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Gardens of Stone (Sous-titres français) [Import]
The story of the war at home and the people who lived through it. From director Francis Coppola (The Rainmaker, The Godfather saga) comes GARDENS OF STONE, a poignant look at stateside military life during the Vietnam War featuring outstanding performances by James Caan, James Earl Jones and Academy Award(r) Winner Anjelica Huston.* "Gardens of Stone" refers to Arlington National Cemetery, its endless rows of tombstones marking the graves of America's fallen war heroes. This garden is tended by the "Old Guard," an elite Army unit led by decorated veterans no longer serving active duty. When brash young recruit Jackie Willow (D.B. Sweeney) is assigned to the unit, he becomes a surrogate son toSgt. Clell Hazard (Caan) and Sgt. Major "Goody" Nelson (Jones). The older men must prepare the younger for the deadly environment of war. Meanwhile, Hazard begins a love affair with an anti-war newspaper reporter (Huston) and Willow rekindles a romance with a former college sweetheart (Mary Stuart
The subtext of this grim, snail-paced Francis Ford Coppola film is the death of Coppola's son, Giancarlo, in a boating accident. Coppola came back with this Vietnam-era military drama about the men assigned to patrol and serve at the funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. James Caan is the world-weary patrol leader with a fatherly interest in a gung-ho cadet (D.B. Sweeney). Caan tries to show Sweeney the potentially fatal future that awaits him if he volunteers for combat, but he can't break through his young charge's zealousness. The subplot involves crusty Caan's attempts at romance with Anjelica Huston, who can't quite fathom his contradictions. The story is all glum and lumbering, despite a warm, full-bodied performance by James Earl Jones as one of Caan's buddies. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
James Caan as a tired NCO meeting an eager young soldier. I got the feeling that Caan was seeing himself in this and was trying to prevent a needless tragedy. The young man meets a girl, they get married. He goes to OCS and Vietnam and returns to the Old Guard in a coffin. I think he was understanding what Caan was trying to tell him when he was killed.
This is a difficult movie to watch as Caan attempts to win a woman with strong anti-war feelings. Caan is not exactly anti-war but I think he is speaking from a world weariness of having been in two wars and knows first hand, what this woman can only intelectualize. It is an interesting plot and one that is quite realistic.
This is a sober movie, with a few light moments, but is in reality a realistic look at what life was like for soldiers burying their fellows at Arlington. A must see for anyone with an interest in the cost of war.
This movie sports several great performances. James Caan and James Earl Jones in particular stand out. Those two along with D. B. Sweeney, Angelica Huston, Joe Desjardin, Lawrence Fishburn, Dean Stockwell and Sam Bottoms make a great "war" movie without ever showing a battle. The characters develop the story and make this movie worth not just one, but several watches.
There were several great Vietnam movies that came out in the 80's, but as much as any of them, this movie truly brought home the feelings of the time to someone who was not yet an adult during that time.
This movie did not get a lot of publicity that Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocolypse Now received, but it is just as powerful and entertaining as those movies.
See this movie. It is very good.
Now, where is the DVD?
There is also an up-close-and-personnal view of the Vietnam-era home front, as James Caan's character befriends a promising young soldier, coaches him into OCS, and sees him go off to Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader, not to return.
If you're curious about what the Army was like in the late 1960's, as the casualties from Vietnam were begining to bite on the professional Army, this is the movie to see.
The costume department deserves great addoration for the details. I could not find one uniform that did not conform to the Army Regulations that I live by daily.
This is an outstanding movie for anyone who wants to know that soldier really do care!
The plot winds its way around the Old Guard, the honour guard at Arlington National Cemetary, charged with the performance of a hallowed trust, one of the few in a secular nation such as the United States -- that of overseeing the gravesites of the honoured dead who died after service to the nation, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The primary senior characters are Platoon Sergeant Hazard (James Caan) and Sergeant Major Nelson (James Earl Jones), two crusty veterans overseeing operations; both served in Korea and Vietnam with distinction, and are now sitting on the sidelines of the expanding war in Vietnam in a place where the body count is very apparent. Into this mix comes the young and idealistic Specialist Willow (D.B. Sweeney in one of his earliest roles), an Army brat whose father is (of course) a friend of Hazard and Nelson.
Willow has an unrequited love (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) in the daughter of a colonel, who seems to think that the son of a sergeant is beneath his daughter, even as Willow has ambition toward becoming an officer.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I admit that my review is somewhat biased, because I got to be an extra in this movie. I was a Military Policeman stationed at Ft. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2003 by Deptydog
Moving story about the Old Guard at Arlington Cemetety in Washington during the war in Vietnam.
James Caan give a powerful performance as an old vetern who has done his time,... Read more
This is a decent film for anyone who likes war-themed movies. There aren't any intricate combat scenes and the plot involves a love story or two that are a bit thin, but if you're... Read morePublished on July 18 2003 by John W. Crockett
I served in The Old Guard from 1997 - 1999. During this time, thousands of our boys died in VietNam and were buried in Arlington Cemetary. Read morePublished on Aug. 30 2002 by J. Douglas Crawford
Francis Ford Coppola is one of my favorite directors ever, and he has done another great job with "Gardens of Stone. Read morePublished on July 31 2002 by Erin K. Darling
With all the Vietnam movies that have been made to date, you don't see too many that show the view from soldiers that didn't fight in that war. Read morePublished on June 30 2002 by Kyle Tolle
This movie is an overlooked classic. The writing, directing and acting are wonderful. An all star cast lead by fantastic performances by James Caan, James Earl Jones, D.B. Read morePublished on June 2 2002 by Uncle Chino
The most intelligent film I've seen about the Vietnam war, by far. Most films about the war fall back on gratuitous brutality and demonization of the Vietnamese to capture our... Read morePublished on March 26 2000