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Taps (1981)

PG | | Drama | 25 December 1981 (USA)
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Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Director:

Harold Becker

Writers:

Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay), Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,420 ( 256)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... General Harlan Bache
Timothy Hutton ... Brian Moreland
Ronny Cox ... Colonel Kerby
Sean Penn ... Alex Dwyer
Tom Cruise ... David Shawn
Brendan Ward Brendan Ward ... Charlie Auden
Evan Handler ... Edward West
John P. Navin Jr. ... Derek Mellott
Billy Van Zandt ... Bug
Giancarlo Esposito ... J.C. Pierce
Donald Kimmel ... Billy Harris
Tim Wahrer Tim Wahrer ... John Cooper
Tim Riley Tim Riley ... Hulk
Jeff Rochlin Jeff Rochlin ... Shovel
Rusty Jacobs Rusty Jacobs ... Rusty
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Storyline

An announcement that the venerable Bunker Hill Military Academy, a 141 year old institute, is to be torn down and replaced with condos sets off the young cadets led by their stodgy commander. Under the command of a student cadet major, the cadets seize the campus, refuse entry of the construction crews and ultimately confront the real military. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This school is our home, we think it's worth defending. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Kadetten von Bunker Hill See more »

Filming Locations:

Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,005, 13 December 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$35,856,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the cadets is nicknamed "Pigpen", a reference (most likely) to the characters of the same name in the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. See more »

Goofs

General Bache, discussing the quality of honor, says it is "burglar proof, fool proof, weather proof, 100 proof." A drinking man like Bache would more likely have referred to it as "200 proof," since 100 proof alcohol is, by definition, half water. See more »

Quotes

David Shawn: Take off that berret.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fred Roos and the Casting of 'The Outsiders' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan and lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould
Heard during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Second Siege of Bunker Hill
19 June 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Taps is about the cadets of Bunker Hill Military Academy and their commanding officer, George C. Scott, and their reaction to the news of the closing of the Academy.

Scott announces at the graduation that the next year will be the final year of Bunker Hill. The Board of Trustees is selling off the place for its prime real estate value to be used for condominium development. Certainly an occurrence we've seen all over the country in many places and not something really desirable in many.

Cadet Major Timothy Hutton knows he will head the last graduating class at Bunker Hill. He and fellow cadets like Sean Penn and Tom Cruise aren't taking it lying down. They may be military cadets, but they've seen and grown up with student protests. Only these students have weapons and are trained in their use.

Can you really blame the cadets like Hutton who've actually in fact forgotten that soldiers carry out and don't make policy? I think it was significant that during the course of Taps it's mentioned that George C. Scott served with General Douglas MacArthur who gave him a sword for his service. It's also mentioned that Scott was passed over for promotion an advancement beyond being a brigadier general and was retired comfortably out to pasture at the Academy.

Scott's not the same kind of military man you see in Patton. Rather he's a lot like the Patton you see in that television film, Patton, the Last Days. A man so totally out of his element that when the accident and broken neck occurred he'd lost his will to live.

Anyway after a scuffle with some of the town louts who are less than enamored of Bunker Hill's military tradition. A town kid is accidentally killed when he tries to get Scott's military issue pistol and it discharges. In a court of law, the man would have been acquitted, but Scott answers to a higher law he lives by.

That scuffle threatens to close the school even for the last year and the kids seize it. It's a confrontation then between idealistic and wrongheaded youth and the real forces of law enforcement.

Ronny Cox contributes a very nice performance as the commanding general of the National Guard trying to keep a lid on the situation. His scenes with the idealistic and obstinate Hutton are the highlight of the film for me.

Tom Cruise and Sean Penn got their first real notice in this film right at the start of their respective mega-careers. Hutton has a nice followup to his Oscar winning performance from Ordinary People. And George C. Scott is, George C. Scott.


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