Hayes Hodges finds his career aspirations dashed when he's wounded in Vietnam combat. He then returns to America and becomes a disillusioned lawyer who goes up against the service to defend Colonel Terry Childers, who is accused of inciting an incident that leaves many demonstrators dead. Hodges in no position to decline: Childers heroically saved his life back in Vietnam. Written by
H. Lawrence Hodge's house, on the oceanfront (with the circular driveway), was also used as Jack Ryan's house in Patriot Games (1992). See more »
When Col. Childers boards the helicopter on the USS Wake Island, it is a USMC UH-1N Huey with twin engines. During the shots of the helicopters approaching the embassy, Childers' helicopter switched to a UH-1H Huey with a single engine. The helicopters in the shots of the Wake Island were actual Marine Corps aircraft, two CH-46 Sea Knights and the UH-1N Huey. Later shots were helicopters belonging to the Moroccan Air Force, two CH-47 Chinooks and a UH-1H Huey, which were painted to look like the USMC helicopters. See more »
Colonel Terry L. Childers:
Yes they had weapons! You think there's a script for fighting a war without pissing somebody off? Follow the rules and nobody gets hurt? Yes, innocent people probably died. Innocent people always die but I did not exceed my orders.
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Having just watched Rules Of Engagement, I have to say that although Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones are a joy to watch, I have to make some negative comments about this movie.
The movie is extremely manipulative, and comes from the equally manipulative director of The French Connection, William Friedkin. The movie's bad guys, oddly enough, are a crowd of irrational arabs, together with career politicians who won't just let military men do what they have to do.
The problem with the entire scenario is that the entire massacre could have been prevented with a couple of well aimed teargass grenades. Secondly, not a lot of time is spent on the character development of the 'bad guys', namely the Yemenis (in this case), who all seem to be very eager to die killing Americans, including their (the Yemeni's) toddlers. The later images of the little girl shooting a pistol is very manipulative indeed ("oh, see, she deserved to get her leg shot off after all!").
And thirdly, the incident most like it, namely the US Army Rangers debacle in Mogadishu, caused the death of 18 Rangers but 1000 Somali Mogadishuans, most of which were non-combatants. No-one seems to have been called to task for that event, let alone be thrown to the lions to appease public opinion, like Samuel Jackson's character is over a "mere" 83 deaths. (The same thing can be said for the invasion of Panama, where there was a similar death toll among civilians - the truth of the matter is that since WWII, conventional weapons have become infinitely more efficient, with the result that if conflict breaks out in built-up areas, _lots_ of civilians are killed.)
However, the one redeeming value (other than the acting) is that it shines a light on the changed nature of the political war that is required of the modern soldier in places like Somalia, Bosnia, etc., and that started in Vietnam.
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