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The General's Daughter: Behind the Secrets (1999)

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film The General's Daughter (1999).

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Jared Chandler ...
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A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film The General's Daughter (1999).

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14 December 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Background featurette also raises questions
24 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is 20-minute featurette comes with the DVD of the movie, "The General's Daughter." It is a bonus behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie. It has the usual snippets with interviews of some of the actors. They include John Travolta who plays Brenner in the movie, James Woods who plays Col. Moore and Madeleine Stowe who plays Sunhill. The director, Simon West comments on the cast, the shooting locations, and the choice of Georgia for much of the filming.

I found a couple of interesting things, including discussion of the robot used in the movie. Another is about the MOUT site. MOUT stands for Military Operations Urban Training. This bonus video shows a close-up of the MOUT site in the movie. A sign at the site looks real for a military installation. It reads, "SGM J.T. Chandler, 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, MOUT Range, Dedicated 15 July 1996." Translated, SGM would be Sergeant Major.

Then the video has interview snippets with Jared Chandler who is shown as military adviser. No doubt this would be the same SGM J.T. Chandler on the sign. But a check on Jared Chandler doesn't give any military background or service. It simply lists him as a producer and actor. He plays an MP guard in the movie. So, was the MOUT sign just a prop the crew made, maybe having some fun listing Chandler as a sergeant major? He was born in 1967, so he was only 31 when this movie came. If he had been in the Army for 13 years since age 18, that would hardly be time enough for the best enlisted man to rise to the rank of a sergeant major, which is the highest possible NCO rank. On the other hand, if he had no military background, how would he be qualified to serve as military adviser for the movie?

Some of the aspects of this short video are as puzzling and mysterious as are those of the actual movie. But then, maybe, those are the "secrets" of the film – that there are no answers. Incidentally, this bonus video does nothing to clarify that the movie is all fiction, and not based on a true story. According to IMDb trivia posted with the film, the U.S. Army wanted nothing to do with the making of "The General's Daughter." One can clearly see why. But, had it been based on a true story, would the Army not have wanted to be involved, if for no other reason than to protect the Army's and West Point's images against overblown portrayals?


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