61 user 12 critic

Renaissance Man (1994)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 3 June 1994 (USA)
A failed businessman is hired by the army to teach a group of underachieving recruits in order to help them pass basic training.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pvt. Donnie Benitez (as Lillo Brancato Jr.)
Peter Simmons ...
Pvt. Brian Davis, Jr.
Pvt. Melvin (as Greg Sporleder)
Ben Wright ...
Private Oswald
Bill's Secretary


A down-on-his-luck businessman desperately takes the only job offered - a teacher in the U.S. Army. His mission: keep a ragtag bunch of underachieving misfits from flunking out of basic training! Be on alert as this unlikely new teacher and his underdog class unexpectedly inspire each other to be all they can be! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One Man's Mission To Teach The Few, The Proud... The Impossible! See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 June 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

By the Book  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)


$24,332,324 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Bill is at the Tiger game with his daughter the Tigers are playing the Toronto Blue jays. The Blue jays would go on to win the 1993 World Series the same year the movie was filmed. See more »


Dark victory is not an oxymoron. See more »


Bill Rago: Write... why you're here.
Pvt. Donnie Benitez: This is where they told us to be.
Bill Rago: No, no. Write about the magical twist of fate that prompted you to gravitate towards this institute of imbeciles.
Pvt. Jamaal Mongomerey: [confused] What?
Bill Rago: [very nonchalantly] Write why you joined the Army.
See more »


Spoofs Midnight Cowboy (1969) See more »


Music by Frank Peterson, Matthias Meissner and Thomas Schwarz
Lyrics by Alex Christensen, Prince Ital Joe and Mark Wahlberg
Performed by Prince Ital Joe Feat Mark Wahlberg (as Marky Mark)
See more »

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User Reviews

Truly nice, for the heartwarmer crowd
7 February 2005 | by (Sacramento, California) – See all my reviews

Army recruits categorized as, shall we say, neither the best nor brightest, but they somehow get turned on when reluctant teacher DeVito reads Shakespeare's Hamlet to them and it hits a chord. The high point of the film is reached when one of those recites on command his "irrelevant" Shakespeare on a rainy night's drill to Sergeant Gregory Hines and finds in his memory from "Henry V" (with lead-in not at hand) "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother." This is a truly nice movie, about heroes but not about touting war. At a later point, my usually stoic wife shed some tears. Danny De Vito is surprising to me. He generally leaps over my expectations, no matter how far I raise them up.

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