unearthly Christopher Walk en who endears himself to both the audience and to his boys that he makes into pretty good soldiers.

The interplay between the different characters is what makes this work so well. There really isn't a single one in the group that we don't end up liking, at least to some degree. I really think this is where Simon's genius lies, what makes his plays so popular, so likable. We like both Oscar and Felix (opposite personalities) in the Odd Couple, right? Well, despite mostly minor bickering some major which is predictable among a bunch of guys from mostly different backgrounds and religions, in Biloxi Blues, the guys end up liking each other. They even end up realizing that St Toomey is a good guy. They understand that he is raking them over the coals in order to save their lives if and when they are shipped over seas during WWII The adventure really doesn't leave much out. Matthew Broderick goes through all or most of the adventures that we would expect. I found myself easily fitting into the group as the same kinds of things happened to me as I was growing into manhood. Somehow they grow together, they move threw some of life's more difficult moments as young men. In the end, Simon's or should I say Sgt. Toomey's bunch makes it, and we love it. I kept thinking that they really didn't have a care in the world. It was of course, a time of great anxt and worry as the guys wondered what in the world would ever happen to them. However, I couldn't help but go along with Broderick at the end, when the war is over, when none of the guys is actually sent over seas to fight. He states to the affect that as he looks back (narrating in talk over), it was the best time of his life that he seemed to bond with every one of those guys.

I was surprised to find that there is no Sound Track available of any kind. Yet, the choice of songs, taken from the era, the WWII songs some refer to as a wonderful time for Romantic Tunes are perfectly placed throughout the film. I gave this movie a 10 despite the mentioned imperfections because it simply is one piece of great entertainment, and every time I decide to watch it again, it brings me home, home to the comfort of those great characters that I just love to watch and hear.
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Michael Court16 July 2002
Well I'm disappointed. :-( This film deserves much more than a 6.6 rating! If you watch Brighton Beach Memoires you will love this film. Personally the 1st film was better but maybe because I could relate to a younger Jerome. But this film, oh yes! Christopher Walken you are my GOD! He is so funny in this film in my view! The way he makes the wise-cracking Jerome (Broderick) and fellow NY boy Epstein (Corey) is great. Ok he is a nut but that is Walken- he would be the worst Army officer I would want! Great film- the scene with the 'escort' is great! "You're not breathing! Breathe!" Unbelievable! It is also heart-warming and I love it! Overall I must give it a 8.5/10. Give it a try dont let the 6.6 rating fool you! HO NO!
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Once you start compromising your thoughts, you're a candidate for mediocrity.
Spikeopath13 August 2011
Biloxi Blues is directed by Mike Nichols and written by Neil Simon. It is based on Simon's semi-autobiographical 1985 play of the same name. It stars Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Penelope Ann Miller, Corey Parker and Matt Mulhern. Music is by Georges Delerue and Bill Butler is the cinematographer.

The second part of Neil Simon's Eugene Morris Jerome trilogy, the plot centres around Eugene's (Broderick) draft into the United States Army during the last year of World War II. Sent to training camp at Biloxi, Mississippi, Eugene is thrust in amongst people from all walks of life. Here he will not only learn about life, but also have it changed for him.

Straight from the off I have to say that this has become one of my favourite films of all time. From the moment I first caught it back on release, where I only went to see it because it was written by the guy who wrote The Odd Couple, I have been humoured and charmed every year since without fail. On synopsis it seems to be yet another run of the mill coming of age picture, or just another tales from the boot camp time filler, but with Simon holding the pen and Nichols painting the narrative with careful nostalgic splendour, Biloxi Blues is much better than it's often given credit for. A film that is that rare old beast that strikes the right balance between laughter and sentiment.

"It was hard to believe these guys had mothers and fathers who were worried about them"

Although this is primarily Eugene's story, film is propelled by the bubbling concoction of a group dynamic. At training camp Eugene and the other lads have to face up to a number of challenges, not just growing up into men, but learning about bigots, bullies, homosexuals and intellectuals, all while under the borderline crazy command of Sergeant Merwin J. Toomey (Walken). They may all be different, from different backgrounds, but one thing binds them together, none of them want to be there! In other hands this group would have consisted of annoying stereotypes, but Simon and Nichols, courtesy of the writing and the garnering of acting performances, ensure this isn't the case. The audience isn't short changed with these characterisations because they are stripped down to being survivors by way of humour and naive honour. Thus it never feels false.

