Earl Pilcher, Jr., runs an equipment rental outfit in Arkansas, lives with his wife and kids and parents, and rarely takes off his gimme cap. His mother dies, leaving a letter explaining ... See full summary »
James Earl Jones,
Twenty-five years after commiting a double murder, Karl Childers is going to be released from an institution for the criminally insane. A local reporter comes to talk to him, and after some... See full summary »
Billy Bob Thornton,
In 1962, the Marine Corps family, the Meechums - parents Lieutenant Colonel Wilbur "Bull" Meechum and Lillian Meechum, and their four children Ben Meechum, Mary Anne Meechum, Karen Meechum and Matthew Meechum - are moving like they do most years, this time to Beaufort, South Carolina. Bull - nicknamed "the Great Santini" - is known as a great pilot, but has gotten into much trouble in the past for his sophomoric behavior. He runs his family much as a military commander, where they are all to obey his orders without question. Everything he does within the family context he reasons is to build character, but in reality everything ends up being about him. The oldest Ben, approaching manhood, is the one of his offspring who has the greatest issue with his father. Ben wants his respect, but isn't sure if he really loves him. As Ben goes through his senior year in high school, his attempts to play varsity basketball and an incident between black Toomer Smalls - his friend and their cook ...Written by
The South Carolina house, where much of the movie takes place, is the same house in Beaufort used in The Big Chill (1983). It is known as the "Edgar Fripp Home" as well as "Tidalholm". See more »
During the last scene of Bull Meechum with his family on the porch prior to the Prom the youngest son is wearing a jacket covered in aviation patches. One of these patches is for the F-14 Tomcat which first flew in 1970 and wasn't operationally deployed until 1974. The film is set in 1962. See more »
Your father is very nervous about this game. Look at me, youg lady! Look at me! You've got to interpret the signals he gives off!
Mary Anne Meechum:
No problem! He always gives off the signals of a psychopathic killer, so it really doesn't matter how you interpret them !
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I have not seen this film in over 20 years, but having been in the Marines, it will always be burned in my memory. You may also have to be, or have been, a Marine to fully appreciate the film (although anyone that has lived under authoritarian rule must feel some sympathy for the situations presented).
Although the film may have been re-cut for video release, I remember Duvall's character as being a fully fleshed out dichotomy of a man who rebelled against authority when submission was called for (his practical jokes while performing military duties) and invoking authoritarianism when more compassion and understanding were called for (his family life).
This is what it was like to be a Marine: The Corps was your family and your family was just an inconvenient duty to be performed for society.
If the movie has been re-edited, I suggest you try to see the original theatrical release, if possible. I found it to be a thoughtful and powerful motion picture.
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