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


There's only one man big enough to take them on... 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?


Stephen Dorff turned down the role of Tommy Lee Haywood. See more »


If this story were true, the army would have bestowed an honorary rank (most likely as an officer) on Bill Rago as a teacher, just as they do for other non military superiors such as doctors and clergymen. See more »


Bill Rago: [about reading their essay] All right, who wants to start?
[no reply]
Bill Rago: Nobody?
Bill Rago: I thought this was the volunteer army...
See more »


References Rocky (1976) See more »


Written and performed by John Mellencamp
See more »

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User Reviews

24 April 2006 | by (Hungary) – See all my reviews

Let me start off by saying that this movie is miss-marketed as a comedy. As a comedy, this movie is, at best, mediocre. Sure, there are some funny moments, but it isn't nearly as hilarious as it claims to be. However, what this movie lacks in comedy, it makes up for with it's other qualities. This is a warm, fuzzy, feel-good movie with a lot of wisdom in it. The character development is excellent and we really get to like the characters. The bond between DeVito and his students is strong. This movie is very touching, with a few funny moments in-between. Sure, there are some corny scenes (the rap scene) but hey, every teacher has their own way of making their students understand their material, right? I would recommend this movie, although not as a comedy.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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