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THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER is movie that has been done before. But it knows this and is able to look past it's cliché's and have fun with the genre. A cop(Travolta) is called to an army base to investigate the death of a general's daughter after she has been raped and beat to death and left naked and tied to the ground with tent stakes. It's a ghastly sight and everyone wants him to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. The problem is that EVERYONE has something to hide or is hiding someone who has something to hide. This has an all-star cast and they are terrific. The story is well written and the cast has some fun with it along the way. Director Simon West knows how to tell the story with a slight tongue and cheek flavor and still maintain the very serious nature of the subject matter. The action sequences are very well choreographed and the climax is pretty intense. So if you are looking for a familiar but really good, intense, and exciting action murder mystery THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER is well worth seeing. No matter if the critics thumbed their elitist nose's at it. They're loss is our average Joe's gain. ***1/2 out of 4.
This was an excellent drama marred only by a little too much profanity
and the normal Hollywood obsession of portraying the United States
military as corrupt. (I have a news flash for filmmakers: there are
some honest men in the military....really!!!) Feminism in the armed
forces is another "agenda" item in this film.
There are many pluses, however, with this movie that should be noted. . The acting is excellent with a deep cast featuring John Travolta, James Cromwell, Madeline Stowe, Timothy Hutton, James Woods, Clarence Williams III, Leslie Stefanson and more.
I loved the dialog between Travola and Woods. It reminded me of the film noir films of the 1940s. The general's daughter, Stephanson, is a bit hard-edged in here but it's understandable when you find out why she acts the way she does. The characters the actors are all interesting and the story hooks you in right away. The cinematography is great. This looks stunning on DVD.
There are no lulls in this film and the action isn't overdone, either. Very entertaining.
A beautiful army officer is murdered in compromising circumstances that
the fort MacCallum officials would rather keep quite. John Travolta and
Madeleine Stowe are the investigators into the murder, and it's seems
that someone wants to keep the truth hidden.
Travolta and Stowe both capture the necessary elements of their characters and they are well supported by James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, Clarence Williams II and James Woods.
This suspenseful mystery thriller delivers the disturbing truths of the story very well, it does have its flaws, but they are largely forgivable due to the captivating delivery and direction.
I have developed a large DVD library over the years, some 1,000 today! There are only a few which I will see more than once or twice. And The General's Daughter is one I keep seeing with pleasure. You will have read many reviews, scattering ratings from 1 to 10, as usual, but with a poor average rate. I personally like the movie for its excellent tempo and accompanying music. Travolta, Cromwell and Stowe fit their respective role perfectly. The global integration of filming, dialogs, acting and plot come out exactly right. So of course I try to understand why the rating is so poor. I have read criticism regarding the poor adaptation from the book, the way the army is depicted so unjustly, the average performance of Travolta and his annoying southern accent and more. Well, we have the right to our choices and own judgment. On a closing note, I wish people would stop repeating the plot in their reviews: it's boring, redundant and does not provide a bit of film analysis.
The General's Daughter may be flawed, but thanks to the acting, it's hardly a matter. John Travolta gives a good performance and James Woods gives an even better one, showing that one scene with back and forth dialougue can make one film pretty interesting. Still, a good mystery, with the plot set in good place for one of Travolta's best pics. A-
These people below me are out of their minds, I don't think they watched the whole movie... I thought it was excellent, very good story, great acting, one of the best endings in movie history. John Travolta does a good job as usual, this is definitely worth seeing by everybody!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film was altogether very interesting but at the same time tragic, especially the gang-rape scene which left me incredibly disturbed. The storyline is amazing and is enough to draw someone into the film even if halfway through and the direction of the film is very well done. The characters were very convincing and the acting of both the daughter and John Trovolta's character was unbelievable. The point at which the daughter was told not to talk of her rape - you could actually see every emotion through her eyes, enough to make anyone break down. Although the whole plot of the film was based around a young, murdered woman, it did cast a very negative view on how woman are treated in the US forces which could be seen as unfair. Although this is true, it did show a very valid point of how, in any job, men still value themselves as having a 'right' to be in the job over women.