"I wasn't in on that Pearl Harbour thing"

One of America's most celebrated film critics said Biloxi Blues contains limp dialogue! That's something which I certainly can't begin to comprehend. For the film is an advertisement for witty retorts, where often responses are used as a survivalist tool, to de-heat a flare up or to hide nervousness. In this respect Biloxi Blues pays big on revisits, each time another little one-line gem registers where previously it had been missed, maybe because we are too focused on the airy sound track first time around? Or most likely because we are too lost in a "Eugene" or "Toomey" facial moment. One of the best passages in the story concerns a last week on Earth game the lads play, the writing is sharp, yet tender, funny, yet telling, it really is a case of laugh whilst being drawn into the frightening reality that these boys are a long way from home, and possibly soon to be fighting for their lives in some muddy trench.

The cast are uniformly strong. Walken delivers one of his quintessential mania turns, marking Toomey out as being one click away from either sane or insane. Broderick holds court and narrates with earnest style, while Corey Parker is a revelation as intellectual Arnold Epstein, a guy who no matter how much he is persecuted by Toomey and the other rookies, refuses to be shaken and lose his principles. Miller and Park Overall get the two female roles of note, both memorable in short appearances, with the latter deliciously dry as a hooker with a heart. In the support there's macho mirth from Mulhern (stomach of a goat) and Markus Flanagan (he calls his mother Louise), homespun mystery from an excellent Michael Dolan, and wistful tunings from Casey Siemaszko as Don Carney (can anyone count on him?).

The ending doesn't quite have the dramatic impact that many would expect, and there is indeed some mellow periods of tinted nostalgia that will have some viewers urging the pace to go faster. But these are mere fly specks on a mound of horse droppings. Biloxi Blues, a wonderfully rich comedy drama, and to my mind the best thing Simon has written. 10/10
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Ferris Bueller as Neil Simon in the army. What did we miss when we were all younger?!
Lee Eisenberg1 April 2007
In one of the many looks at days gone by, Neil Simon's alter ego Eugene Morris Jerome (Matthew Broderick) and friends go down to Biloxi, Mississippi, in early 1945 for basic training. Once there, they have to cope with one bad-ass sergeant (Christopher Walken) and a status quo totally unlike the one in New York. But we also see how the experience turns Eugene into a very different person, partially due to his relationship with local babe Daisy (Penelope Ann Miller).

"Biloxi Blues", in my opinion, is far from Mike Nichols's best movie. I find it having strength in showing these young men's coming of age and wondering what to do with their future. But still, it's fun to see the environs of the WWII-era South. And I really liked Eugene's fake name when he met that one woman; I couldn't have come up with anything like that! Worth seeing, along with "Brighton Beach Memoirs".

When Matthew Broderick played Ferris Bueller, who ever would have guessed that he would later play the guy - or the alter ego thereof - who wrote "The Odd Couple"?
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Well written, well acted
Petri Pelkonen21 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Matthew Broderick plays a Jewish youngster named Eugene Morris Jerome, who goes to the army in 1945.This young intellectual wants to be a writer so he writes some stuff down to his journal about his army buddies.He, for instance, writes about his suspicions about this also Jewish guy Arnold Epstein (Corey Parker) that he might be a homosexual.When Arnold gets to read what Eugene has written about him, Eugene wants to rip and destroy the page.Arnold stops him and delivers this great line; "Once you start compromising your thoughts, you're a candidate for mediocrity."That's very well put.There are many other great lines and this is overall a well written movie.That's not any wonder since it's written by Neil Simon.The great director Mike Nichols directed it in 1988.The movie is full of terrific actors and characters.Christopher Walken is the somewhat obnoxious Sgt. Toomey.Matt Mulhern is the somewhat obnoxious recruit Joseph Wykowski.Michael Dolan is the much more sympathetic recruit Hennesey, who actually turns out to be homosexual and is sent to military prison.Casey Siemaszko is Don Carney, who Eugene can't count on according to his journal.Penelope Ann Miller is Daisy, the girl Eugene fancies.Park Overall is the prostitute Rowena, who delivers the boys some joy.There are lots of scenes to remember in the movie.One of the most memorable ones must be in the end where Arnold makes the drunken sergeant do 200 push-ups.The movie deals with some important themes, like racism, anti-semitism and homophobia.I truly recommend Biloxi Blues for each and every one of you who read this.
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The Hilarious Side of Basic Training!
OCOKA17 September 2004
The timing for my catching of this flick couldn't have been more appropriate. I caught it with a few of my squadmates on a 72-hour pass at the post theater on Ft. Benning, in the middle of my 12-weeks of basic training and infantry school. It was the summer of 1988, "Biloxi" had just hit the screens, and it was the hottest summer on record in 25-years in the already quite sultry city of Columbus, Georgia (about two hours south of Atlanta).

