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Taps (1981)

PG | | Drama | 25 December 1981 (USA)
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2:26 | Trailer

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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
2,784 ( 207)
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. 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

Prior to the production of the film, the key actors -Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise and others - were required to participate in a 45-day-long period of orientation with the students of Valley Forge Military Academy. They were given uniforms, borrowed from their real life counterparts at the school and given authentic military haircuts. They slept in campus barracks and were subjected to the same rigors and hardship that all Valley Forge cadets went through. While most of the actors enjoyed and excelled at their orientation, Cruise opted to leave the training for the comforts of a nearby hotel until filming began. See more »

Goofs

When the characters use an Army Saber to salute, they all fail to do it correctly except Sean Penn while on horseback. It is a two-step maneuver. On the preparatory command of "PRE_SENT", the saber is brought to a position approximately four inches from the soldier's nose so that the tip of the saber is six inches from the vertical. The soldier is looking at the flat side of blade at the top of the hilt and the blade is either straight up or slightly tilted forward. The actors do this part correctly. What they fail to do is at the command of execution "ARMS", the right hand is lowered with the flat of the blade upward, the thumb extended on the left side of the grip and the tip of the saber about six inches from the marching surface and pointed at the ground. Assuming the actors received the same instructor at Valley Forge Academy, they must have all been taught this way. It is not, however, in accordance with Army Regulation FM 22-5, now called FM 3-21.5. See more »

Quotes

David Shawn: Take off that berret.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fame: Street Kid (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Love is a Many Splendored Thing
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Played at the dance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
War games
13 February 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

"Taps" presents a twist in the way students in a military academy of certain reputation perceive how honor is, above all, the thing to live for, even over all other qualities a man could possess. The teachings of this military institution, molding young men 12 to 18 years old, have a profound effect, especially in the intense Brian Moreland, who is a clear favorite of the academy director, General Bache.

Harold Becker directed "Taps", which is based on a novel by Devery Freeman. The action of the film takes place in the fictional Bunker Hill Military Academy, that has just been sold to private investors who want transform the site into condominiums.

With a history of having molded young minds during its distinguished history, Gen. Bache is horrified by the mere thought of losing the academy and the young people he has helped to involve in the rich life of the military. After a tragic incident that involves the killing of a townie, Bache suffers a heart attack, leaving the academy in the hands of people that are seen trying to undermine the fallen leader.

Brian Moreland, the serious minded young man, takes it into his own hands to take care of what he thinks would be Gen. Bache's reaction in saving the school by getting the rest of the students left at the academy to hold it hostage and not give in to the upcoming changes, or to other people who don't have the same purpose in mind.

Timothy Hutton is about the best thing going for the film. This young actor brought the right amount of seriousness, courage and valor to the role. This film is basically the big screen debut for Sean Penn and Tom Cruise, who went to build spectacular careers of their own. George C. Scott, another excellent actor is seen as Gen. Bache, but unfortunately, he doesn't have much to do and only appears in the opening sequences. Other familiar faces in the cast, Billy Van Zandt, Giancarlo Esposito.

"Taps" is a film that shows how some young minds will act when they follow to the letter things they have learned in theory in the classroom. It also recognizes how honor could get a well meaning person to do things that he will regret later on and how it can cause harm to innocent young men that go along with these new leaders.


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