A failed businessman is hired by the army to teach a group of underachieving recruits in order to help them pass basic training.

Director:

Penny Marshall

Writer:

Jim Burnstein

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny DeVito ... Bill Rago
Gregory Hines ... Sergeant Cass
James Remar ... Captain Tom Murdoch
Ed Begley Jr. ... Jack Markin
Lillo Brancato ... Pvt. Donnie Benitez (as Lillo Brancato Jr.)
Stacey Dash ... Pvt. Miranda Myers
Kadeem Hardison ... Pvt. Jamaal Montgomery
Richard T. Jones ... Pvt. Jackson Leroy
Khalil Kain ... Pvt. Roosevelt Nathaniel Hobbs
Peter Simmons Peter Simmons ... Pvt. Brian Davis, Jr.
Gregory Sporleder ... Pvt. Melvin (as Greg Sporleder)
Mark Wahlberg ... Pvt. Tommy Lee Haywood
Cliff Robertson ... Colonel James
Ben Wright Ben Wright ... Private Oswald
Ann Cusack ... Bill's Secretary
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Storyline

A down-on-his-luck businessman desperately takes the only job offered - a teacher in the U.S. Army. His mission: keep a ragtag bunch of underachieving misfits from flunking out of basic training! Be on alert as this unlikely new teacher and his underdog class unexpectedly inspire each other to be all they can be! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Man's Mission To Teach The Few, The Proud... The Impossible! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the barracks, Lillo Brancato's character reenacts a scene from Raging Bull (1980) starring Robert De Niro. Brancato's impression of De Niro for a talent scout one year earlier landed him his breakthrough role in De Niro's film A Bronx Tale (1993). See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, Sergeant Cass is marching a new bunch of recruits, and the group of men are supposed to be singing the "Hamlet" cadence. However, although we can hear them, none of the men's lips are moving. See more »

Quotes

[Melvin is reading a passage from HAMLET in a monotone voice]
Bill Rago: Melvin, read the rest of it when you come out of the coma.
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Connections

References Cape Fear (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
Performed by Us3
Written by Mel Simpson, Geoff Wilkinson, Rahsaan Kelly and Herbie Hancock
Courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
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User Reviews

 
See it for the Shakespeare, enjoy it for it's redemption plot and strong performances.
19 November 2006 | by gerard6656See all my reviews

This is a feel good movie, not very deep BUT well conceived, written and acted. DeVito is excellent as a failing marketing man being transformed into a thoughtful, caring army educator. As important is the film's excellent presentation and discussion of the works of Shakespeare.

No surprise, DeVito's self centered abrasiveness meets with antipathy. Army officers don't care. Convinced of their own worthlessness, DeVito's students are disinterested, at best. During the semester, DeVito, mellows, students learn enough to advance,and Army brass begins to appreciates the new teacher.

The best part of this film is not DeVito's or the student's redemption but the film's beguiling Shakespeare presentation. DeVito teaches the Bard with passion. The writers deliver illuminating, focused student dialog. As one who didn't "get" Shakespeare until seeing MacBeth a year after graduation. This movie was a better class than anything I took in high school or college.

Enjoy the film and the class.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

By the Book See more »

Filming Locations:

Detroit, Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,557,590, 5 June 1994

Gross USA:

$24,332,324

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,332,324
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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