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Gardens of Stone (1987)

R | | Drama, Romance, War | 8 May 1987 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer
A Sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Viet Nam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old Army buddy.


Francis Ford Coppola (as Francis Coppola)


Nicholas Proffitt (novel), Ronald Bass (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Sgt. Clell Hazard
Anjelica Huston ... Samantha Davis
James Earl Jones ... 'Goody' Nelson
D.B. Sweeney ... Jackie Willow
Dean Stockwell ... Homer Thomas
Mary Stuart Masterson ... Rachel Feld
Dick Anthony Williams ... Slasher Williams
Lonette McKee ... Betty Rae
Sam Bottoms ... Lt. Webber
Elias Koteas ... Pete Deveber
Laurence Fishburne ... Sgt. Flanagan (as Larry Fishburne)
Casey Siemaszko ... Wildman
Peter Masterson ... Col. Feld
Carlin Glynn ... Mrs. Feld
Erik Holland Erik Holland ... Col. Godwin


In the late 60s, during the Vietnam War, the idealistic soldier Jackie Willow arrives at Fort Meyer expecting to go to the Academy and then to the Vietnam War. Jackie is the son of a veteran sergeant and soon he becomes the protégé of the former friends of his father, Sergeant Clell Hazard and Sergeant Major 'Goody' Nelson. Jackie is promoted and gets married with his childhood friend Rachel Feld, to recommend Jackie to the Academy. He is promoted to lieutenant and asks to go to the Vietnam, returning to the Arlington National Cemetery. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of the war at home, and the people who lived through it. See more »


Drama | Romance | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Second picture about the Vietnam War directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The first had been Apocalypse Now (1979). See more »


In the beginning funeral scene, when the soldiers are folding Willow's flag, you see they are folding the blue field first, going to the red and white stripes. In the next scene, a pull-back, they are folding the flag stripes first. When a flag is folded, the blue field is always last so the triangle shows stars in a 1-3-5 configuration. See more »


Jackie Willow: [over the phone]
Jackie Willow: Hey, Sarge! I need another favor.
Clell Hazard: [shouts] Oh, great. Let's see... you got my money, you got my car. I guess now you need my dick to seal the deal!
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Referenced in The Dream Studio (2004) See more »


Georgy Girl
Written by Tom Springfield and Jim Dale
Performed by The Seekers
Courtesy of EMI Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Coppola revisits Vietnam
3 October 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's the military funeral of Jackie Willow (D.B. Sweeney) as he recounts his journey. It returns to Jackie's first day at Fort Myer which provides soldiers for Arlington National Cemetery and he's gungho to fight in Vietnam. He's the son of a friend of Sgt. Clell Hazard (James Caan) who tries to talk him out of Vietnam. He helps screw-up Wildman (Casey Siemaszko) from platoon Sgt. Flanagan (Laurence Fishburne). Sergeant Major Goody Nelson (James Earl Jones) and wife Betty Rae set up Hazard with anti-war Washington Post reporter Samantha Davis (Anjelica Huston). Pete Deveber (Elias Koteas) is a clerk and Homer Thomas (Dean Stockwell) is the commander. Jackie marries Rachel Feld (Mary Stuart Masterson), the daughter of a colonel.

Francis Ford Coppola revisits Vietnam with something less epic and more traditional. There are great actors. The thing I remember most is the story of the Vietcons fighting helicopters with arrows. This is certainly not as iconic as Apocalypse Now. It doesn't mean that it's not a worthwhile watch. For a war movie, this surprisingly has little war action. That's probably what throws most people off.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gardens of Stone See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,645,588, 10 May 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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