I was intrigued and kept guessing who and what all the way through. It kept me interested and on edge. Entertainment at its best. John Travolta keeps growing as an actor and Madeline Stowe is always excellent. A good story, well told that will keep you interested all the way through.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before renting the movie, I listened to Nelson Demille's audiobook. The book
got me hooked. I got up at 4:00 a.m. and treked out to the car to pick up
the last few tapes.
Overall, as a father, the effect of this book was to make me realize there are certain things that a father can't say, actions a father can't take if that father wants to avoid destroying the trust between himself and his daughter. It's not just a question of career over family.
It's a question of being in touch with emotions, and understanding feelings.
The compromise General Campbell made in West Point, to not stand up for his daughter, to not rock the boat, to ask his daughter to forget, was more understandable in the book. All the West Point Brass was pressuring him to not destroy the school. Convince his daughter not to make a stink.
I find few movies as good as books. Books allow me to use my imagination. The whole rape area, as I envisioned it, was much more rural, much more out of the way.
Paul's confrontation with the General in the end, his getting the general court martialed seemed just too politically correct. After all, if you go for the general, go for the West Point staff that was pressuring the general to shut the incident up. Go for them all.
John Travolta and Madeline Stowe did a fine job. However, the sexual tension and underlying passion between them was pretty much avoided between the book and the movie. That made a big loss.
Nelson Demille is a great writer. I look forward to reading more of his works.
It's hard to turn a great book into a good movie.
THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER (1999) ***1/2
Starring: John Travolta, James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, Madeleine Stowe, James Woods Director: Simon West 116 minutes 1999 Rated R (for graphic violence, rape & sexuality, nudity, and for language)
By Blake French--Based on comments by Richard Blink.
"The General's Daughter" is a masterfully suspenseful thriller in which the audience can only try to guess what the truth is. It's a mystery film, one that works in ways beyond your imagination. The film is so precise in its dialogue, so intelligent in its story, so tense in its confrontations, and so brutal in its subject matter that this can only be described as one of the years most intriguing movies.
John Travolta stars as a Warrant Officer named Paul Brenner, who, with his partner Sara, is assigned to investigate the brutal murder of Captain Elisabeth Campbell, a rising military star and specialist in Psychological Operations, who was found tied up and dead in the middle of a battle training field. The Provost Marshall, Colonel William Kent, has called his friend, Brenner, to examine the case.
However, this is not just any girl here that was killed. Brenner finds out that this is the daughter of retiring three-star general Joe Campbell. He is saddened and is willing to help the investigation in any way possible, but he has his own "army" rules that he demands Brenner to follow, which makes their search difficult.
Things deepen when the investigation leads to an apparent rape of the victim, as it does when the two detectives dig further into the case and undercover secrets that may point to any number of suspects right there in the base, all who appear suspicious and somehow are involved with the victim.
The performance by John Travolta may be Oscar worthy material it is so powerful. His scenes add punch and a jagged edge to everything in the movie. He is perfectly casted and recites his dialog in such a way that during his confronting scenes, the audience is on the edge of their seats and breathless. And not only that, but a comic touch of dramatic relief is provided by Travolta when the going gets too tough.
James Woods is another performance highlight in "The General's Daughter." He provides an uncertain slyness to his character. One that makes the audience become involved and intrigued. Also performing on a high is the humble hearted "Babe" farmer James Cormwell, as the General himself, with robust deepness and a character as far from "Babe's" as they get.
"The General's Daughter" is most certainly worth going to see at the theater, and if you decide to rent it instead of seeing it on the big screen that is still okay, but you will not receive the same effect. Who actually did rape and kill the general's daughter? I think you'll be surprised.
Brought to you by Paramount Pictures.
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