Just imagine, an army base theater -- that had changed very little from its WW2 days -- filled with 200+ Army recruits in uniform, on pass, watching a movie about Army recruits on pass! It was a hilarious deja vu, although I suspect that such irony was lost on the majority of the individuals present that night.

Anyways, my favorite scenes in the movie include the following: Matthew Broderick (as Pvt. Eugene Jerome) moving through the chow line at breakfast for the first time, when the army cook slings some unmentionable godforsaken gloop on his stainless steel G.I. mess tray. The look on Eugene's face is worth its weight in gold as it was almost as if he had been insulted and violated at the same time. (This is especially funny for anyone who has ever stood in a messhall chowline and eaten army "food" before.)

My next favorite scene was when Eugene makes up a game with his bunkmates one night, about what they would do with the last 72 hours of their lives. What every man reveals about himself is not only telling, but an ominous harbinger of what is to come. Hennesey, for example, asks to be with his family. The others scoff. Little do they know, however, that soon enough, even that modest hope will seem like a pipedream to the starcrossed Hennesey.

The funniest aspects of Neil Simon's mostly autobiographically inspired play though, is his comedic depiction of the inevitable culture clash that invariably occurs when the New York quasi-intellectualism and Jewish urbane sensibility that Eugene Jerome and Arnold Epstein are products of, confronts head on the southern white-redneck military subculture that Sgt. Toomey represents.

This theme especially struck a chord with me, having come down to Georgia for boot camp from Chicago that summer. It was quite a culture shock for me upon my first visit to the south. when I stepped off the bus at Ft. Benning, as I quickly had to get myself accustomed to the almost incomprehensible southern accents, idiosyncratic differences in attitude and weird regional expressions employed by our mostly colorful, yet totally profane and predominantly redneck drill sergeants at Ft. Benning.

Another aspect about this film that touched me personally is the fact that it was filmed filmed almost entirely at Ft. Chaffee in Ft. Smith Arkansas, where I had trained extensively when I was in the U.S. Army. From WW1 to the early 1990s, Ft. Chaffee was an active U.S. Army reservation that has since been mothballed.

Being able to see scenes of Ft. Chaffee, especially the exterior and interior shots of Chaffee's vintage WW2-era barracks on my very rare DVD version which I am most fortunate to have, always brings back some rather fond -- and not so fond memories -- of the times I spent at Chaffee. This movie mostly reminds me of all those days and nights I spent training in those chigger and tick-ridden forests, doing PT around post, and living in those godforsaken WW2-era barracks.

Hats off to a great five-star WW2 coming-of-age flick!
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charming, simple comedy
Goon-224 May 1999
I am not the biggest fan of movies about the adventures of obnoxious boys in their late teens, which is what the characters in Biloxi Blues happen to be, but I actually found that I highly enjoyed this film.

The cast doesn't hurt. When Matthew Broderick is the star of a film he makes everything better, and he's a natural in the leading role of Eugene Jerome, a decent young Jewish boy who has joined the army during World War 2. Christopher Walken is a riot as the stern Sergent Toomey, and the supporting cast does a nice job as well, particularly Casey Siemaszko as Gene's buddy that he hopes he never has to count on, Don Carney.

