Eugene, a young teenage Jewish boy, recalls his memoirs of his time as an adolescent youth. He lives with his parents, his aunt, two cousins, and his brother, Stanley, whom he looks up to ... See full summary »
Eugene and Stanley Jerome try to break into show biz as comedy writers while their parents' marriage ends. When the boys' material is broadcast on radio, the family hears their private life played for laughs.
New York City teenager Eugene Jerome starts military service thoughtfully yet patriotically prepared to take part in World War II. At boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi, he faces the brutally opposed views of other recruits, which he must live with. Still they must bind, if not bond, facing the sadistic drill sergeant during their physically ruthless and mentally abusive training, which is heading for tragedy. Meanwhile, their boyish minds wander often to sexual frustrations, from obsession with potency (and escaping virginity) to prejudice against gays. Armed only with his sense of humor, Eugene is determined to leave camp with everything he came with.Written by
The first movie directed by Mike Nichols rated PG-13. See more »
Set in 1945, a c. 1970 Corningware cup is visible on a shelf. See more »
Eugene Morris Jerome:
"Something magical happens once it's put down on paper. They figure no one would go to the trouble of writing it down if it wasn't the truth. Responsibility was my new watchword."
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It seems strange to say this about a movie that has very few moments of high drama and virtually no moments of great excitement, but "Biloxi Blues" has a strangely compelling quality to it. Once you begin to watch, you'll stay with this through to the end. Director Mike Nichols does an excellent job of bringing the viewer into the lives of the disparate group of young men who find themselves suddenly soldiers in 1945, facing the prospect of being sent to the Pacific to fight and quite possibly die for their country. From the very beginning, we want to know about these men: who they are, what makes them tick, and, most important - what's going to happen to them?
There are several fine performances in this movie. Matthew Broderick is excellent (he seems to have a knack for military roles, as in both this and "Glory") as Private Eugene Jerome, a young, idealistic Jewish teenager, just out of high school, who dreams of being a writer rather than a soldier. Much of the movie is seen through his eyes as we see him come of age in many different ways. There's great humour involved as he loses his virginity with the understanding prostitute Rowena (Park Overall). Eugene is simply a likable young man who we enjoy watching grow up. Corey Parker put on a strong performance in a supporting role as Private Albert Epstein, who challenges military authority from Day 1. Another scene of brief humour is when Epstein presents a note from his doctor in New York, asking that he be excused from having to eat army food. Also offering a strong performance is Christopher Walken as the slightly off-balance Sargeant Toomey, who drives his platoon relentlessly.
If you're looking for a classic war movie, you'll want to avoid this. But if you're interested in a story about genuine people, give it a try. I enjoyed this movie very much, and would rate it as a 7/10.
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