7.2/10
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163 user 96 critic

Southern Comfort (1981)

Trailer
1:55 | Trailer
During a routine exercise, a team of National Guards are threatened by angry and violent locals.

Director:

Walter Hill

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Carradine ... Spencer
Powers Boothe ... Hardin
Fred Ward ... Reece
Franklyn Seales ... Simms
T.K. Carter ... Cribbs
Lewis Smith ... Stuckey
Les Lannom ... Casper
Peter Coyote ... Poole
Alan Autry ... Bowden (as Carlos Brown)
Brion James ... Trapper
Sonny Landham ... Hunter
Allan Graf ... Hunter
Ned Dowd ... Hunter
Rob Ryder Rob Ryder ... Hunter
Greg Guirard Greg Guirard ... Cajun Couple
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Storyline

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 48 hours, they'll be home with their families. There's just one problem...They've just crossed a line they never knew existed. And the farther they go, the closer they get to nowhere. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Powers Boothe and Lewis Smith would both eventually portray the same person, Curly Bill Brocius, later on in their careers (in Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994), respectively). See more »

Goofs

While at the "town", the Cajun Hunter, played by Sonny Landham, shoots Hardin (Powers Boothe) in the left shoulder. Spenser comes in the room and fires his M-16, drawing attention away from the Hunter trying to finish the job on Hardin. The Hunter then turns and raises his rifle to shoot Spenser, then Hardin stabs the Hunter in the groin with a knife he took from a table. After the hunter falls to the floor in pain, the camera cuts to Hardin, who is seen with the bullet wound and blood on his right shoulder. The shot was obviously reversed for some reason. See more »

Quotes

Cpl. 'Coach' Bowden: Caspar! Comes a time when you have to abandon principles and do what's right.
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Soundtracks

Song "Parlez-nous à Boire
Dewey Balfa
Published by Flat Town Music Co.
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User Reviews

 
Thought Vietnam was rough? Wait until you visit the Cajun Swamps!
23 January 2008 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Thank the heavens for John Boorman! If it hadn't been for his classic "Deliverance", we never would have had the stream of gritty and relentless "Backwoods" action & horror movies. Most of them are just a cheap excuse to make fun of stereotypical rednecks and depict gratuitous violence, but some are truly great films that come damn near to the quality level of "Deliverance" itself, like Walter Hill's "Southern Comfort". This exhilarating backwoods survival chiller uses some of the best exterior filming locations ever, the suspense and atmosphere of madness gradually builds itself up, the (almost) all-star cast is terrific and the violence is extremely rough at times. A nine-headed squadron of the Louisiana National Guard enrolls into a training practice in the Cajun Swamps and soon get lost. They borrow three canoes of the local population without asking and when one of the soldiers playfully (but stupidly) fires off blanks in their direction, the unseen Cajuns hillbilly-poachers respond with real bullets. This inflicts a disturbing cat and mouse game between the soldiers (with minimal ammunition and no knowledge of the area) and the seemingly invisible Cajuns (with their primitive hunting instincts and inventive booby traps). Usually in this type of flicks, it's obvious to choose which side you're on, but in "Southern Comfort" you have to think at least twice. The soldiers aren't exactly warm and friendly men, neither, and you're more than often tempted to think they're somewhat responsible for the mess they're in. After all, they did steal the canoes, they did set fire to one of the Cajun's homes and they did yell obscure things at them! The finale, set in an actual Cajun community, is truly nail-biting, absorbing and strangely educational, what with all the portrayal of typical rituals like dance parties and barbecuing! Another masterful period accomplishment from Walter Hill, who also made the brilliant cult classic "The Warriors" and the family-western "The Long Riders".


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Prey See more »

Filming Locations:

Caddo Lake, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$116,943, 27 September 1981

Gross USA:

$5,000,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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