During the boy's stay at a basic training camp in Biloxi, Mississippi, a number of incidents occur, such as Toomey over-working them and being "unfair" to the seemingly hopeless Gene and his (slightly annoying)pal Arnold Epstein(Corey Parker, who's performance and character take a bit of getting used to), Gene being at odds with the "tough guys" on the squad(they read his journal and it turns out that he has written bad things about them), and a kind of pointless sub-plot about the guys working on losing their virginity(funny, until Gene actually ends up in bed.)The film was based on Neil Simon's hit Broadway play of the same title, and the adaption has remained faithful, as the film manages not to lose any of the charm it carried on the stage. I highly enjoyed my viewing and am proud to have bought the video so I could watch it again and again.
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A little too "Neil Simon-y" but entertaining
budikavlan11 December 2002
Pleasant but slight story, the second part of a trilogy, based on Neil Simon's stint in boot camp during World War II. Good performances by a talented cast, led by Matthew Broderick (the Simon surrogate) and Christopher Walken as a slightly insane drill sergeant. A few very nice scenes stand out: the visit to a prostitute (the jaded yet oddly motherly Park Overall) followed by a very sweet dance with Penelope Ann Miller (filmed in 360°) provided the film's high point. The dialogue is instantly recognizable as Neil Simonesque; often very funny, it nevertheless can be distracting. A lighter hand would've been more effective. Another shortcoming is Corey Parker's performance, both overplayed and overwritten. I enjoyed the film while watching it, but it hasn't had much lasting impact.
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I saw the movie and found it very funny
gardenia8910213 August 2006
The movie was very funny,entertaining and all around great. Although I have no complaints on it.Be hesitant on saying certain lines from the movie at work.As I was informed through an employer.Someone complained and I got was reprimanded for it.oops! , I was sent home for it.I just have to say; It was hot as Africa.. I just wish someone would explain that to the boss.And some of the employees who like to wig on petty lines as that. Has this sort of stuff ever happened to anyone else other than me? I was utilizing my freedom of speech as well as thought and this is what happened. I do believe it had places in it that were a bit much for young children in scenes. It does make for a good comical evening with adults.
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How can you not like this movie?
kirkoa7 November 2008
It is a romantic, nostalgic look at an era gone by while capturing the innocence of youth. Walken is TERRIFIC in it, and all of the characters are developed throughout the movie. One of my favorite all time scenes in any movie is the scene where Jerome and Rowena are in the bedroom. I laughed out loud when I first saw it because you can so readily identify with the emotions that Jerome is feeling as he tries to figure out how to sort of lay down with her. That is a perfect example of what I mean when I say the movie really captures the innocence of youth. You will be disappointed, however, if you think that this is a war movie, as it uses the army as more of a backdrop to highlight the coming of age story. I agree, how can this movie be rated only a 6.4/10?
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Better Than You May Have Heard
daddyofduke2 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Full Metal Jacket it definitely is not. Nor does it intend to be. Biloxi Blues, a 1988 film directed by Mike Nichols and starring Matthew Broderick and Christopher Walken, is a meringue of light laughs. It doesn't offer profound insights into military life, but it does allow us to laugh at it.

The film, the second of an autobiographical trilogy by Neil Simon, chronicles a group of young men enduring Army basic training during World War II. Their drill sergeant, Sgt. Toomey, played by Walken, engages an intersection between eccentricity and madness. Broderick plays private Eugene Jerome, a smart ass from New York. His fellow trainees include the whiny but weirdly courageous Private Epstein (Corey Parker), Private Wykowski (Matt Mulhern), Private Selridge (Markus Flanagan), Private Hennessey (Michael Dolan), and Private Carney (Casey Siemaszko), all of whom have the usual foibles. Absolutely no surprises here.

Many reviewers have criticized this film because it didn't provide anything new. And it doesn't. But I enjoyed this film for what it was, an entertaining lark. The performances were credible and breezy. Not every film dealing with the military has to be emotionally searing like The Deer Hunter or Platoon. Sometimes we dine at four star restaurants and sometimes we dine at Denny's. Sometimes we watch a movie in which a marine private shoots his drill sergeant to death, and then himself, as in Full Metal Jacket, and sometimes we watch a movie that has an army private ordering his drill sergeant to do 200 push ups, which is the case in Biloxi Blues.

I laugh every time I watch Biloxi Blues, particularly at the scene in which Jerome, while popping his cherry, is reminded by a good humored and patient prostitute named Rowena, played by Park Overall, to keep breathing. Keep in mind I also enjoyed watching The Hangover and The 40 Year Old Virgin. I enjoyed less Jerome meeting "the perfect girl", played competently by Penelope Ann Miller. I chuckled at Private Jerome, during an arduous march, hoping for a subway, and upon arriving at Biloxi commenting that Biloxi was Africa hot, and if it stayed that hot he may not be able to stay. But, of course, he does stay. If he didn't, he would have ended up in Leavenworth, along with Private Hennessey, who is arrested for a crime that is no longer a crime.

