1983. Thomas Highway (Clint Eastwood) is a well-decorated career military man in the United States Marine Corps, he who has seen action in Korea and Vietnam. His current rank is Gunnery Sergeant. His experiences have led him to become an opinionated, no nonsense man, who is prone to bursts of violence, especially when he's drunk, if the situation does not suit him, regardless of the specifics or people involved. Because of these actions, he has spent his fair share of overnighters behind bars. Close to retirement, one of his last assignments, one he requested, is back at his old unit at Cherry Point, North Carolina, from where he was transferred for insubordination and conduct unbecoming. He is to train a reconnaissance platoon. His superior officer, the much younger and combat inexperienced Major Malcolm Powers (Everett McGill), sees Highway as a relic of an old-styled military. Highway's commanding officer, Lieutenant Ring (Boyd Gaines), the platoon leader, is also a younger man who...Written by
Debut movie as a cinematographer for Jack N. Green. As such, it was also the first movie on which Green acted as a director of photography for Clint Eastwood. Previously, Green had worked as a camera operator for fifteen years for director of photography Bruce Surtees, which included movies for Eastwood. This movie was a promotion for Green by Eastwood and was Clint's regular lenser up until Space Cowboys (2000). See more »
When Aponte turns over one of the dead Cubans at the bridge, the supposedly dead soldier moves his legs to make it easier for Aponte to roll him over. See more »
The opening Warner Bros. logo is black and white. See more »
Theatrical version included a scene where Gunny Highway stands in front of one of the soldiers at the target practice, forcing him to shoot straight. Reportedly, this scene doesn't appear in the video release. See more »
Clint Eastwood is at his best in the role of "Gunny Highway." This is mostly a really excellent flick about patriotic values, military camaraderie and old grizzled military veterans. Gunny Highway comes across as the exact fellow you would want covering your ass in any tough situation you could possibly imagine. And Eastwood plays him perfectly with steely resolve, devotion, humor and a healthy touch of irreverence. Its great to see the transformation of Highway's squad, as well as the final moment of judgment for the totally hateful, obnoxious and bureaucratic Maj. Powers. (Oh, if only such b*****ds would get their deserved comeuppance in real life in such a manner, what a beautiful world it would be!)
The only real fault is the attempt to compare a minor police action in Grenada with Vietnam and Korea, "I guess we're not 0, 1 and 1 anymore." I mean, give me a break, Korea and Vietnam went on for years and killed millions! Grenada involved a couple of hundred casualties over a couple of days. Please! But I suppose in 1986 the American people were desperate for some kind of heroes. Its just that that kind of jingoism would have been much more appropriate after Desert Storm than Grenada. That being said, its still a very good movie with a fundamental message about values, loyalty and comradeship that we could easily have more of these days, besides, Clint is just great!
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