A criminal subculture operates among U.S. soldiers stationed in West Germany just before the fall of the Berlin wall.


Gregor Jordan


Robert O'Connor (book), Gregor Jordan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Ray Elwood
Ed Harris ... Colonel Berman
Scott Glenn ... Sergeant Lee
Anna Paquin ... Robyn Lee
Elizabeth McGovern ... Mrs. Berman
Michael Peña ... Garcia
Leon ... Stoney (as Leon Robinson)
Gabriel Mann ... Knoll
Dean Stockwell ... General Lancaster
Brian Delate ... Colonel Marshall
Shiek Mahmud-Bey ... Sergeant Saad (as Sheik Mahmud-Bey)
Amani Gethers ... Kirschfield
Noah Lee Margetts Noah Lee Margetts ... Rothfuss (as Noah)
Tom Ellis ... Squash
Kick Gurry ... Video


1989. The Berlin Wall is about to fall, and the world is about to be made safe for the new world order. But outside of Stuttgart, West Germany, at Theodore Roosevelt Army Base, Specialist Ray Elwood of the 317th Supply Battalion is about to find his own cold war turn white hot. Elwood's a lovable rogue, a conscript who's managed to turn his military servitude into a blossoming network of black market deals, more out of boredom than ambition. Officially, there's his day job as battalion secretary to the inept but caring Commander Wallace Berman. On the side, there's everything from selling the locals stolen Mop'N'Glo to cooking heroin for the base's ruthless head of Military Police, Sgt. Saad. When a new top sergeant arrives, with the avowed intention of cleaning the base up, Elwood thinks the new blood is nothing he can't handle, especially after he lays eyes on the top's daughter, rebellious Robyn. But that was before he figured in the $5 million in stolen arms that just landed on ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This is my story, its very true! but many will deny it See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, drug content, strong language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Based on the 1993 novel by Robert O'Connor. See more »


When Elwood is firing the machine gun at his Merc, the bullets in the gun first appear to be real (before firing). However, as firing begins it is apparent that there are blanks loaded on the chain (crimped ends instead of a bullet). See more »


Ray Elwood: I'm a natural enemy of guys like your dad, mostly because I don't give a shit about the army.
Robyn Lee: If you don't give a shit, why'd you join?
Ray Elwood: I didn't exactly have much of a say in the matter. I got caught stealing a car and the judge gave me a choice - either 6 months in prison or 3 years in the army. So I made the mistake of choosing the army.
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Crazy Credits

"Elvis Presley's image and likeness courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc." (Elwood beheads a statue of Elvis in one scene.) See more »


Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)
Written by DJ Shadow (as Josh Davis), Dan The Automator (as Daniel M. Nakamura) and Prince Paul
Published by Universal/MCA Music Limited/Mo Wax Music Limited, Prinsa Pawl Music (BMI) and Sharkman Songs (ASCAP)
Performed by Handsome Boy Modeling School
(p) 1999 Tommy Boy Music Limited
Licensed courtesy of Tommy Boy Music (UK) Limited
Taken from the Handsome Boy Modeling School album "So... How's Your Girl"
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User Reviews

Interesting picture with an excellent interpretation by Joaquin Phoenix and surrounded by a highly capable support cast
13 February 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The movie deals with an US corporal (Joaquin Phoenix) whose slogan is ¨steal all that you can steal¨ . He has moneymaking plans for every occasion in the United States headquarter located in Germany during George Bush Sr time . His superior Colonel (Ed Harris) looks the other way until a new and veteran sergeant (Scott Glenn) turns up , but the corporal falls in love with his daughter (Anna Paquin) and the sergeant seeks vengeance .

The film is a ferocious and hilarious military critical , it's an anti-army and anti-war/protest black-comedy which follows exploits of a woolly and wild US unit ; being based on the 1993 novel by Robert O'Connor . Ironical recycling of the classic 1950s Television comedy series which was interpreted by Phil Silvers and ¨Sgt. Bilko¨ film by Jonathan Lynn with Steve Martin . Movie characters are utterly negatives , they are mean , greedy , villains or nuts and aren't politically corrects . Spectacular images when appear the tanks , these American tanks featured in the film are actually modified German L1 Leopards . The forest where the tank drives through was planted just for this movie on a green field in front of a real forest , though he tanks were not allowed to drive through the real forest .

Here Joaquin Phoenix plays a top-notch farceur and he is assembled by a perfect support casting such as Leon , Harris , Gabriel Mann , Dean Stockwell and Elizabeth McGovern . The picture obtained moderated success , giving a new meaning on the word 'irreverence' and really fierce criticism to Army institution . None relation to the film with same title ¨Buffalo soldiers¨ (1997) directed by Charles Haid with Danny Glover about post-civil war black cavalry corps . The motion picture was well directed Gregor Jordan . Rating : Good . Well worth seeing.

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UK | Germany


English | Turkish

Release Date:

31 October 2002 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Buffalo Soldiers See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,977, 27 July 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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