I suspect that Neil Simon's actual experience in boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi, wasn't a light hearted romp. But, then again, my military experience consists of exactly one semester of ROTC. Still, I think If Neil Simon can laugh at his training in the army so can we.
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How High the Moon
wes-connors1 November 2009
The year is 1945. Playwright Neil Simon's protagonist "Eugene Morris Jerome" (Matthew Broderick), from "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1986), is off to join the U.S. Army. First, Mr. Broderick must complete ten weeks of basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, with psychotic drill sergeant Christopher Walken (as Merwin J. Toomey). Broderick must also learn how to cope and bond with a diverse cast of fellow recruits. They philosophize about life, and fantasize about sex. Broderick's goals are to lose his virginity and fall in love, before shipping off to risk his life…

This is one of Broderick's best roles (he played it successfully on Broadway); and, although he performs it very well, it really isn't the best written part in this comedy-drama (which is part of a Neil Simon trilogy). Broderick has a great dramatic scene with Mr. Walden, near the end of the film; he does his best with an only mildly amusing "loss of innocence" scene, with well-dressed prostitute Park Overall (as Rowena). The best-written role goes to Corey Parker (as Arnold B. Epstein); forsaking some end note about the future of Michael Dolan's "Hennesey" character.

Mr. Simon's written words rise above the overall ordinary direction given the production; he has some very keen, and sometimes subtle, observations about life and love. Note that, upon first viewing, the characters are far more interesting than they initially appear. "Biloxi Blues" is a wistful tribute to the different people circumstances force us to relate to, after leaving home; how they inspire our lives, and become an essential part of our being.

******* Biloxi Blues (3/25/88) Mike Nichols ~ Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Corey Parker, Matt Mulhern
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Funny, with good performances, but dramatically weak
gcd702 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Neil Simon's dry-witted play about camaraderie, belonging and a sense of self worth is brought to the big screen by veteran director Mike Nichols ("Postcards From the Edge", "Regarding Henry" and "Working Girl"). Simon (who adapts his own work to the screen here) has a sharp sense of humour, and the oft times funny film reflects this well thanks to some clever performances from the players who make the very most of the incisive dialogue.

Matthew Broderick gives a fine showing as Eugene Jerome, an intelligent young kid who can't stand the Mississippi heat, boot camp, his sergeant and half of his platoon. Jerome expends a great repertoire of one-liners (typical of a wise guy New Yorker) to try and keep himself sane, but finds he's in dire straights with his sadistic drill sergeant, Twomey. Christopher Walken personifies with ease the role of the heartless commander, who takes an immediate disliking to Jerome and another Jewish draftee, Epstein. There's none better than Walken at portraying unbalanced, slightly psychotic characters, and he makes this one his own. There's also strong support form a young cast that includes Penelope Ann Miller, Casey Siemaszko, Matt Mulhern, Michael Dolan, Markus Flanagan and Park Overall.

Dramatically is where the film falls down, with some effective moments countered by several not so effective. Nichols, Simon and company are unable to involve us or interest us in the characters lives, and we find it hard to empathise with or get close to, any of them.

Bill Butler's cinematography is quite admirable, accompanied by convincing sets and art direction (Paul Sylbert). Music is from Georges Delerue.

Sunday, December 17, 1995 - Video
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Army boot camp during WWII with Matthew Broderick and Christopher Walken
Wuchak12 November 2017
RELEASED IN 1988 and directed by Mike Nichols, "Biloxi Blues" concerns a group of recruits going through Army boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi, as World War II is still raging. Matthew Broderick plays the main character while Corey Parker appears as his Jew friend. Christopher Walken plays the eccentric drill sergeant.

This is a fairly entertaining talky drama with light comedic touches. The boot camp seems kind of laid back compared to real life, particularly the trainees' relationship with the drill sergeant. (I was in Marine boot camp forty years later and it was totally strict with no leave on the weekends until a single weekend near the end of the three months; and, even then, it was limited to the base). As usual, Broderick makes for a likable protagonist while Walken is entertaining in an off-kilter kind of way.

Park Overall plays a prostitute in an awkward (but realistic) sequence while Penelope Ann Miller appears as a potential girlfriend for our hero. It's cool seeing the latter when she was so young and fetching.

THE FILM RUNS 106 minutes and was shot entirely in Arkansas. WRITER: Neil Simon from his play.

GRADE: C+ (5.5/10)
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Biloxi Blues delivers on all counts!
sixstringshowcase16 July 2017
This is my favorite Neil Simon production. The entire cast is perfect. It gives you a very interesting perspective into one of the seldom-told experiences of WWII... those boys who didn't quite make it to the war, but still experienced all of the concern and loss of innocence beforehand.

The pace is never erratic and delivers laugh after laugh while maintaining the seriousness of a lot of the realities those kids had to deal with. There were some unexpected surprises about the culture, too. And, New England boys in delta Mississippi is a lob that sets-up the perfect spike!

I can watch this over and over and it never gets old. Mike Nichols brings it all to life as only he can do!
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Highly recommended
room10211 February 2017
I always thought 1988 was one of the best years at the cinema (together with 1984, 1990/1991 and 2000).

I've seen this movie several times before, but not in a very long time. It's just as good as I remembered, perhaps even more. Excellent semi- autobiography comedy/drama about recruits in boot camp during WWII. Excellent writing by Neil Simon based on his play. Excellent cast - Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken and many unknown others, all perfect in their roles, even the supporting cast in tiny roles (the girl playing the hooker and Penelope Ann Miller who is damn cute). Good production and good direction by Mike Nichols.

Like GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, this is a great example of taking a play and making it into a GOOD cinematic presentation. The writing has a perfect combination of comedy and drama and all the characters are well defined and interesting - not like in many others movies in which the supporting characters blend with each other.

I just realized that the play and the Eugene Morris Jerome character are part of a semi-biography trilogy by Neil Simon. Corey Parker, who plays Arnold Epstein "the intellectual Jew" to perfection, also played Eugene (Matthew Broderick's character) in a later TV production, Broadway BOUND (1992) with Jonathan Silverman who himself played Eugene in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (1986). And to close the loop, Matthew Broderick played in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS on Broadway.

I give 7.5/10 for the first half and 7/10 for the second half.
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Neil Simon's Masterpiece
Richard Dominguez31 October 2016
When I Am Asked If I Missed Out On The Newest Medina, Sandler, Ferrell, Etc Comedy ... I Remember Movies Like Biloxi Blues And Neil Simons Prequel Brighton Beach Memoirs ... I Realize I Am Not The One Missing Out ... Biloxi Blues Is One Of The Funniest Movies On The Theme Of Reaching Manhood ... Mathew Broderick Is Excellent As The Star Of The Story Eugene Morris Jerome A Budding Writer Who Has Yet To Learn About Writing ... Christopher Walken As With Any Role Is Brilliant As The Apparently Insane Drill Sargent ... This Movie Is A Laugh Riot From Beginning To End And Full Of Moments We Can All Relate To ... Biloxi Blues Like Brighton Beach Memoirs Is A Must See ... My IMDb Rating 9 Out Of 10
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Quirky and cute
SnoopyStyle27 September 2014
Eugene Jerome (Matthew Broderick) is a year out of high school and joining the Army in 1945. He is sent to basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi with various characters. There are the brutes like Wykowski, a brainiac Epstein, and the tough drill Sgt. Toomey (Christopher Walken). Jerome wants to write and has to survive this unstable collection of people.

The Neil Simon script is quirky and cute. It comes off as a little light weight when compared to all the other great military training movie. There are every stereotypes in the book. The protagonist Eugene is sarcastic smart mouth. Epstein is a super effeminate Jew. Every character is a 3 word descriptive cartoon. There is only so much that director Mike Nichols can do with this Neil Simon recollection of his wartime life.
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Offers Big Laughs!
g-bodyl30 May 2014
I never thought Biloxi Blues would be endearing or compelling it turned out to be. In fact, I thought this would be a major rip-off of the first half of Full Metal Jacket, but with zany comedy. I see some similarities between the two, but thankfully Biloxi Blues turned out to be it's own film. This is more of a character study, a story about growing up only with the setting in the military. It's often funny and each character is instantly memorable thanks to the wonderful performances.

Mike Nichol's film is about a Jewish teen from Brooklyn named Eugene Jerome who travels to Mississippi to serve in basic training for the army during the latter years of the second World War. Along the way, he has encounters with his tough sergeant named Toomey, his platoon, and his first love in Daisy.

This role was designed perfectly for Matthew Broderick. He has many hilarious scenes and has several dramatic ones as well. Christopher Walken was just awesome here. He brings something new to the role of the tough drill sergeant. I was reminded of the "bad cop, good cop" routine, but with just one person.

Overall, Biloxi Blues is a worthwhile adaptation from Neil Simon's play. It's funny, poignant, and clever. The jokes are well-placed and some will have you gasping for breaths. But let me say that this is not a war film, because you'll be incredibly disappointed. If you're looking for one, don't even bother watching this and watch Full Metal Jacket instead. I rate this film 9/10.
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